Physical Education
Physical Education

Policy Statement
Illinois state law requires enrollment in Physical Education every semester. University High School seeks to physically educate its students through the development of physical fitness and a variety of sport offerings.

Sports and Fitness

The fitness component of the P.E. program is an individualized, progressive program emphasizing cardio-respiratory development. One goal of the program is to teach students the skills necessary to live an active lifestyle that promotes health and physical fitness. Students will also learn how to develop their own personal workout routine based on fundamentally sound exercise principles. A second major goal is to provide each student adequate, physical training necessary for the completion of a 5K run at the end of the year. To ensure progress towards this goal, students will undergo complete testing at the beginning and end of the school year, and an abbreviated test version at the end of each quarter. The Uni High fitness test components include: height, weight, mile run, 40 yard dash, 1-minute plank, pull-ups, flexed-arm hang, shuttle run, standing broad jump, vertical jump, grip strength, and the sit and reach flexibility test.

The sports component of the P.E. program consists of activities from a variety of sports and games. A holistic approach is followed with mental, social, and physical domains addressed. Written assessments may be utilized to evaluate comprehension of basic rules and strategies of each unit. Attention will be directed toward the development of social skills such as: communication, cooperation and sportsmanship in a competitive environment. Classes will be structured to provide opportunity for individual skill improvement in each sport offering. Activities may include: 20 archery, badminton, floor hockey, pickleball, soccer, speedball, team handball, ultimate frisbee, and Wiffle ball. This exposure to a diverse array of activities will allow students to explore the many options available to them, discovering an appreciation of sport, and hopefully, encouraging a lifetime of enjoyable participation.


Subfreshman Program

The fitness component will consist of a progressive, running program structured to allow students to work at individualized levels. The primary focus will be to gradually increase the students’ running endurance building up to the completion of the 5K at the end of the school year.

The sports component will be presented in unit format, covering approximately eight units during the year. At the beginning of each unit, time will be allotted for skill development and the progression through drills and lead-up activities prior to the start of the actual sport.

Freshman/Sophomore Program

The fitness component during the Fr./So. years is still primarily a running based program but with the inclusion of a wider variety of training methods: circuits, pyramids, relays & interval training.

The sports component during these years will also be presented in a unit format but will be shorter in duration and will include additional activities not covered in the subfreshman year. A brief review of skills, rules and strategies will open each unit and will quickly progress to actual game play.

Junior/Senior Program

The Junior/Senior fitness program will be a combination of running, strength and flexibility exercises, and workouts on the cardio-respiratory equipment. The framework of each class is provided by the instructor but students will have more options to choose from so as to allow for individual preferences. With this greater freedom of choice, students gain increased responsibility of ensuring that their exercise effort is of a beneficial intensity.

Along with Fitness, a second major component of the Jr./Sr. program will be strength training. Students will be introduced to the major aspects of a sound strength training regimen, learning basic principles, safety guidelines, terminology and proper lifting techniques. Software will be utilized to prescribe daily workouts and track progress throughout the class.

To complement the fitness and strength training programs, students will participate in seminar style classes that revisit health topics. These classes will meet two times a semester and will allow subjects to be covered in greater depth that is better suited for the Jr./Sr. maturity level. These sessions will take the form of presentations, guest speakers, videos, class activities, or small group discussions. The nature of topics will vary depending on current issues and student interest and could include but are not limited to areas such as: body image, eating disorders, preventing drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, nutrition, relationships and overall wellness. This additional focus is meant to supplement Freshman Health class topics and current life experiences. This is intended to reinforce healthy practices and behaviors thereby having a positive impact on students’ overall health and wellness in these later adolescent years.

Petitioning out of P.E

Petitioning out of Physical Education from the first day of practice until the final day of competition may occur when the student-athlete:

  • Is enrolled in enough classes to be in classes 300 minutes per day.
  • Has received a passing grade in P.E. during the school year.
  • Has no unexcused absences in P.E. for the school year.
  • Has paid the athletic fee and has completed all necessary forms and turned them into the Uni High office or athletic director.
  • Fully participates as a member of an IHSA sanctioned sport by attending all practices and competitions unless excused by the coach.
  • Completes all P.E. physical fitness testing
  • Attends all junior/senior health classes scheduled by the P.E. department

Freshman Health (Fall and Spring)

(9th grade) (1/2 unit)

This 1/2 credit course is required for all freshmen. Topics include, but are not limited to: human anatomy and physiology, function and development of the human body, causes and prevention of diseases, mental health, social health, nutrition, reproductive health and substance abuse.


Tim Bicknell (tbick2) grew up in Bluffs, IL and graduated from Bluffs High School in 1998. He attended Eastern Illinois University after high school, studying Speech Communication, Physical Education, and Driver Education. Once Mr. Bicknell began teaching and coaching, he earned his Master's in Educational Leadership from Western Illinois University. He has spent the last 14 years teaching Physical Education, Speech, and Driver Education, along with coaching basketball, football, and scholastic bowl along the way. Mr. Bicknell earned his administrative experience at P.O.R.T.A. where he completed his Type 75 Administrative Certificate and at LaSalle-Peru where he was the P.E./Health/Driver Education Division Chair. He is currently the Uni High Athletic Director and executive physical education teacher.

Rachael Brewer(rbrewer3) teaches sports, fitness, and strength training in the PE department. She holds the M.S. in sports management from Illinois State University. As an undergraduate, she was captain of the ISU cross-country team and last spring she coached Uni track and field. She is a great community volunteer and has worked with area programs such as Girls on the Run and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Rachael was the 2017 Illinois Marathon champion.