Are Restrictions for P.E. Credits Fair to all Woodside Athletes?


Alabama Today

Woodside offers credit for all on-campus school provided sports.

Sofia Kalberer, Staff Writer

Woodside athletes participating in sports outside of school express their frustrations with the P.E. credit system.

Woodside requires students to have 20 P.E. credits to graduate, which can be fulfilled with either two years of P.E. or one year of P.E. plus three semesters of a Woodside sport. Students taking a sport outside of school are not happy with not receiving any credit for their efforts. 

Sophia Cancilla, a sophomore at Woodside, has been taking Taekwondo for eight years and  P.E. for the past two years. 

“I’m disappointed I don’t get any credits,” Cancilla said. “I spend four days a week, two hours [per practice] on my sport.”

In the past, there were exceptions to the rules where some students could get credit for high-level sports. Laura Perdikomatis is a P.E. teacher at Woodside and has been the physical education department chair since 2001. 

“[The teachers] went to the board, and the school board agreed that [credits for outside sports] doesn’t cover the California state standards of physical education,” Perdikomatis said. 

Woodside doesn’t clearly communicate to the students why they can’t have credits for outside sports so the students are left guessing. Megan Xu, a sophomore at Woodside, participates in rowing twice a day and on weekends. She does not take P.E. and, instead, is taking an alternative summer course for credit at a community college. 

“It’s harder to be able to verify if [students are] actually putting in the work,” Xu said. “Bringing up the other possibilities of what you can consider to be outside sports, is not really super structured.”

The California Department of Education has the final say in the regulations schools have to adhere to and not Woodside.  

“The governing board of a school district may exempt any four-year or senior high school pupil from attending courses of physical education, if the pupil is engaged in a regular school-sponsored interscholastic athletic program carried on wholly or partially after regular school hours,” under the California Department of Education, Education Code Section 51242. 

Students believe that there is more the faculty could do to adapt to students’ needs. 

“I see that people here want things to get better,” Xu said. “If any problem emerges, [Woodside] does want to do the best that they can to fix it or find a way to work around it. I definitely see something happening if enough people bring it to the school administration’s attention.”

However, Woodside can’t do much in this situation unless the rules changed in the state. Timothy Faulkner, the athletic director at Woodside, has had the position for four years. 

“I think [the P.E. credit system] works perfectly right now; I really do,” Faulkner said. “I think 3.5 credits for a sport is working well and students having to do freshman P.E.”

Student-athletes participating in outside sports are frustrated because they put a lot of time and effort into their physical activity.

“I find that P.E. is extra when I do the equivalent of the sports that people participate in at Woodside,” Cancilla said.