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‘They’re still being physically distant’: How Canutillo ISD physical education classes are adapting to the pandemic

p.e. class
A Canutillo ISD student participates in physical education class.

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) — Classrooms and school campuses have faced major changes during the pandemic. Desk dividers, face coverings and temperature checks are the new normal.

Physical education classes aren’t immune to the new measures either. Local teachers are working to find ways to keep students in shape and engaged during PE class while keeping them physically apart.

“We approached it in an exciting fashion,” said Canutillo Independent School District PE teacher Joel Olivas. “We didn't want to approach it as a problem or as a challenge. We wanted something that can excite the kids. We wanted it to be almost the same as possible, because PE is always one of the favorite subjects. We wanted the kids to keep their enthusiasm for PE.”

Olivias and other teachers at Jose Damian Elementary School used spray paint to create obstacle courses on campus sidewalks. The activity is individualized enough to keep students apart and prevents the touching of shared surfaces.

“We’re just trying to have activities where we're not using a lot of equiptment, but the kids are being active,” he said. “They’re being engaged. They see their classmates participating in all these activities, but they're still being physically distant.”

Olivas believes sports equipment will be reintroduced once students are more comfortable with new safety measures already in place. He said the district was considering drills with basketballs, in which each student could have their own ball.

For now, Olivas is looking online to find creative ways to keep students moving and excited about their curriculum outside the classroom.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Madeline Ottilie

Madeline Ottilie is a reporter on Good Morning El Paso and co-anchors ABC-7 at noon.


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