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Adapting to the new normal in gym class

Gym class, a time to be active in various games and activities while learning about health too.


Gym class at Eastern Christian is a fun and relaxing time for most people. It is also a time to learn about different components of human health. In a world filled with masks due to COVID-19, gym class has had to change to adapt to the new normal of wearing masks and social distancing.

The view from one of the hikes in gym class Picture Credit: Luke Anema

“According to New Jersey law and rules around COVID-19, if students are

in aerobic activity, they’re not required to wear masks” This is what Mr. Harvell, an Eastern Christian gym teacher, had to say about masks in gym class. Because students are allowed to take off their masks while performing an aerobic activity, Health class has been restructured into gym class. Instead of Health being on every other Wednesday in gym class, there are now small bits of Health in every gym class. Since the Health part of gym class is now a small portion of each class, students always get an opportunity to take their masks off in gym class. This provides a good break in the day to take masks off and be able to breathe more freely.


One of the best ways for students to take masks off throughout the whole day is by going outside. In gym class, it’s the same way. When asked about how often Mr. Harvell tries to bring gym class outside he said, “As much as possible. As long as the weather is nice outside, we’ve been going out pretty regularly.” Besides the cold weather, there is another struggle with gym class outside. A flood that recently happened created and exposed a lot of issues with the backfield that is mainly used for gym class. Since the flood, the backfield’s drainage issue has been made very clear. The field is constantly in a bad condition, a condition not always suitable for gym class. Another recent issue is gnats. A “gnat infestation” in the backfield combined with the muddy ground has made using it in gym class not always the best option. Despite all of the issues, many gym classes still go outside to have a much-deserved mask break.

Mr. Harvell added, “We’ve been able to adapt”

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