SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: Dr Alison Coviello of PS 154 in the Bronx Tells Students, "NO GYM FOR YOU!"

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Dr Alison Coviello of PS 154 in the Bronx Tells Students, "NO GYM FOR YOU!"

The students of District 7, and most of the South Bronx are out of shape. Nearly 1 in 3 elementary students in the South Bronx are obese, 2 in 5 students are overweight. Many students do not exercise on a regular basis. Being overweight or obese increases the risk for many health problems, including diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, cancer, and heart disease.

Bronx County has some of the highest rates of asthma in the United States. Rates of death from asthma in the Bronx are about three times higher than the national average. Hospitalization rates are about five times higher. In some neighborhoods in the Bronx it is estimated that 20% of the children have asthma.

Exercise helps to stretch the lungs and bronchial tubes, which in turn may help reduce the resistance to breathing. Even though the bronchial tubes become inflamed (as occurs in asthma), the positive effects of exercise may help prevent symptoms. The lack of exercise may also contribute to obesity, which may also be a risk factor in asthma. For those who already have developed asthma, aerobic exercise might trigger attacks, but these can easily be prevented by using an inhaler (such as albuterol) before the activity.

 PS 154 in the Bronx has just lost it's famed physical education teacher due to retirement at the end of October. A phys. ed teacher that coached the basketball team without pay, a phys. ed teacher that donated a basketball hoop to the school, a phys. ed teacher that gave it his all. What is his legacy?

DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal of PS 154 has decided that the students of PS 154 can no longer have gym. Yes, you read that right. She has decided that gym will no longer be offered to the students. Why, you ask?

Could she not find another phys. ed teacher? The Crack Team was told no one was ever interviewed, nor were inquiries made. Of course there is now money in the budget, but where have the monies gone?

The reason why DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal has decided not to employ someone in the gym, The Crack Team has learned, is due to the fact that DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal must control all facets of life at PS 154. By putting an ATR (The weekly ATR is covering the former gym teacher's schedule in the classrooms) in the gym (even though in NYC a elementary phys. ed teacher can have a Common Branch license) DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal does not want someone that "doesn't know what they are doing."

OK, fine, for a moment we shall give DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal the benefit of the doubt. Then shouldn't a ATR with a phys. ed license be found? If not in District 7, then from outside the district? In fact The Crack Team knows of a eminently qualified ATR that has a phys. ed license.  Why has this person not been contacted?

Of course this is just another example of DR Alison Coviello's, Ph.D and Principal method of not only having to control all aspects of the school, but again flaunting the laws of the New York State Education Department.

According to the NYSED; 
All students in K-12 must attend and participate in a physical education program.
All pupils in grades K-3 shall attend and participate in physical education on a daily basis.
All pupils in grades 4-6 shall attend and participate in physical education not less than three times per week. 
120 minutes per calendar week exclusive of any time that may be required for dressing and showering.  
Grades K-3 are required to have daily physical education for a minimum total of 120 minutes per week. Grades 4-6 are required to have physical education three days per week for a minimum total of 120 minutes per week. See Commissioner's Regulation 135

 Recess may not be used to meet the physical education days/time requirement 
Under Commissioner's Regulation Part 135.4(c)(4)(i), elementary classroom teachers may teach physical education under the direction and supervision of a certified physical educator.
Designing the elementary physical education curriculum should be a cooperative venture of the District Director of Physical Education, the elementary physical education teacher(s) and the elementary classroom teachers. This would ensure that the physical education curriculum covered in this fashion counts toward the day and time requirement, and will be documented in both the physical education teacher's lesson plans and elementary classroom teacher's lesson plans. See Commissioner's Regulation 135

Think if a phys ed teacher in Harrison, or Scarsdale, or Roslyn, or Franklin Lakes retired. Would the principal of the elementary schools in these communities not have a phys ed teacher in place all ready to go? Will these principals allow the students not to have physical activity? Would the parents of these communities allow such actions?

One thing that the principals of these communities would do is fight like hell for the monies that are due their schools and not roll over and accept what their central offices are telling them.

But none of this is happening at PS 154 in the Bronx. DR Alison Coviello, Ph.D and Principal would rather exert control rather than put the students needs first. Every. Little. Thing. Must. Be. In. Her. Control.


Anonymous said...

This, too, is a petitionable issue.

Anonymous said...

Damn! I am licensed PE teacher in NYC. She is totally breaking the law by not allowing the students to engage in the weekly 120 minutes of PE. Secondly, all students in grades 4 and up must participate in the yearly FITNESSGRAM assessment. (Students in k-3 must be measured for height/weight/BMI) I also know a great PE teacher who is an ATR. This lady seems like she has some very serious problems. Lastly, you are 100% correct that this type of situation would never happen in the suburbs. However, after teaching PE in NYC since 1996, I gotta say that I have never seen a retired PE teacher not replaced!!!

That retired P.E. Teacher said...

Looking back on my many years of experience, there are those things that I have learned and forgotten; those that I have never learned; and those that I have learned and taken with me. One that is now with me is that eventually an individual will be in a situation that is very revealing about that person's true intentions, despite their efforts to deceive those that surround her/him. This is the case with Principal Coviello in this P.E. situation at P.S. 154. Close observers can and have recognized the fact that Coviello has her own agenda, and not part of that agenda is doing what is truly in the best interest of her students. Rather, she is primarily interested in building her resume and impressing those who are in a position to eventually elevate her to a loftier position within the DOE than the present, doing what's in her own best interest. How can she possibly take away something she knows the children love so much and need so much (for reasons you pointed out). One of the marks of a "real" principal is that above all, the best interest of the students is first and foremost. In a number of situations at P.S. 154 this is absent. However, those that are insightful and observant to what is going on around them, are aware of the deceit and phony intentions of the leadership at P.S. 154. Unfortunately, the "bosses" within the DOE don't care either, especially at an elementary school in a poverty stricken area like the South Bronx. You are right. This would never happen in Harrison, Franklin Lakes, etc. because the parents care about what is best for their children, even when those that are entrusted with their children's education and well-being do not!

Someone needs to rise above the existing situation and see that a program with meaning and relevance to the students lives is reinstated.

Tanya Ahvitahl Yehuda said...

I have worked with Dr. Coviello when she was a teacher and I must say that she has the best intention for all the students at P.S154. Please understand that she is committed in teaching the entire child and has no ill conceived ambitions. Stop it and get on board because she is amazing and 154 is so blessed to have her as the administrator of the school. I attended P.S 154 40 plus years ago and was a long term substitute for a couple of years at the school. Stop this slander and get on board with her agenda for the school.
Tanya Mann