At Noble Street College Prep in Chicago, Ill., administrators rearranged the school’s schedule to allow for a fitness-leadership program involving CrossFit. Likewise, the founding campus, Noble Street Charter School, got rid of its gym’s machines, replacing them with rowers and bumper plates.
“It has supercharged the culture in the school to orient towards teamwork and pushing each other, developing grit and optimism—all those things that ... have taken our schools to the next level,” says David Oclander, principal fellow, Noble Network of Charter Schools.
The revamped P.E. program has created some important learning opportunities.
“CrossFit helps because every day I know I’m facing a challenge, but I don’t know what I’m gonna do,” says Stephanie Ramos, a student at Chicago Bulls College Prep, a Noble school that has also adopted CrossFit as its P.E. program.
She adds: “I never know what to expect in CrossFit and it just relates to everything that happens in life.”
Noble Network CEO and Superintendent Michael Milkie says the goal is to show students that there will be obstacles in life.
“They can overcome them,” he says, “and they can learn important elements of life as they overcome them.”
Video by Mike Koslap.
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Additional reading: Charting a New Course in the Classroom by Chris Cooper, published Nov. 30, 2013.