Finding a balance: examining the independent study program


Most Academy students have more on their plates than their academic tasks; this is especially true of students who spend countless hours outside of school pursuing their athletic extracurricular activities. To help these dedicated students manage their busy schedules, the Academy offers P.E. credit through an independent study program, starting in eighth grade. The requirements of this program necessitate at least 10 hours a week of participation in a sport that the Academy does not offer. Students who take advantage of this policy must carefully log their hours and turn them in at the end of the semester to get credit.

“[The policy] actually started a long time ago when we had an Olympic-level gymnast that needed to do outside work instead of P.E. credit here,” Lisa Logsdon, the Physical Education Department Chair, said. The policy developed with the understanding that students participating in high levels of sports devote many hours of hard work outside of the classroom, so they are often hard-pressed to find time for schoolwork.

For students who dedicate so much of their time to their sport, having extra time to do homework can make a rigorous schedule much more manageable. Rachel Jones ‘18 dances up to 20 hours a week. “I’m so glad that it’s an option because I spend so much time outside of school dancing that having the time that would normally be taken up by P.E. in school is really useful,” Jones  said. This policy has been in place for over 20 years. “There are no plans to do away with it anytime in the near future,” Logsdon said.