What’s Up With Academic Waivers?

Whats Up With Academic Waivers?

H-F has decided to change their policy on PE waivers for the 2024-25 school year.
In the past, junior and seniors were able to switch their gym class for another class if they were taking three AP classes, in the IB program or playing two sports in different seasons, but H-F is changing their policy based on state requirements.

The past requirement of three AP classes was not in accordance with Illinois law so now students will only be exempt from gym when their sport is currently in season, if they participate in marching band, if they need to be medically exempt, or if they need to take a class in order to graduate or continue onto post-secondary opportunities.

The Illinois state laws say that “Enrollment in academic classes that are required for admission to an institution of higher learning,” Which is where H-F interpreted the law incorrectly. 

H-F understood that as letting students add more academic classes to increase their chances of getting into an institute of higher learning.

Illinois is one of a handful states to require gym class every year of high school and honestly, the idea that highschool students need gym all four years is idiotic.

I think we can all acknowledge America has an issue with obesity, but gym class is a sorry excuse for exercise that wastes the time of students that could be spending their time doing something better.

While I do believe that PE can be valuable, the system currently set in place is not working.

Students spend class time sitting on the bleachers, not paying attention to what is going on.

This also begs the question, “will this put Illinois students at a disadvantage for college acceptance?” 

Out of state students will have the chance to take more core academic classes, creating an unfair advantage for students not required to spend one of their class periods in gym class. 

Colleges looking at this will see the fact that one student took more AP, honors or just overall typically academic based classes, bettering their chances at getting into the college they want.

Many students value academic classes over sports and H-F and Illinois as a whole should be able to accept that.

A majority of students also participate in sports outside of school, such as travel sports, which according to Illinois State policy will not make them exempt from gym.

This change has yet to be clearly communicated with students which can lead to rumors and misinformation being spread

Students in the IB program have a very specific schedule to adhere to and failure to meet those specific class requirements will affect their qualifications to remain in the program.
This has many students concerned about future post-secondary opportunities. 

Superintendent Scott Wakely assures that they will review circumstances for receiving a waiver on a “case by case basis” but had little to say about what that would mean specifically.

This situation has made it abundantly clear that H-F needs to clean up their act and decide what the plan is before it’s too late.

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