Masked but still Moving

Devin Erwin, a senior at Cranberry High School, participates in gym class, following all of the new guidelines. (By Ava Fischer/Student contributor)

Student contributor

Covid-19 has affected everything in our daily lives. We must adapt to these changes and think positively. This is exactly what Andrea Barrett, Cranberry High School’s girls 7-12 grade P.E. teacher, is doing.

Barrett said, “I just try and focus on what we can still do and how we can make it work. I sometimes take it one day at a time or one lesson at a time and just keep showing up with a positive ‘let’s do it’ attitude.”

Coronavirus has created a lot of challenges when it comes to gym class. There were a lot of restrictions put in place, such as students must wear appropriate clothing and footwear for P.E. to school due to not being allowed to use the locker rooms.

The biggest change is, “Students wear masks during indoor physical activities in the gymnasium. Students must socially distance during instruction whenever possible.”

Also the lessons must include “low-moderate activities” to prevent students from breathing heavily while wearing masks.

According to Barrett, “This changes our curriculum and goals for the student’s fitness significantly so the focus has been largely on lifetime movement activities, step count and mental health thus far, instead of improvements in cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength/endurance. Some of the activities include Yoga, 4 Square, Archery, and PickleBall …”

Although from the outside looking in, it may seem like this is easy, but actually it is really hard for Barrett to plan lessons due to restricted activities and no idea if there will be more restrictions put in place on a day to day basis.

Barrett said, “It was a lot of change and I was super stressed for the first few weeks (like so many others) but I am adapting. I’m a planner and this has been a good opportunity for me to learn to accept that my plan can and probably will change … and that’s ok!”

Goosechase is a new fitness app for students that is able to be used on mobile devices. (By Ava Fischer/Student contributor)

Although none of us want to think about going virtual, the plan in place for gym class, if this were to happen, is to use the app called GooseChase.

“The GooseChase App allows us teachers to create ‘missions’ for the students to complete. Students then submit a photo, short video or text response of ‘evidence’,” noted Barrett.

During the first few weeks of school, Barrett worked with her students to familiarize them with the program.

One plus of using GooseChase is the list of activities that students can choose from, so they have some say in what they do. This is helpful because choosing activities of their own interest will help motivate students.

Barrett said, “It is a fun and different way to keep students accountable for staying active without having to trust the honor’s system of an ‘at-home PE log’.”

Even though Covid-19 has had a negative impact on our daily lives, we can use physical activity to make these hard times easier. It can also teach us to look on the bright side and realize that anything can change in an instant and we need to learn to adapt and to go with the flow.


Alaina Olson and Ava Fischer are students at Cranberry High School and members of Cranberry Chronicles, the school’s journalism/publications class.