St. Mary Catholic School Physical Education Program

Students in grades Pre-K through 8 attend a weekly physical education (P.E.) class for 45 minutes. As a 2017 National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence, SMCS stresses the importance of teaching the “entire child.” This includes structured physical activities in a safe and comfortable learning environment to promote good sportsmanship, social skills, and an active healthy lifestyle.

According to Castelli, et al.,“Physical activity can have both immediate and long-term benefits on academic performance. Almost immediately after engaging in physical activity, children are better able to concentrate on classroom tasks, which can enhance learning. Over time, as children engage in developmentally appropriate physical activity, their improved physical fitness can have additional positive effects on academic performance in mathematics, reading, and writing. Recent evidence shows how physical activity’s effects on the brain may create these positive outcomes”(2).*

Extensive renovations were completed to the SMCS physical campus during Summer 2018. Our state of the art gymnasium features two ceiling-hung, retractable basketball hoops. Beautiful, traditional gymnasium flooring encompasses the space with sleeves embedded to mount volleyball standards for the volleyball court. The impact-resistant ceiling offers new LED lighting. Motorized curtains can be lowered to provide protection for the windows and stage allowing natural light to brighten the space.

This new and inviting gymnasium provides all SMCS students with improved physical fitness through the development of their motor skills by allowing for safe, successful, and satisfying participation in a range of developmentally appropriate activities.

The Marion I. & Henry J. Knott Foundation awarded SMCS $100,000 towards our gymnasium conversion project. In order to measure the success of this program, SMCS composed a survey regarding this construction project. The results of this survey can be found here: Survey Results.

*Castelli, DM, et al. Active Education: Growing Evidence on Physical Activity and Academic Performance. San Diego, CA: Active Living Research; 2015,

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In choosing St. Mary Catholic School, you are investing in your child’s tomorrow. For over 145 years students and families have been entrusting SMCS for educational excellence – spiritually, academically, and socially. We invite you to visit our campus in historic Hagerstown, Maryland to learn more about our school as well as our school community.