Guest Column

Discussion of Physical Education Waiver For Gov. Livingston Athletes at This Thursday’s BOE Meeting


To the extent that I provide opinions, everyone should understand that they are my opinions and I am not speaking on behalf of the Board or any other Board members.

This Thursday (8pm in the Columbia Middle School Cafeteria) the administration will be responding to a request by the Board of Ed (I initiated this request) to investigate the benefits and negatives of a policy that will waive the attendance requirement for physical education, for students who are playing a sport, in that season.

Whether you or your children favor this change in policy or are against it, it would be great if you would come to the meeting so we can hear your thoughts.  It would be especially useful if the students turn out to be heard.

Sign Up for E-News

I wanted to share my rationale for asking the administration to look into implementing the waiver.

I believe that the mandate of the district is to do the best that we can to address the whole student.  To this end, I believe that the teamwork, individual performance, accountability, self esteem and physical confidence associated with high school sports are each very important. I recognize that the demands of sports can interfere with the academic and other responsibilities, which should be a higher priority.

We have recently expanded the elective offerings at the high school and have been told by the administration that students are taking more electives and fewer study periods as a result of the pressures of the ever more competitive college entrance process.

The combination of sports (between daily practices, games and travel to and from away games) and classwork is potentially overly taxing of the students and stress inducing.  This can threaten academic success.

Physical Education is important for the physical and psychological development of students that are not participating in sports but for athletes in their season, who are certainly getting athletic development time, the time could potentially be much better spent as a study period. By the time the students get to High School, the other positive lessons that come from Phys Ed have been achieved by the grade school and middle school programs.

The state allows for students to waive out of Physical Education in the Season that they are playing a sport.

I believe that allowing students to waive out of phys ed in the seasons that they are playing sports (that is get a study period in the slot that they have phys ed) could:

1) provide additional study time for students that are playing a sport, to partially compensate for the time commitment to sports

2) potentially encourage more students to play a sport, by alleviating the academic burden concern

3) potentially encourage more students to take an elective that they would otherwise be reluctant to take because of time pressures

Each of these would be positives for the students from an academic, physical and rounding perspective.

Additionally, the additional physical stress that gym class represents for an athlete in their season and risk of injury that would prevent them from participating in the sports that often become a very important part of the student’s identity during their high school years.

When the students are not in season, they will have Phys Ed and they will still have to attend health, irrespective of their sports participation. I would expect the waiver to be optional, so any student that would like to attend P.E. class, could choose to not pursue the waiver.

Whether you are in favor or against the implementation of the waiver of physical education, it would be great if you came to the meeting and made your opinion heard.

I am happy to discuss this with anyone who has questions.

Editor's Note: Bill Cassano, Vice President of the Berkeley Heights Board of Education writes a blog "Bill Cassano BH Board of Education Updates" to communicate with people that are interested in the Berkeley Heights Board of Education.

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer. Click here to submit a Guest Column.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Berkeley Heights

Berkeley Heights’ Women of the Week (WoW) Series features Beth Ferris Sale

March 18, 2018

In honor of the women who are driving change, blazing trails and nurturing society, the Berkeley Heights Diversity Council is pleased to announce an exciting initiative called, Women of the Week (WoW) Series. In the spirit of community, we wanted to honor the women right here in Berkeley Heights who are impacting the world in their own way for the remaining weeks of Women’s History ...

Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence Schedules Holy Week Services

March 21, 2018


Faith Lutheran Church in New Providence invites area residents to each of its liturgical services during Holy Week.

On Passion or Palm Sunday, March 25, two Eucharistic liturgies will be conducted, one at 8:30 a.m. and the other at 11 a.m. The title of the sermon at both liturgies will be “Servant of All.”  The music of each liturgy will be provided by the Sanctuary ...

91 Young Musicians Work Together To Raise Nearly $14,000 for the New Jersey Youth Symphony

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ —91 young musicians in the New Jersey Youth Symphony’s Youth Orchestra (YO) ensemble have raised nearly $14,000 to date for the organization’s annual Playathon, a student-led fundraiser established by the New Jersey Youth Symphony (NJYS) in 1985. The Playathon is the largest free concert of its kind and this Sunday over 450 students from 12 NJYS ensembles ...

UC Tech Student Volunteers Put Fun and Games to Work for Special Needs Learners

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Earlier this month, a group of 51 students in grades 9 to 11 from the Teacher Education Academy at UC TECH staged an indoor carnival for special needs learners. More than 140 participants from the community attended the event and enjoyed plinko, corn hole, dance revolution, hula hoop activities, a DJ, prizes and more.

UC TECH is part of the Union County ...

Soprano Anita Lyons Featured Soloist at Summit Symphony Concert March 25

The music of Grieg, Schumann ad Strauss will form the centerpiece of the next Summit Symphony Orchestra concert of the 2017-18 season, a performance which will take place March 25, beginning at 2 p.m., in the Summit High School Auditorium. Admission to all Summit Symphony concerts is free, with donations gratefully accepted. 

American Soprano Anita Lyons will ...

New Providence's Allen W. Roberts School Gets Security Walk Through by Police Department after Bomb Threat

March 12, 2018

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The New Providence Police Department sent a letter to parents and guardians of students at Allen W. Roberts Elementary School after a non-specific bomb threat was reported on Monday afternoon.

It's the second threat  reported at a New Providence school in March. The first threat was reported on March 5th at New Providence High School.

Emergency ...

Driver Escapes Icy Waters After Car Goes Off Road Near Clark and Cranford Borders

March 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ –A car went off the road and into the river on the northbound Garden State Parkway between the Clark and Cranford exits during Wednesday night’s snowstorm.

According to Clark’s Chief of Police, Pedro Matos the car’s driver managed to escape the water.  Divers went in to the river and determined the car to be empty.  The sole occupant was ...

Upcoming Events

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM

Summit Free Public Library, Summit

The Long march home: An American Soldier's Life ...

Education Other


Fri, March 23, 9:30 AM

Dunkin Donuts, Berkeley Heights

Let’s Meet Up to Clean Up! BH Walks, a New ...


Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts, Maplewood

Strollers Present John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt"

Arts & Entertainment

Sat, March 24, 10:00 AM

Burent Middle School , Union

Union County Wide - March for Our Lives

Government Law & Justice

Sat, March 24, 11:00 AM

Home For Good Dog Rescue, Berkeley Heights

Dog Adoption Event


Sat, March 24, 2:00 PM

New Providence United Methodist Church, New Providence

New Providence United Methodist Church Easter Egg ...

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back Religions And Spirituality

JCP&L Representative Describes Utility’s Actions During Storm Quinn, Answers Residents' Questions

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – The format of this week’s  Berkeley Heights 'Here and Now' was turned on its head this week. Mayor Bob Woodruff reviewed what happened in the township following Storm Quinn and its predecessor Storm Riley, complete with statistics. He then asked a representative of JCP&L questions about the utility’s response, and how it was ...

Berkeley Heights, Here and Now: Redevelopment Updates

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Mayor's Round Table has been rebranded to "Berkeley Heights, Here and Now." This new format will continue to provide updates from Mayor Bob Woodruff, municipal offices and the Communications Committee want to hear from citizens, businesses and community organizations.

Included in this episode, Mayor Bob Woodruff addresses the status of the ...

Dear Susan: Beauty Tips from a Beauty Expert, Spring Edition

SUSAN BARBAGLIA, owner of Skin Deep Salon and Spa in New Providence, offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise as a leader in the beauty industry. With over thirty years experience in skin care, Susan can answer your most challenging beauty questions. Email your ...

You Want a Check for How Much!

 My first admissions gig was working for a small liberal arts college with a pretty hefty price tag.  Picture me at a college fair: name tag in place, pile of brochures ready to go.  An eager family would walk up and we’d start a conversation.  One of the first questions I’d get from parents was about cost and the moment that $50,000-plus figure left my mouth I ...

Now That The Dust Has Settled…Smart Tax Moves In 2018

Now that the dust has settled, here are some smart tax moves to lower your taxes and/or avoid higher taxes/penalties in 2018. These steps may be especially helpful if you live in high property and high income tax states (e.g. New Jersey, New York, California) since state and local tax deductions are capped.  Unfortunately all these changes mean you’ll need more time and energy to ...