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No joke: North Carolina rolls out online phys ed classes

North Carolina will pilot online physical education classes in fall 2015 (in this file photo, a Fort Mill student takes an old-fashioned gym class).
North Carolina will pilot online physical education classes in fall 2015 (in this file photo, a Fort Mill student takes an old-fashioned gym class). Staff Photographer

Logging onto the computer to take phys ed may sound like a spoof story from The Onion, but North Carolina’s Virtual Public School is piloting an online high school gym class this fall.

Here’s how it works, according to an N.C. Department of Public Instruction press release: “Teachers will provide video demonstration of a physical activity or sport, then students will practice those skills and build their own video portfolios to document their progress and display mastery.”

And the bigger question: Why?

The state says some might use the option to catch up on credits, while others might be homebound or “pre-professional athletes with rigorous athletic training demands that require an alternate academic schedule.”

Students in Macon and New Hanover counties will be the first to test the option this fall. If it’s deemed a success, Charlotte-area students could give it a try in spring 2016.

Ann Doss Helms: 704-358-5033, @anndosshelms

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