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If School Board Member could have her way, high school Marching Band Students would be required to take PE as a separate class.

Original post made by Kimberly, Another Pleasanton neighborhood, on May 10, 2009

One school Board member has no first hand knowledge of the rigorous academic schedule Pleasanton high school students must maintain to get into college.
Marching band students not only have to fit band into their daily class schedule, but also need to make time each day for practice, as well as commit many hours for performances at their schools and at competitions.
Fitting a PE class into their schedules is a waste of valuable academic class time, and the students don't need PE.
Ms. Hintzke should spend a few hours on the football field executing dance maneuvers while carrying and playing a musical instrument so she has an idea of just how much physical exercise marching band students get. Marching Band students get aerobic, pilates and yoga training. They learn dance steps. Participation in Marching Band reduces stress and builds self esteem. As the largest student activity on campus, marching band students become member of a large family and that sense of belonging is one of the healthiest benefits for the students.
As for Ms. Hintzke's speeches about the need to train students into developing healthy habits so they can be fit for life, isn't that training provided in the elementary and middle schools? If the student hasn't gotten the message by high school, forcing students who are already getting more exercise than any PE class could provide to give up a needed academic course so they can run around a track isn't going to get that message across.
Jamie Hintke has made a name for herself as being the school board member who promotes wellness and her efforts to get school nurses in each school and encourage lifestyle changes for lifelong fitness are laudable.
But as high school students and their parents can tell her, no college cares about an applicant's PE classes. Colleges look at courses taken, GPAs, and test results. They also care very much if a student has participated in extracurricular activities. If all else is equal, band participation will put a student's application into the acceptance pile, while PE on a transcript means nothing.
High school marching band students, student athletes and students who participate in non-school sports teams don't need to take PE. They need to have more time for academic classes and should not be forced to sacrifice an academic class for a PE class.
When Ms. Hintzke's children are in high school, she will understand this. Until then, parents of marching band students and athletes need to tell her and the rest of the School Board that their students don't need PE classes.

Comments (38)

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Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 10, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

I remember not taking PE in the last two years of HS so that I could take "college preparatory classes." If I had to take PE, I'm not sure how I would have been able to schedule all the classes I needed to take. My sister was in band. I can't imagine how she would have finished HS with all the time she devoted to band.


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Posted by PW Reader
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 10:52 pm

We definitely agree with Kimberly's post.

Back in the early 2000's, we brought documentation to the PUSD school board members showing them that top districts (like Acalanes Union High School District) have specific policies allowing students to get PE credit for alternate programs (marching band, interscholastic sports, and participants in high level competitive non-school sports). In addition, AUHSD provided more periods per day than PUSD for high school students. This allowed its students to have greater opportunities to take academic courses than those in PUSD. The result was that the PUSD board approved similar PE alternative credits. Our student never took a formal PE class at during high school years in PUSD, but was granted credit for participating four years in high school lacrosse and another competitive non-school sport. Freeing up the PE periods allowed our student to participate in the concert band and take more AP classes to get into a better college. Four years later, health, fitness, and participating in collegiate sports are important in our student's life.

School Board member Jamie Hintzke could learn from historical policy changes that the current PE alternative program for marching band, interscholastic athletes, and non-school competitive sports participants allows them the opportunity to keep the rigorous academic schedule Pleasanton high school students must maintain to get into college.

PUSD should keep the current alternative PE credit program for the benefit of any student who documents that he/she participates in any of these comparable programs.

(The proposed California Assembly Bill (AB) 351 would ensure local district control over this issue - see Web Link.)


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Posted by HS Band Parent
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 11:17 pm

To add to the reader's information about the current policies:

ALL freshman, regardless of other physical activities, must take freshman PE for the entire year and a semester of health.

PUSD requires 2 years of PE for graduation.

The second year of PE credit can be earned with the sophomore fall semester of marching band and the junior fall semester of marching band.

I agree with Kimberly that our marching band students are more active during a week of marching band practice than during a week of PE classes. The marching band season starts with 10 days of practice prior to school starting, with a 9-6 or 9-9 schedule. During the school year, the marching band kids use their classroom time to practice the music and the Tuesday night practice of 5-9 and Saturday practice of 10-6 to work on the field & music portion.

The students who are willing to give up those 12 hours a week for this activity are carrying some of the hardest academic load. In addition, many of these students also hold down part-time jobs, volunteer, and participate in sports and additional music programs in the bay area.

I fought the Senior Project idea years ago that was well-intentioned but not very well thought out; I will fight to keep the PE credit for all students who can demonstrate they are participating in an activity that meets (but normally vastly exceeds) the level of a 5-day a week class. A class that includes time to change clothes, time for attendance, time for explanation of the activity, and time to change again.


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Posted by Parent of scholarship student
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 10, 2009 at 11:19 pm

Kimberly,

I agree your your position.

PW Reader, you make excellent points. The only change I would make is instead of saying "...to get into college." I say "to get into the more & most selective colleges and universities."

I'm a Physical Education teacher and parent of a student-athlete who recently accepted a full scholarship from a highly selective university.


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Posted by Timothy
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 6:33 am

I am not sure I agree as if you look at the fitness level of the kids walking around town it is hard to make a case that they do not need PE or some level of significant exercise. As a society and starting with our young we are far to heavy.


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Posted by The new standard
a resident of Birdland
on May 11, 2009 at 8:24 am

To Timothy:

There's no reason to put 100% of the students in 4-years of PE classes just because there are a few overweight teens in Pleasanton.

The new PE standards will require a student to pass 5 of the 6 criteria before they can opt out of the additional 2 years of PE in high school.

The new standards are forcing all PE teachers to re-evaluate the lessons used in PE classes, especially in middle and high school.

Neither of my high school teens broke a sweat in high school PE. They were usually given the option of not participating in the mob game of soccer or basketball. They felt like there was little instruction on healthy habits (that came from the health classroom that is required for a semester).

I don't think any adult would appreciate an employer forcing them to take off an hour of their day (unpaid) to exercise if they were deemed overweight (or even a coworker was overweight). This is what will happen to students who want/need the full 7 periods for academic courses; you are forcing them to give up a precious hour.

Yes, our society as a whole needs a healthier lifestyle but putting 5,000 high school students through 4 years of PE (and did you know about the budget crisis in our schools?) will not be the solution.


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Posted by Timothy
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

The New Standard,

I think they all need to go to PE class and not for physical education but rather physical fitness. They should be dressing out and put through running, pushups, etc. and work up a nice sweat to burn off some calories and develop discipline for a long healthy life of being active not just going through the motions of playing games. My feeling is that marching band and after school sports should be just that...........after school and a 100% parent funded activities. The taxpayer should not be left paying for these activities during the school day and also not for a select few that have an interest.


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Posted by Timothy
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 8:46 am

The New Standard,

I think they all need to go to PE class and not for physical education but rather physical fitness. They should be dressing out and put through running, pushups, etc. and work up a nice sweat to burn off some calories and develop discipline for a long healthy life of being active not just going through the motions of playing games. My feeling is that marching band and after school sports should be just that...........after school and a 100% parent funded activities. The taxpayer should not be left paying for these activities during the school day and also not for a select few that have an interest.


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Posted by My kids opted out
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2009 at 9:10 am


Timothy,
Nice try. Significant exercise is unfortunately NOT something Pleasanton students receive in high school PE classes.

Having worked at Amador I can tell you that the time spent changing clothes, lining up on the field waiting for the teacher, and walking to the track to walk or run two laps, leaves VERY little time to actually do anything. When you count the time the kids need to head back to the gym to change you've got to wonder if the kids get more real exercise walking to and from classes. Also, with many "activities" the class sizes are so large that invariably half the class stands around doing nothing but waiting for their turn to participate.
Swimming in the spring is even worse. Changing clothes and waiting to get into the pool takes up the majority of class time. Nothing appears to be taught during the short period of time the kids actually spend in the water. It's a giant free-for-all after the students are asked to swim I believe 5 laps of whatever "stroke" they choose to do. If there was ever any swim/stroke instruction (class or individual) I didn't see it. I guess it's a nice way to cool off on a hot day-but it's hardly exercise.

Ms. Hintzke should put her efforts towards a genuine attempt (in the high school PE) at fostering a love for some lifelong sport/activity like swimming, running, yoga, tennis, weight lifting or even fencing, (seriously, how many kids will have the opportunity to play gym floor hockey in their futures?). I would then gladly support a two, three or four year PE option for those that want to take it, but as I see it now without significant improvements to the "program" I think the district could and perhaps should promote ANY excuse to opt out of the minimal state standard requirement. It would save the district money by eliminating a majority of the PE teachers.


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Posted by Timothy
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 9:28 am

Our kids should be expected to be prepared and that includes being dressed out for the beginning of PE class and ready to go. We make excuses for anything and everything these days except making kids, teachers, and parents accountable for achievement and guess what it is showing. Take an objective look around at kids and parents for that matter in our community and you will see people are becoming grossly overweight at very young ages. Take a look at the stats of weights now compared to 1970 and you will see on average americans are 20-25 pounds heavier now than then and guess what? We are not getting any taller. Back in the 70's and 80's Amador for an example had great football teams but it was rare for a high school team to have any kids or many at all over 200 pounds. Now when you look at the roster and bunch are over this weight and many you see running who can barely make it on and off the field as they are way to heavy. The cost on our healthcare system of obesity related illnesses is now number 1 and will get worse unless something can be done at younger ages.


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Posted by Band Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on May 11, 2009 at 9:37 am

The marching band program is parent funded. Marching band is a pay-to-play activity, to the tune of $ 600-800 per fall depending upon the traveling schedule. Concert band is a smaller fee in the winter. Jazz bands have an additional fee according to their traveling schedule. Wnter percussion or winterguard programs are an additional $300-1,000 depending upon the travel schedule.

Athletics and marching band are funded very differently in the district.


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Posted by mac
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2009 at 9:44 am

Band Parent -

Saying that marching band is parent funded is only a partial truth. Sports are parent funded, too. The most important fact is that the actual "school time" made available as an extra period with teachers and all, is paid for by the district. Basically, you get your very own period (is it still A period?) for your students, who we all pay for.

Correct me if I am wrong.


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Posted by Gary
a resident of Danbury Park
on May 11, 2009 at 9:50 am

I want all of my tax money spent on education and physical fitness. If the teaching day is a total of 6 hours then I want 5 hours of education and 1 full hour of physical fitness. Field trips and such are just a party for the kids and teachers and does nothing to help us compete nor utilize my tax dollars. The teachers want more of everything to teach so let them teach and that means if they are getting paid for 8 hours per day put them on a time clock like the rest of us and let's get our money's worth out of them.


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Posted by info
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2009 at 10:10 am

Teacher contract is for a 7 hour workday.


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Posted by Band Parent 3X
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 11:23 am

@ mac : Amador has not had a separate 'A' period class for Marching Band for at least the last 5 years (our family's duration, so far). The director combines the Marching Band and Concert Band curriculums into one class period (times 4, since there are 4 band periods to meet the demand of over 225 musicians). Music instruction happens in the classroom. Marching Band rehearsal and performance occurs in the 12-16 hours per week afterschool and on weekends for the duration of Marching Band season (fall semester).

However, you may not be entirely incorrect. I do think Foothill still requires a year-long separate 'A' period corequisite Marching Band class for all students who are taking the Concert Band classes.




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Posted by Band Parent 3X
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 11:47 am

New Standard, you wrote: "They should be dressing out and put through running, pushups, etc. and work up a nice sweat to burn off some calories and develop discipline for a long healthy life of being active not just going through the motions of playing games."

I agree. This is exactly what happens in marching band. Student arrive for a 4-, 8-, or 12- hour practice, prepared for temperatures ranging from cool 40's on fall evenings to high-90's during August band camp. They run the track for aerobic fitness; engage in balance and strength exercises so they can carry instruments while marching and dancing; learn how to stretch to avoid injury; how to breathe for endurance; and they learn how to use proper nutrition and hydration strategies to keep them going. And yes, they sweat and burn off calories. Discipline and self-motivation are essential ingredients, and physical and mental fitness are a natural result. All achieved while being enagaged as a musician. Wouldn't you agree there is more than one way to achieve your goals?


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Posted by Band mOm
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2009 at 12:27 pm

Gary,
Do you actually have kids? 5 hours of instruction and 1 hour of physical fitness?
Many kids do take a 6 period day, although band kids and academically minded kids take 7. 5 periods of "instruction" for 4 years at Amador would not get a kid into a decent college.
The requirements for UC's or private universities are fearsome these days.
My son participated in three bands (marching, concert, and Jazz)for most of his Amador education; 7 periods for 4 years.
Believe me he got a terrific workout. He had extremely long days every day (also did a varsity sport for 4 years)but felt it was worth it. For his hard work he managed to get into an great university and is still marching every fall for football season.


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Posted by Timothy
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 12:32 pm

I am not just speaking about it being mandatory for band members but for everyone to get a good hard workout each day and it has to be measured in terms of improvement times, number of repetitions, etc. Heck the computer lab kids could be talking about how much exercise they get with their fingers. School should be for learning during the core time of I guess 7 hours for some reason. Reading, writing, and math..........period. In the workplace unless you are a musician nobody ever asks if you can play the piano. Nobody cares.


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Posted by Suit up, Timothy
a resident of Downtown
on May 11, 2009 at 12:49 pm

Timothy,

This discussion is about marching band students who get a waiver for PE after their freshman year. Doubt the physical activity in marching band? Head down to the Amador field during the two weeks before school starts and spend a day with the band. I think you will be surprised; I was. Many of these students are also involved in athletics.


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Posted by Timothy
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 12:53 pm

Timothy is to old to suit up.


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Posted by Band Parent 3X
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 1:31 pm

Gary, I like value for my money, too. Take a look.

225 Students at Amador satisfy their second required year of PE by participating in Marching Band, as a component of Concert Band. (Marching Band is not a separate class.)

Now, if marching band credit for PE were to be disallowed, as Ms. Hintzke would have it, all of those 225 students would be required to take another year of regular PE, requiring roughly 4-5 more classes of PE at least every 4 years, and that's just at Amador. The result is more PE staff, more PE salary, and more tax dollars diverted to these students that could be spent elsewhere.

Instead, in paying marching band fees, the band parents are saving the taxpayers the bill of sending these 225 students to another year of a regular PE class. There is no cost savings in not doing marching band, since the marching band specific expenses are paid by the band parents.

Now here's where my value comes in: I pay marching band fees, and through marching band, my students gain physical fitness, mental health, and the learning of life skills such as preparedness, teamwork and discipline. They learn about competition and personal best, and how to set and achieve new goals over time. They are offered leadership opportunities, and they learn to follow leaders when necessary. These would be reasonable objectives for any PE class – although I'm sorry to say it has not been our experience that PE classes meet these objectives.

What do the taxpayers get from marching band besides a break on their PE bill? There are 225 teenagers annually (and this number has grown for the past 7 consecutive years) in our community who are active, dedicated, busy-after-school and on weekends, in good, clean and healthy and artistic activities that will guide them as citizens (as musicians or not) for the rest of their lives.

Would you rather pay for the second year of PE? Has anyone considered how our district could?

Disclaimer: All of the above numbers represent the Amador music program. I don't know Foothill numbers, but would assume they are similar.


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Posted by Suit up, Timothy
a resident of Downtown
on May 11, 2009 at 1:54 pm

Haha, fair enough Timothy!


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Posted by Band Parent 3X
a resident of Del Prado
on May 11, 2009 at 2:00 pm

Correction, the following quote was attributed incorrectly. It should have been attributed to Timothy. Sorry New Standard.

Timothy wrote: "They should be dressing out and put through running, pushups, etc. and work up a nice sweat to burn off some calories and develop discipline for a long healthy life of being active not just going through the motions of playing games."




I agree. This is exactly what happens in marching band. Student arrive for a 4-, 8-, or 12- hour practice, prepared for temperatures ranging from cool 40's on fall evenings to high-90's during August band camp. They run the track for aerobic fitness; engage in balance and strength exercises so they can carry instruments while marching and dancing; learn how to stretch to avoid injury; how to breathe for endurance; and they learn how to use proper nutrition and hydration strategies to keep them going. And yes, they sweat and burn off calories. Discipline and self-motivation are essential ingredients, and physical and mental fitness are a natural result. All achieved while being enagaged as a musician. Wouldn't you agree there is more than one way to achieve your goals?


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 11, 2009 at 2:56 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


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Posted by Wendy
a resident of Downtown
on May 11, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Good ones! first being in the band is more physically taxing than a marathon and now they are selling property..........go team!!!


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Posted by Band mOm
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 11, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Band Parent 3X,
How right you are. The costs to the distict would go up.

PE teachers are paid at the same rate as all other teachers, and unlike band, where the parents and the band boosters cover ALL costs besides the teacher, the stress and strain on the gyms, fields, pool and all the extra PE equipment would have to be figured in the budget.
How would Ms. Hintzke come up with the extra $$$$?


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 12, 2009 at 8:09 am

This is absolutely ridiculous. As a former member of the AVHS marching band, I can attest that the marching band practices much more rigorously than any PE course could. If anything, I became much healthier and active because of marching band, not by taking PE.


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Posted by Fred
a resident of Downtown
on May 12, 2009 at 8:39 am

Anonymous, I agree with you. My doctor told me to quit smoking and drinking for health reasons. I told him the cigarettes sped up my heart rate and kept my weight down and the drinking filled me up so I was not as hungry. So I see you point. Do not improve the PE function but carry the flute more.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 12, 2009 at 3:30 pm

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)

(Post removed by Pleasanton Weekly Online staff as irrelevant to this thread.)


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 13, 2009 at 7:43 am

The post was not irrelevant. It looks like the Pleasanton Weekly is trying to keep people from finding very relevant information before the parcel tax vote.

(Post removed due to irrelevant content.)


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Posted by Gina Channell-Allen
president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on May 13, 2009 at 9:30 am

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

Anonymous,
Your post is irrelevant and I will continue to remove it. You are welcome to voice your opinion and post information for or against the parcel tax, as long as you don't violate our terms of use.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by tax revolt 2
a resident of Country Fair
on May 13, 2009 at 9:30 am

tax revolt 2 is a registered user.

Anonymous - Your post is irrelevant, ungrounded, speculative and worse, accusatory and not up to the standards of execellence we strive for in Pleasanton.

You offer no evidence that the homeowner is 'mismanaging their own personal money' much less mismanaging public funds.

The least you can do is register to Town Square and offer verifible evidence.

Until then, stop your antics.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Fit guy
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on May 13, 2009 at 10:00 am

[Post removed due to disrespectful comment, offensive language or stupidity.]


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ann Martin
a resident of Amador Valley High School
on May 13, 2009 at 10:16 am

Thank you Gina for continuing to remove the posts by Anonymous.
I'm in complete agreement with you and Tax Revolt 2.

Anonymous, please stop!
PW, thank you for monitoring this closely.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 18, 2009 at 5:06 pm

(Portion removed because of irrelevant content. Again.)

I know this comment will be deleted by Gina. But I just wanted to say one last time that this is indeed relevant. Perhaps you know the owner and that is why you don't want people to know. Perhaps you just don't feel like looking into it. But it is relevant.


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Posted by tax revolt 2
a resident of Country Fair
on May 18, 2009 at 11:04 pm

tax revolt 2 is a registered user.

Anonymous - You are still not offering any evidence that this is relevant.


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Posted by Anonymous
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on May 19, 2009 at 10:50 am

Tax revolt: the portion was deleted, as I expected. That would have showed you the relevance. It had a link that showed the property. The name of the owner is relevant. Elected officials that cannot manage their own finances should not be allowed to make decisions that involve public funds. That is the relevance.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Stacey
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on May 19, 2009 at 11:14 am

Stacey is a registered user.

Anonymous,

Isn't it easier to just state your opinion about a public official instead of posting their actual address? No one got your point.


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