Space is a key issue when it comes to providing effective physical education (PE). That’s why we recently celebrated new funding to build space at New York City schools that don’t have any for PE. But overcrowding remains a problem for many schools, and as the population continues to grow, it’s important for the city to consider how resources for PE – including not only space but also staff and equipment – must increase to meet the needs of students.
The Phys Ed 4 All Coalition submitted comments this week to a newly-formed working group of the City Council to address issues of school planning, siting, and overcrowding. We’re grateful to Council Member Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Chair of the Finance Committee, and Council Member Daniel Dromm, Chair of the Education Committee, for spearheading this effort, and to Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito for supporting it.
In our comments, the Phys Ed 4 All Coalition strongly requests that any school planning address the need for adequate indoor and outdoor space for effective PE for all students, regardless of where they go to school, and which accommodates students of all abilities.
Too many schools currently are overcrowded and have inadequate and insufficient space to provide the full state-mandated PE curriculum. Many schools are co-located and share already limited space with other public schools and charter schools, or have “gymnatoriums” that are used for other school activities, all of which further limits time for PE, space for students and instructors to move safely without risk of injury, and storage space for equipment.