Los Gatos Saratoga Union High School District trustees suspended Tuesday evening a controversial board policy that would have mandated all students at Saratoga High School take physical education classes on top of strenous extra-curricular activies such as band and sports participation.
The vote came after more than 20 speakers addressed trustees about their opposition to the new mandate—a part of new graduation requirements for incoming ninth-graders at both high schools.
The change was supposed to take effect in October, however, it's now been postponed at Saratoga High School.
Parents concerned about the policy have explained they're worried about the impact the mandate will have on band, extra-curricular athletics, students' well being, the Saratoga High School health requirements, elective options and education code requirements.
At the Oct. 16 trustee meeting, three possible options were presented and based on community, staff and student input, trustees considered suspending the implementation of the policy at SHS.
The suspension means SHS will continue to allow students who participate in marching band and inter-scholastic athletic programs to skip P.E.
The deferral also means ninth-graders at SHS will continue to abide by the health class requirement, which doesn't blend health and P.E.
Trustees and SHS officials will conduct additional studies regarding concerns about the issuance of P.E. credit by non-credentialed staff, and students who don't pass five of the six physical fitness test standards are required and other compliance issues, district officials said.
The district will be organizing meetings with staff, students and community members to evaluate the options regarding future health and physical education programs at SHS.
No action was taken with regard to the policy at Los Gatos High School, said LGSUHSD assistant to the superintendent Jane Marashian. On the agenda last night, however, was a parent meeting update on the LGHS' freshman transition plan.
A staff report said on Oct. 30, parents of incoming seventh- and eighth-graders discussed various aspects of the plan, including changes to the controversial policy. LGHS Principal Markus Autrey presented an update regarding input received during the meeting.