Central students may have heard of Adaptive P.E., but they might not know much about what actually goes on in the class. The class, while containing fun and stimulating activities for special needs students, isn’t all that different from other gym classes.
Kelly Maley, adaptive P.E. teacher for the second year, defined the course as a class for students with special needs that need more one-on-one attention. “The activities are adapted to meet the various needs of all the students,” Maley said.
Maley explained that much of the class is similar to any other gym class with only a few exceptions. “The class dynamic is different. We try to focus on the social-emotional learning of the students,” she said. “The training and exercising may not be as intense as an aerobics class as the needs for these students might be a little bit different.”
Sara Klepacki, senior and peer aide for the second year, explained that the class focuses on different goals from most gym classes. “It gives you the opportunity to work with learning differences. There’s no other class that can do that,” Klepacki said.
Though there are a few definite contrasts, the activities are primarily the same. Like a few other classes offered at Central, the students are able to play various sports, go for walks, swim, do yoga and Zumba dancing, and more. “We do a lot of social activities as well. This is extremely important for all of the student’s learning,” Maley said.
“My favorite part of the class is that every day, it makes your day,” Klepacki said. “This one girl tells me every day that she loves me and that I’m the best. You can’t get the friendships you make with those students from another class.”
“Every day is funny and interesting,” Maley said. Teaching Adaptive P.E. has created many special memories. “We teamed up with Coach Barber’s lifeguarding class, and I was a little nervous about how everyone would react to being in the pool. To see everyone’s happy and smiling faces in the pool that first day was a memory I will never forget.”