PTECH program partners with local YMCA

JOHNSTOWN – The Hamilton-Fulton-Montgomery Pathways in Technology Early College High School will partner with the Fulton County YMCA for the program’s physical education program.

Through the partnership, students will be bused the short ride from the school on Jansen Avenue to the Y’s Harrison Street location three days a week for an hour each.

Part of the curriculum will include team challenges, which PTECH Principal and Chief Learning Officer Mike Dardaris said have been dubbed the Amazing Adventure.

“We brainstormed about how PE classes could look different at PTECH, and we came up with this cross between ‘The Amazing Race’ and ‘Survivor’ TV shows,” he said in a news release. “Students will be asked to solve and complete physical challenges that use communication, collaboration, creativity and critical thinking.”

Dardaris said the goal is for PE to tie together all those “soft skills.”

“PE has evolved to be applicable long-term and more than just sports-based,” Dardaris said in the news release. “The skills you learn in physical education classes should be transferrable to other aspects of your life as well.”

Fulton County YMCA PE Director Ken Whiteman said not only will the YMCA’s facility provide PTECH students with a variety of equipment and activities, the staff at the Y also can provide expert instruction.

“We’re building the curriculum alongside the teachers,” Whiteman said in the news release. “We’re looking at doing some team-building group activities, as well as using the Y’s certified fitness instructor to teach Zumba, Tai Chi and even spin classes.”

The Amazing Challenge units will be interspersed with other indoor and outdoor sports and fitness units. Students will have days during which they can use the pool; volleyball, tennis and basketball courts; and exercise machines.

Whiteman said other than working with a homeschool group, this type of partnership is a first for the Fulton County YMCA.