ISPE or PE class, find the best fit


The ISPE form that all ISPE students are required to fill out each month. All students are given access to this sheet and have the option to print it out or submit it digitally. Screenshot from: Ventura Unified School District

Ava Mohror

VHS students have the option to do ISPE to fulfill their PE requirements, what are students’ opinions on ISPE vs PE class?

The Ventura Unified School District (VUSD) required two years of physical education in high school in order to meet graduation requirements. Options for how to complete this two year requirement include Independent Study PE (ISPE), a PE class taken through the school, or being pardoned from PE class due to a school sport, which falls under the ISPE category while

the sport is in season. According to the State Profile for California Physical Education, students cannot fill PE requirements through online PE courses.

In a poll of 69 VHS students taken on via Instagram, 58% (40 students) answered that they were enrolled in ISPE. The other 42% (29 students) answered that they were enrolled in PE class through the school. 

In order to qualify for ISPE, students must complete 400 minutes of a sport every ten school days. If students choose to complete their PE minutes using a gym membership, 280 of the 400 minutes need to be completed in a fitness class. 

Students enrolled in ISPE are required to fill out monthly charts listing the amount of minutes of physical activity they completed that month. In order to stay enrolled in ISPE, students must turn in these charts by a certain due date within the first week of the following month. ASB teacher Ann Larson is in charge of the ISPE program at VHS. 

A poll of 69 VHS students answered about whether they do ISPE or PE. Individuals who answered “ISPE” also include those who do a sport through the school. Graphic by: Ava Mohror

Sophomore Nicola Hammond does ballet classes instead of being enrolled in a traditional PE class. She describes the monthly ISPE chart process as “A pretty easy process.” Hammond said, “It’s [ISPE form process] very simple, the hardest thing to do is to remember to get it signed.” All monthly ISPE forms require the signature of the student, a parent or guardian and the primary instructor of the sport. 

If a student is not enrolled in ISPE or a school issued sport, they are required to do two years of PE class taught through the school. Students in

these classes do various activities, including going on walks around the track. Sophomore Kaylee Philips said, “I do enjoy PE class because I get to enjoy time with friends.” Philips said, “I gain some exercise [in PE class],” when asked if she gets exercise during her PE class. 

As students register for their classes in upcoming years, knowledge of ISPE should be spread in order for students to know all of their options for completing the two-year physical education requirement. It is important for students to know whether they qualify for ISPE or if PE class is the better option.