Failing Gym: One School Struggles to Meet State Standards

Friday, October 14, 2011

A girl lines up to run carrying a baton wearing a PS107 tshirt Relay racing is one of three activities 5th graders at PS107 participate in during gym class (Kateri Jochum/WNYC)

A recent audit by the City Comptroller has revealed that elementary schools in the city are not complying with state requirements for physical education. The comptroller found that the Department of Education is not informing, mandating, or monitoring physical education in elementary schools. Even schools that are trying hard are finding it difficult to meet the requirements. Hear about how one city school trying to its students moving and share your own P.E. stories. Go to SchoolBook

Kateri Jochum/WNYC/WNYC
Diane DiTonne-Gihuley, the gym teacher at PS107, escorts the 5th grade class

Diane DiTonne-Gihuley, the gym teacher at PS107, escorts the 5th grade class across the street to gym class at the Park Slope Armory

Kateri Jochum/WNYC/WNYC
Kids warm up

Each class begins with a few minutes of warm up to some music. The Park Slope Armory has only been available for the past two years. Before that, they had gym on the tiny school playground.

Kateri Jochum/WNYC/WNYC
Kids run a mile every gym class

PS107 participates in the Mighty Milers program - a citywide running initiative. Twice a week - in every gym class - the kids run a mile. Kindergarteners run half a mile. Within just 14 weeks, the kids have accumulated enough miles to have run a marathon.

Kateri Jochum/WNYC/WNYC
Parent volunteers are needed

Dan Paterna, a father of 5th grade twins, referees a friendly game of soccer. He has been a parent volunteer for twice a week for three years, but says there are too many kids to teach them skills and drills. The kids spend the 45 minute period running and having fun - without out of bounds.

Kateri Jochum/ WNYC/WNYC
Gym teacher Diane DiTonne-Gihuley and kids playing basketball

With just two gym teachers and one parent volunteer, some of the kids come up short. Gym teacher Diane DiTonne-Gihuley helps a small group that has decided to play basketball split into fair teams - before leaving them to watch the relay racers in action. The girls decide that the boy has a definite advantage.

Kateri Jochum/ WNYC/WNYC
Tara Troxler teaches the basics of volleyball.

Tara Troxler was hired this year as a second gym coach. The trained health administrator and former volleyball coach says she teaches a small group of kids the basics of volleyball - bump and set - before she lets them play a game. 

Kateri Jochum/WNYC/WNYC
Running relays

More than a dozen kids chose to spend their gym class running relay races. PS107 has an after-school track program.

Kateri Jochum/WNYC/WNYC
Gym tshirts

Kids at PS107 are graded on participation, behavior, attendance and proper attire. Every year, the school sells gym t-shirts so that kids will have the right clothes - and remember when its time to put on the sneakers and get active.


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Comments [2]

Noel MacNeal from Park Slope

This is my son's school and Miss Diane does her best. It's ironic how the same kids who would normally run around chasing each other like maniacs, hate running around the track.

Nov. 14 2011 09:56 AM

I'm sure Diane will be thrilled.....

Oct. 19 2011 09:30 AM

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