MCPS to launch Unified PE course next school year


Graphic by Evelyn Shue

Unified PE courses will provide inclusive opportunities for students to engage in physical education and other aspects.

Nirav Akkanapragada, News Writer

Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is launching an inclusive class for both general and special education students as a physical education elective starting next school year, in all of the county’s high schools. This course, known as Unified PE, is an opportunity for students of all ability levels to participate in a physical education class that pairs fitness with leadership and social-emotional growth.

These courses provide students with a balanced physical education course that extends beyond the gym. The main objective of these classes is to empower and develop the leadership skills of students and thereby foster an inclusive environment. 

Many RM students see benefits in Unified PE. “There are more options for students and you can make new friends. It allows those who don’t have the opportunity to participate in a normal PE setting to be able to participate fully and have as good of an experience as possible,” sophomore Wesley Leeroy said.

While the initial rollout is slated for the upcoming school year, there are several things that RM students can do to be able to spread awareness and become more involved. “This can involve educating school administrators, teachers, parents and students about the importance of inclusive physical education, and the positive impact it can have on students with and without disabilities,” sophomore Takumi Gerhartz said.

The Unified PE course is an example of steps MCPS has taken in recent years toward inclusivity. Unified PE will allow high schools across the county to provide a comprehensive physical education course to students that might not be able to succeed in regular physical education courses. 

“I think that the inclusion is long overdue, and a good step forward for the PE curriculum. It is also important to implement it smoothly into the already existing general PE programs so that students aren’t overwhelmed or skim over the course,” Gerhartz said.