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St. Luke's PE Pivots To Keep Kids Active

Daniel Clarke
The St. Luke’s PE Department adjusted its curriculum this year with student safety at the forefront of its planning during St. Luke’s on the Hilltop and St. Luke’s at Home.

The vast majority of classes were conducted outside to allow for social distancing and to give students the freedom to remove their masks, when appropriate to do so. Fall sports included frisbee golf, badminton (outdoor courts), soccer, and some various relay-type exercises. 

Students who worked from home were given a comprehensive list of workouts to choose from and asked to fill out a PE log to document what they had done during the week.

During inclement weather, PE moved inside Carey Gymnasium, which had been carefully marked out to allow for social distancing. Students participated in some Tabata-style workouts and other fun activities.

When St. Luke’s pivoted to St. Lukes’ at Home, Associate Director of Athletics Jennifer Besgen and her team were prepared to continue the robust PE curriculum with an array of body-weight workouts to help students stay active, as well as to improve their aerobic fitness and core strength. 

Besgen is impressed with the effort she has seen over the first few months: “We really lucked out with the weather this fall. We had very few rainy days, which allowed us to be outside most of our 11 weeks on campus. The students really embraced the safety protocols we implemented. They realized that many of our typical units required using shared equipment, and we would no longer be able to play those games.”

Since the decision to pivot to St. Luke's at Home, Besgen has continued to see tremendous participation and enthusiasm from students: “Since we moved to distance learning, our classes are either doing Tabata-style workouts or exercising on their own and filling out the PE log.  Tabata gives everyone the opportunity to participate at their own pace and is a lot of fun. As teachers, we are certainly going to encourage our students to push themselves, but students also know that we are very proud of them for the effort they are putting in.”

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St. Luke’s School is a secular private school in New Canaan, CT for grades 5 through 12 serving 25 towns in Connecticut and New York. Our exceptional academics and diverse co-educational community foster students’ intellectual and ethical development and prepare them for top colleges. St. Luke’s Center for Leadership builds the commitment to serve and the confidence to lead.