VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – It’s not often a fishing trip is considered part of the high school health and physical education curriculum. Jenn Vedder, on the the other hand, believes it’s essential.

“One of our standards of learning in P.E. is lifetime skills. Fishing is one of those life skills,” said Vedder.

An Army Veteran and the health and P.E. teacher at Bayside High School, Vedder’s philosophy is far from a standard day in a gym playing basketball, volleyball or dodgeball.

“I’ve been really fortunate to be given some freedom at school to play around with different, innovative ideas that I’ve had,” she said.

For the past four years, her students, mostly ninth graders at Bayside, have enjoyed a fishing trip at nearby Lake Lawson. It’s just one example of Vedder’s belief in “P.E. with a purpose.”

“We want fitness to be something they do forever, not just for the years they take it in school,” she said.

One of the courses Bayside offers is known as “Sci-Fi,” which combines health and P.E. with biology. Vedder is floating the idea of combining her P.E. course with environmental science.

“We’re really just all about giving kids more authentic learning experiences, get them out of the classroom, and get them hands on things that they can do that are going to spark that curiosity,” said Vedder.