Originally published June 26, 2022 by the Los Alamos Daily Post.

By Carol A. Clark

After a two-year hiatus, students are once again participating in summer physical education classes at Los Alamos High School (LAHS).

Participants earn .5 credit and a grade on their transcript for completing a three-week session. Those who complete both sessions fulfill the one credit of physical education required for graduation.

The Summer PE program was started in 2018 in collaboration with Albuquerque Public Schools. The LAHS program was patterned after theirs.

“The Summer PE program opens up other elective options, such as band or foreign language for students,” explained Lori Thompson, one of the summer PE teachers. “An entire semester of physical education is condensed into three weeks.”

There are 15 students participating in the first session, which runs from June 6 to June 24. There are incoming freshmen who are taking the course now to complete the PE requirement before starting high school, as well as current high school students who weren’t able to fit PE into their schedules during the regular school year. They spend four hours each morning participating in a variety of activities including mile runs, corn hole contests, tchoukball, ultimate frisbee, laser tag, disc golf and a firefighter challenge with the local fire department.

Since the class is longer than a regular PE class, students are also able to go on walking field trips for other activities including swimming at the Aquatic Center, golf at the Los Alamos Golf Course, Jiu Jitsu at Gracie Barra, rock climbing and fitness classes at the YMCA and hikes at PEEC. Other local fitness instructors generously donate their time to teach classes like barre, zumba, piyo, pound and HIIT.

“This program focuses on teaching students about fitness and health,” Thompson said. “It exposes kids to a lot of activities and sports, and they find what interests them the most and hopefully want to continue to do it outside of class.”

Along with teaching the summer PE course, Thompson teaches English during the school year and is introducing a new class this fall which focuses on sports and literature.

Lindsey Montoya will be teaching the second session which starts on June 27 and goes through July 15. She also teaches physical education classes during the regular school year. LAHS Counselor Cristin Haake is also helping with the program.

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