Ice skating added to Summit PE classes

IMG 0235JOHNSTON, IA. (Feb. 2, 2022) — You can hear the squeals as students take that first step out on to the ice. Summit Middle School students have a fun new activity that’s part of their physical education class this winter — ice skating.

Students don’t have to go to a public rink or even wait for a day off from school. Peek outside the southeast side of the building and you’ll see middle school students having fun and skating around.

“Ice skating is a great winter activity because it allows us to get outside, and then IMG952455teaches the students a way to exercise outside during the cold months,” said Summit PE teacher Karen Scott. “It really came down to what way can we show kids they can move, or exercise outside in the winter.”

The 60-by-40-foot ice skating rink was donated to the school by the Summit PTO two years ago. While the rink was used a few times in 2020, students largely weren’t able to use it until now due to pandemic-related issues. Discounted ice skates were purchased locally from JT’s Slapshot Hockey Shop in Windsor Heights.

Summit PTO minutes show: “The PTO paid a little less than $8,000 for both the rink and the skates, due to a deal from a local supplier. It was purchased for PE using fundraising money they had raised that year (18/19). The hopes were to improve PE class and create more excitement for PE by teaching ice hockey and skating.”

The opening of Summit’s ice rink comes at a time when the city of Johnston has also added public ice rinks at the Crosshaven Park, 7909 NW 95th St. and Johnston Commons, 6700 Merle Hay Rd., as well as a synthetic rink at the Johnston Town Center, 6245 Merle Hay Rd.

As with other ice rinks, thIMG 0274e activity is contingent on the weather. At Summit, Scott said as long as it is above 5 degrees, the PE students can bundle up and go outside to skate. The activity is the latest addition for PE students who already participate in activities such as swimming and rock climbing.

“We were trying to decide what lifetime activities we could add to the PE program,” Scott said. “There were ice rinks going up around Johnston and we figured that teaching kids how to ice skate would give them more opportunities.”

Scott said Summit’s rink is similar to the one used by the Iowa Wild. The school had hoped to make the ice rink bigger, but were limited by unlevel surfaces. Still, the rink is giving some Johnston students a chance to take part of a fun winter activity and get exercise during the school day.

“We are still working out the kinks with our rink,” Scott said.