Zoe Ginsberg ’17
For the first time ever at FCS, students who participate in the fall and spring plays are exempt from PE and sports credits. Students in the plays have been working for a long time to make this happen, and with new athletic director Michelle Crowley it was finally made possible. When I asked Mrs. Crowley why she thought it was fair for students in the plays to be exempt from PE and sports credits she said, “We are beta testing this idea of giving students, who are performing, that time back. The time they spend with the arts is equal to and in some cases greater than the requirements of some sport offerings.” Whether it’s late night rehearsals, hours of memorizing lines, or the performance itself, being in the plays is a huge sacrifice.
Now that these students are exempt from PE, they have their free periods to complete or catch up on homework. As all students at FCS know, free blocks are crucial during the day. I asked Julian Shapiro-Barnum, an active member of the arts at FCS, why it was so important for students in the plays to have their free blocks back. He said, “For most of us it was an issue of time. Although admittedly performing is not usually as active as sports, it does take up the same (if not more) amount of time. It felt extremely unfair for us to be forced to lose this time. Many of us saw this as FCS valuing sports over our education, which was irritating and confusing. Also we were being threatened with suspension if we did not attend PE.”
Now that drama students have been given their time back, added Julian, “all prior grudges have been alleviated.” Julian emphasized that he and all of the students in the plays are very grateful for Mrs. Crowley for going to bat for them: “She lobbied for us to get both sports credits and exemptions and that was that. We are so grateful to her.” Even student athletes agree that students in the plays deserve to have their free blocks for themselves. Three-sport varsity athlete Sophie Berger says, “They are representing FCS just as much as we are, so they deserve their free periods as much as the athletes do.” Everyone is in agreement, students in the plays need the allotted time in the day for themselves, and they are very grateful for Mrs. Crowley, and the school.