the New Britain system
CHARLES T. AVEDISIAN Director of Physical Education Darien, Connecticut
JOSEPH A. BEDARD Director of Guidance Services New Britain Public Schools, New Britain, Connecticut
In the New Britain secondary schools there are a number of boys (830) who deviate from the normal in relation to the physical fitness index tests which have been administered in recent years. These boys have been aptly described in various ways. Some common terms utilized to describe them are: handicapped, crippled, atypical, retarded, deviant, and exceptional. On a more practicable level, our concern is with 471 students who deviate from the normal physical fitness score of 90 to 99, which is the New Britain norm developed on the basis of 3493 cases. In other words, these boys have special educational needs and life problems, which causes them to be classified as EXCEPTIONAL.
The research indicates that, of over four million exceptional children in the country who are attending schools, only eleven per cent receive services in terms of special classes. Here at this point the responsibility and challenge to teachers and administrators in physical education, to the school superintendents of schools, and to the boards of education remains of paramount importance in the endeavor to meet the needs of all youth in a democratic society.
The regular class program of physical education--required of all students by state law--is open to all students who have no special restrictions placed upon them or their activities. Our exceptional students either cannot successfully participate in physical education activities, or are not safe.