Keeping PE Running in a Pandemic

Keeping PE Running in a Pandemic

Alexander Adkins , writer

BUHS PE teachers’ views on mask policy for students while running

Due to Covid 19 PE has looked a bit different this year with teachers only seeing students once a week or less and masks being required when students are inside or less than six feet apart. I talked to two BUHS PE teachers to ask how they have observed their class handling their masks on the track. Their opinions seem to be optimistic with Mr. Palu saying, “I think it is the right approach… I feel it is the right approach. It is being implemented correctly and everyone is on the same page.”

What students do with their masks while running varies from class to class with about seventy percent in some classes wearing their masks while running according Mr. Palu “as long as they [PE students] are six feet away from each other they do not [have to wear masks outside] however I was surprised at how many chose to. I would guess it is close to seventy percent.” 

In other classes students mainly just carry their masks according to Mrs. Kress PE teacher. “I thought that students would set their masks down while running, but they choose to hold them in hand for the entire mile run…I suppose they don’t want to risk losing their mask!” 

There have not been many refusals to comply to the school’s rules according to Mr. Palu PE teacher, “We follow the guidelines the school has provided. The kids have to have legitimate masks, no gaiters, or bandanas, and the kids are following the rules.” He went on to say that the problems that have come up have been resolved with reminders.

Most students space out while running even though they are only required to stay six feet apart. Mr. Palu said, “A majority of students have a  wide distance from each other however some friends run together but we demand they are at least six feet apart.”

Though necessary for health, the masks can make teaching difficult.  “Teaching in a mask is quite challenging to say the least, but we do what we need to do right now to help stay healthy,” Mrs. Kress said.