Just last year, Nebraska and national physical educational standards changed, pushing for PE classes to focus on health related fitness versus sports skills. At Westside High School, aquatics director, PE and health science teacher Lacey Peters is introducing a unique option that goes beyond swimming laps. Paddleboards and kayaks.
"So kids have some kind of physical activity they can enjoy and at least to touch on one or two activities they can enjoy and are willing to maintain in their lifetime," Peters said.
A grant from the Westside Schools Foundation paid for two paddleboards of their own, the other two and this kayak are rented from UNO. The paddleboards are filled with air, rolled up and stored at the end of each class. Students say the class isn't just water yoga and fun time. It's part of Swimming 3, one choice to fill part of the three semester PE requirement.
"One thing that we learned about in our open-water unit was to turn pants into a flotation device, so i mean it was nice if you go overboard you know what to Thomas Lundin, a sophomore in the class said.
But how does Peters grade the paddleboarding?
"This is kind of the end of our open water unit. I don't technically grade them on how they do with it. We do skills like reach or throw don't go, help and huddle, how to pull someone back in a raft or boat using life jackets. So this is kind of the application and fun part of it," she said.