Senior Experience Rethinks PE For Seniors

This Physical Education alternative prioritizes independent fitness and is highly popular among MHS seniors.


Fatimah Khan

The Palmer Fitness Center has spin bikes and treadmills, perfect for independent fitness.

Tista Goswami, Managing Editor

In 2018, the Physical Education Department at Mamaroneck High School implemented a new program called the Senior Experience. Senior Experience is a program in which seniors participate in a hybrid learning model for their Physical Education class in their second semester. Students are required to attend a minimum of one Physical Education class per week during any period of their choosing. In the remaining time, students will participate in self-selected “lifetime” activities, such as walking, jogging, bicycling, dance, and other independent or small-group activities,. They will conduct these activities outside of the school day without having to attend their scheduled PE period during the school day.
Students will be required to keep a detailed log of the activities they participate in throughout their Senior Experience. This log should provide evidence for a student’s participation in at least two activities per week.
When selecting these activities, variety is encouraged. Potential activities include outdoor pursuits like kayaking or hiking, fitness activities like yoga or pilates, individual-performance activities like gymnastics or track and field, aquatic activities like swimming or diving, and recreational games and sports like tennis or basketball.
“This program was designed in order for our students to be college or career ready to live a healthy and fit lifestyle,” says Physical Education teacher Richard Becker. “The goal is for students to participate in physical activities that help them develop and maintain a fitness profile and improve their current fitness levels.”
Due to hybrid and remote learning, as well as the subsequent change in scheduling, Senior Experience was put on hold for the classes of 2020 and 2021. However, now that MHS has returned to full-time in-person learning, the PE department plans to revive the program for this year’s senior class.
However, not all seniors are eligible to participate in the program. Students need to have earned at least an 80% average in the second quarter of PE to participate in the Senior Experience. Throughout the first semester, senior-level PE classes have worked to design individual fitness programs in addition to several common physical activities such as volleyball, pickleball, badminton, and more, with hopes of building up students’ arsenal of activities.
“The Senior Experience is an exciting program geared to help our students achieve the department’s goal of developing physically literate individuals in a new way.” notes Becker. The program aims to entrust seniors with more responsibility and independence as they embark on their second semester.
Seniors are excited for this refreshing change of pace for their physical education classes. After years of guided participation in physical activities, Senior Experience allows seniors to get a taste of the real world and how they can incorporate physical fitness into their post-high school lives. “I’m looking forward to creating my own experience and just generally being trusted to handle my own fitness,” beams Madison Dircks (‘22). The program also allows seniors to schedule their own time for physical activity. Maya Gadlin (‘22) says, “having a more flexible schedule is definitely a plus. I’ll be able to decide what physical activity I want to spend time on and when to do it.”
In the Senior Experience, students will be able to take charge of their own personal fitness using a non-traditional Physical Education class format. The program aims to culminate seniors’ Physical Education experience in a meaningful way by building up their repertoire for physical fitness. This year, all senior PE classes will begin Senior Experience when students return from February break.