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Brief: Changes bring new choices

Graduating requirements alter for physical education and health, students acquire more electives

Next fall, Minnehaha will be implementing changes within the physical education and health department, which will ultimately affect the academic requirements and the health curricula of incoming freshmen.

Current students at Minnehaha are required to take a total of four credits of physical education and health before graduating, which typically means: taking one P.E. class and one health class during freshman year, one P.E. class of either Team Sports or Conditioning during sophomore year, and one Health Critical Issues class junior year.

However, by next year, the graduating requirements for the incoming freshmen will be reduced to a total of three credits of P.E. and health, which is still more than the state of Minnesota’s required number of credits for high school students.

Minnehaha’s freshman class next year, the class of 2021, will be required to take a P.E. class with a health component incorporated into it their sophomore year, as well as the Critical Issues health class either sophomore or junior year.

They will also be required to take a second P.E. class before graduating; however, they will not be required to take this class their freshman year.

P.E. and health teacher Matthew Johnson will teach these classes, as current P.E. and health teacher Julie Stone will not be teaching next year.

Without the requirement to take P.E. during their freshman year, the class of 2021 will have an additional elective in their freshman schedule, changing the current number of electives from two to three.

The change allow more freshmen to join courses in the fine arts department like choir, band, orchestra, film, photography and journalism. They will be able to take two fine arts courses in addition to a world language class. Previously, students had often dropped one of these subjects in 9th grade.

“The original purpose was to find ways to free up space in schedules to create more space for kids to explore electives, especially earlier on in their high school career,” Principal Jason Wenschlag said.

Wenschlag believes that there will more changes in graduating requirements in the future.

“I think we’ll visit this next fall and winter,” Wenschlag said. “We’ll ask ‘how can we free up more space in the 10th, 11th, maybe 12th grade years?’”

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About Sierra Takushi

As a junior, Sierra is a staff writer and photos/graphics editor for The Talon. She has a quirky fascination with slam and spoken word poetry and finds straight angle shapes (like squares) visually pleasing. Sierra enjoys exploring different types of writing and literature and likes to post her photography frequently on Instagram.

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