by Eduardo Calderon|News Editor
Graduation requirements remain consistent between most grade levels, however each year some courses are added or taken away as a requirement for incoming freshmen. The freshmen entering the 2013-2014 school year will no longer need Healthy Lifestyles as a requirement for graduation.
“Healthy Lifestyles is no longer a requirement for incoming freshmen next year,” AP Hensley Cone said, “However the course will still be offered.”
Incoming freshmen must still have a health credit and physical education credit to graduate but are no longer mandated to attend a Healthy Lifestyles course.
“Healthy lifestyles is a good program because it offered both credits for the one course,” Cone said.
Healthy Lifestyles deals with current health issues that can be addressed in a classroom setting.
“No matter what age Healthy Lifestyles (is good) because it deals with obesity, high blood pressure, sex ed, and drug and alcohol abuse,” Coach Jennifer Fox said.
Healthy lifestyles is not a typical physical education class, since sports are not played.
“Healthy Lifestyles is all fitness minded, but something that [students] can enjoy,” Fox said, “Helps students create a personal fitness plan that fits for life.”
Academics may be the reason that Healthy Lifestyles is no longer a mandatory course.
“With all of the testing going on, everyone is trying to be college ready,” Fox said, “Healthy Lifestyles doesn’t fit in the schedule along with the other core classes.”
However, since Healthy Lifestyles is no longer a mandatory course, students can fulfill all of their credits in the time required.
“Removing Healthy Lifestyles as a graduation requirement for all freshmen beginning with the 2013-2014 class will allow student more flexibility in their schedule to meet high school graduation requirements,” NEISD Community Relation Senior Director Aubrey Mika Chancellor said.
Healthy Lifestyles provides students an opportunity to achieve overall fitness in life, however the class does not benefit students in the classroom.
“Healthy Lifestyles provides an opportunity for all students to gain fundamental knowledge, skills and experiences that would prepare them for life in high school, college, and beyond; North East ISD felt this course was important for all students, and therefore, required it for graduation,” Chancellor said, “However, as academic rigor and accountability have increased, so has the need to allow more flexibility for students to meet these demands. Healthy Lifestyles is still a viable and recommended option for students to meet their health graduation requirement and half of their physical education requirement,” Chancellor said.
Healthy Lifestyles will not be replaced by a different course, and graduation requirements will remain the same for freshmen entering the 2013-2014 school year.
“The graduation requirements regarding physical education and health for students entering in 2013 and beyond have not changed; students still have to complete one semester health, and a full year physical education,” Chancellor said, “The difference is that students have more flexibility in how they complete those credits, rather than taking a specific course; students may take Healthy Lifestyles and a one semester physical education course, or take a semester of Health and two of the five physical education credit courses to meet their graduation requirement.”
Most graduation requirements come from NEISD’s Board of Trustees that are responsible for handling the changes to graduation policies.
“The process of changing a course or policy usually originates with a request to the board from the superintendent. If the request has a legal component, the board will also consult the district’s attorney to gain a better understanding of the legalities involved with the issue,” President of Board of Trustees Susan Galindo said.
The NEISD community has a chance to voice their opinions to any changes made to the graduation policy.
“While we did not have any questions or statements from students that I can recall, we did have numerous suggestions from parents, asking that we revisit the requirements for the course,” Galindo said.
Even though healthy lifestyles is no longer a mandatory course, NEISD continues to offer the course to promote the general welfare of their students.
“NEISD has a strong commitment to the health, nutrition and physical fitness of all our students and the board makes the best decisions we can to keep these goals a priority in our district,” Galindo said.