Happy laughs, sprinting feet, cold breezes.

For Jen Shaw, Fitness and Health teacher, this year looks a little different. Her office has shifted from inside and the gym to the entire Rashi campus, outside in the fields, basketball court, trails, and play equipment. She shares, “This year I’ve been surprised by how much of the Rashi campus I haven’t used before for class. I’m looking forward to continuing using it for years to come.”

Students have been outside since the first day of school. “We have been able to brave all the elements and have some fun in the snow too!” Ms. Shaw shared. The Rashi campus is full of opportunities for learning and fun games. Ms. Shaw has been challenged to create new types of games and learning that keeps children socially distanced and safe. Her goals for the year have “been focused on instilling the joy of physical activity,” inviting students to use Fitness and Health as an outlet for students to unwind in these heightened times.

Jen has taken the challenges of outdoor learning in stride, thinking creatively about ways to instill a love of movement and physical activity in her students. There have been no shortage of learning opportunities and outlets for fun this year. Students have played traditional sports like soccer, football, hockey, and basketball, some less traditional physical activities like sledding, spikeball, obstacle courses, hiking, “mountain climbing” and invasion games. And of course, some Rashi classics like hide and seek tag, gaga, ultimate frisbee, and tennis.

Rashi students, like Ms. Shaw, have risen to the challenge of this year in so many ways. “Rashi students have been understanding of the need for social distancing, I’ve been impressed by their awareness of others and their flexibility.” On days when there wasn’t a space available because of outside classes, students were understanding and flexible, happily going for a hike and playing games such as trivia, catch the ball, and jackpot.

This year has shown that Fitness and Health isn’t about a physical space, it’s about a creative mindset and an openness to try new things, which Ms. Shaw and her students have exemplified.

And what about next year or the year after? Ms. Shaw shared, “I have been thinking that next year I will spend more time outside for certain activities despite the cold or snow, there is so much to gain from being outside on the Rashi campus!”

Click here to learn more about The Rashi School Fitness and Health program.