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Physical Education

Alaska

Last Updated: 9/22/2011

Mandate: Physical education is not a required course for students. However, 04 AAC 06.075 (2005) requires students to complete a 1 credit of either health or physical education in order to graduate from high school. Statute 14.30.360 (1998) encourages each school district to implement a K-12 program in health education, which should include instruction in physical education.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: Physical Education Content Standards (2010) provide outline objectives for grades K-12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Alabama

Last Updated: 12/8/2010

Mandate: Code 16-40-1 (1975) requires all public and private schools to “carry out a system of physical education,” with the exception of church schools. The State Board of Education adopted the Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education (2009) which requires physical education for students in grades K-8. A minimum daily instructional period of at least 30 minutes is required in grades 1-6. The physical education may include dance class if taught at a magnet school, marching band, JRTOC or other activity as approved by a student's IEP.

State Board of Education Administrative Code 290-3-1-.02 (1998) requires one credit of physical education for high school graduation.

Exemptions: According to the Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education (2009), “Daily physical education is required in Grades K-8: No exceptions, no substitutions. Recess or lunch time activities should not be substituted for the physical education program.”

Curriculum Content: The Alabama Course of Study: Physical Education (2009) specifies the required K-12 content standards for physical education and is based on the National Standards for Physical Education. The document includes content standards prescribing what students should know and be able to do at the end of each grade level or course.

Administrative Code 290-2-3 (1997) requires schools to purchase from the list of Health and Physical Education Textbooks Adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education unless another textbook is recommended by the local textbook committee, recommended by the local superintendent, and adopted by the local board of education.

Physical Fitness Assessment: The Department of Education requires yearly student assessment for all students K-12 in physical education (no link available).  Schools use the President’s Challenge Physical Fitness Test and are required to report the results to the DOE only on odd numbered years.


Arkansas

Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Mandate: Act 317 (2007) requires 60 minutes per calendar week of physical education training and instruction for students in grades K-6 and for grades 5-8 for schools organized to teach these grades. The statute requires 90 minutes of additional physical activity per week for grades K-6, which may include physical education in addition to the previous requirement, daily recess, or intramural sports. Code 20-7-135 (2003) calls the State Board of Education to promulgate rules and regulations to ensure physical activity standards are implemented to provide students with the skills, opportunity, and encouragement to adopt healthy lifestyles.  The Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards and Body Mass Index for Age Assessment Protocols in Arkansas Public Schools (2012) include the time requirements of Act 317 (2007), and allow local districts to require physical education or activity in excess of these requirements.

The Standards for Accreditation of Arkansas Public Schools (2009) detail the course requirements for students: in grades K-8 all students must receive instruction in physical education (the amount is not specified), and students in grades 9-12 must complete a 1/2 unit course for graduation.

Exemptions: Exemptions: Code 6-16-132  (2003) states that a student may only be exempt from physical education and physical activity requirements by presenting a statement by his/her physician indicating that participation will jeopardize his/her health and well-being; OR by showing that attending physical education classes will violate a student's religious beliefs and must be a member of a recognized religious faction that object to participation of its official doctrine or creed to the local board.

Curriculum ContentArkansas has not formally adopted state standards for physical education; however, the state does require schools to follow the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Physical Education and Leisure Curriculum Framework for grades 9-12 (2011).

Physical Fitness Assessment
The Department of Education requires students to participate in a national recognized fitness assessment. The requirements can be found in the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Physical Education and Leisure Curriculum Framework for grades 9-12.

Arizona

Last Updated: 7/16/2013

Mandate: State Board of Education Administrative Code R7-2-301 (1993) establishes the minimum course of study and competency goals for students, which includes health/physical education. The code does not specify grades, levels, or a minimum amount of instruction.

ARS 15-2011 (no date available) requires school facility boards to address facilities for physical education when adopting rules that establish minimum school facility adequacy guidelines.
 
Exemptions: ARS 15-102 (no date available) allows for parents to withdraw a child from an activity, class or program if they object to any activity or learning material. ARS 15-346 (2010) provides flexibility in physical education activity requirements so that pupils with chronic health problems may participate in the regular physical education program to the extent that their health permits.
 
Curriculum Content: The state adopted the Physical Education Standards (2009), which includes the rationale, standards, and major content areas for physical education.
 
Physical Fitness Assessment: None.

California

Last Updated: 8/10/2009

Mandates: The Legislature recognizes the importance of physical education in maintaining healthy children and urges California schools to fulfill their physical education obligations" in Assembly Concurrent Resolution 31 (2003). Education Code 33350 (no date available) encourages school districts that offer physical education in grades K-12 to provide quality instruction that develops the knowledge, attitudes, skills, behaviors, and motivation needed for lifelong fitness and activity. Education Code 51210 (no date available) requires 200 minutes of physical education to be included in the adopted course of study for grades 1-6. Education Code 51210.1 (no date available) further mandates 200 minutes of physical education every 10 school days for elementary school students. Education Code 51223 (no date available) requires elementary schools (grades 1-8) to provide not less than 200 minutes of physical education each ten school days. Education Code 51222 requires a minimum of 400 minutes of physical education instruction every 10 school days for students in grades 7-12. Education Code 51225.3 (2000) does not allow a student to receive a high school diploma without the completion of two courses in physical education, unless an exemption was made.

California Code of Regulations 10060 (1977) requires all senior or four-year high schools to appraise the quality of the physical education program according to the criteria outlined in the code.

Exemptions:  Education Code 51241 (2007) permits the governing board of a school district to exempt a student from courses in in physical education if the pupil is one of the following:  (1) Ill or injured and a modified program to meet the needs of the pupil cannot be provided or (2) Enrolled for one-half, or less, of the work normally required of full-time pupils. Exemptions from physical eduction course may be granted to pupils for two years any time during grades 10 to 12, inclusive, if the pupil has met satisfactorily any five of the six standards of the physical performance test administered in grade 9 pursuant to Section 60800. 

Education Code 51222(b) (1976) states that a variety of physical education elective courses must be made available to these students who are exempted. Education Code 51242 (1976) states that students who participate in school sponsored interscholastic athletic programs may be exempted from courses in physical education.

Curriculum Content: Education Code 60605.2 (2001) instructs the State Board of Education to adopt model content standards in the curriculum of physical education that provide a framework schools may follow in physical education instruction.  The State Board adopted Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools  (2005). However, the Education Code does not require schools to follow the standards. 

California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 10, Subchapter 1, Article 3.1, 10060 requires each high school student to be evaluated on his or her progress in each of the following content areas: the effect of physical activity upon dynamic health, mechanics of body movement, aquatics, gymnastics and tumbling, individual and dual sports, rhythms and dance, team sports, and combatives.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Education Code 60800 (1995, 2007) requires each school district to administer a physical performance test to all students in grades 5, 7, and 9 during the month of February, March, April, or May. For physically handicapped students, as much of the test shall be given as possible, depending on his/her condition. Students should be provided with their individual results upon the completion of the test. Education Code 33126 (1988, 2007) requires school districts to include physical performance test results in the district's and each school site's School Accountability Report Card.


Colorado

Last Updated: 11/9/2010

Mandate: Not specifically required.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Standards (2009) provides standards and a suggested curriculum framework for physical education. 

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Connecticut

Last Updated: 5/16/2013

Mandate: Statute Chapter 164 Sec. 10-16b (1997) requires students in public schools receive physical education instruction. Statute Chapter 170, Section 10-221o of the Connecticut General Statutes, as amended by Section 9 of Public Act 12-116 and Section 5 of Public Act 12-158 of the Connecticut General Statutes (2012) requires each local and regional board of education to provide time devoted to physical exercise for students in Grades K-5, inclusive, of not less than 20 minutes in total for each regular school day, with the exception of those students requiring special education and related services.

The State Board of Education's Position Statement on Nutrition and Physical Activity (2010) states that local school boards should establish policies and procedures that require schools to allow time in the curriculum for physical education and to incorporate these concepts throughout all subjects. Statute Chapter 170 Sec 10-221a requires one credit of physical education for graduation, and Public Act 11-135(iii) requires in addition two credits in career and life skills electives, such as nutrition and physical activity, commencing with the graduating class of 2018.

The Action Guide for School Nutrition and Physical Activity Policies (2009) provides guidelines and policy recommendations to local districts for physical education, along with other areas.

Exemptions: Statute Chapter 170 Sec 10-221a allows any student who presents a certificate from a physician stating that, in the opinion of the physician, participation in physical education is medically contraindicated because of the physical condition of such student, shall be excused from the physical education requirement, provided the credit for physical education may be fulfilled by an elective.

Curriculum Content: Determination of eligible credits shall be at the discretion of the local or regional board of education, provided the primary focus of the curriculum of eligible credits corresponds directly to the subject matter of the specified course requirements (10-221d).

The state does not have specific coursework requirements in physical education in order to graduate from high school. The Healthy and Balanced Living Curriculum Framework (2006) provides standards and a suggested curriculum framework for physical education.

Physical Fitness Assessment: All students in grades 4, 6, 8, and 10 participating in physical education are required to complete physical fitness assessment. Fitness assessment data are to be reported to the Connecticut State Department of Education annually for inclusion in each school district Strategic School Profile.


District of Columbia

Last Updated: 4/21/2013

Mandate: Section 402 § 38-824.02 Requires public schools and public charter schools to provide physical education as follows:

  • Grades K-5: School Years 2010-11 to 2013-14: an average of at least 30 minutes per week or the same level of physical education as provided in school year and school year 2014-2014 and after, an average of at least 150 minutes per week.
    Grades 6-8: School years 2010-2011 to 2013-2014: an average of at least 45 minutes per week or the or the same level of physical education as provided in school year 2009-2010, whichever is greater, and school year 2014-2015 and after, an average of at least 225 minutes per week.
  • At least 50% of physical education class time must be devoted to actual physical activity, with as much class time as possible spent in moderate-to-vigorous physical activity.
Additionally, Section 602 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires each public and public charter school to submit information about the average amount of weekly physical education that students receive in each grade to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education by January 15th of each year. This information must also be posted online to the school website (if applicable) and make the form available to parents in its office. The Office of the State Superintendent of Education shall post the information on its website within 14 days of receipt.

Exemptions: No state policy.

Curriculum Content: Section 402 of the Healthy Students Act of 2010 requires physical education to meet the curricular standards adopted by the State Board of Education. The Physical Education Standards (2007) specify the concepts and skills that students are to know and be able to do in the area of physical education by the time they graduate from high school.

State Assessment Requirement: None. 

Delaware

Last Updated: 5/8/2009

Mandate: Administrative Code 14:505 (2004) requires high school students to take 1 credit of physical education for graduation. Administrative Code 14:503 (2005) requires students in grades 1-8 to be enrolled in a physical education program.

Code 14:4133 (2006) establishes a physical education/physical activity pilot program in at least six of Delaware's public elementary, middle or high schools to determine the potential for future expanded use to all of Delaware's public schools.  Each school in the pilot is required to provide at least 150 minutes per week of a combination of physical education and physical activity for each student.  Physical education and physical activity may include physical education classes, recess, planned classroom breaks, and other identified activities.

Exemptions: Administrative Code 14:503 allows the physical education requirements to be waived only for students who have an excuse from a qualified physician or objections based on religious beliefs.

Curriculum Content: The Delaware Recommended Curriculum for Health Education sets uniform content standards for physical education for elementary, middle, and high school. The general standards cover healthy physical activity, influences on physical activity, and prevention of sports and exercise injuries. The effects of drugs on fitness are included in the middle and high school standards.

The Delaware Recommended Curriculum and Delaware Standards for Physical Education are aligned with and reflect the NASPE approved National Standards for Physical Education for all students grades K – 12. All Delaware school districts are required to prove alignment with the Delaware Standards for Physical Education by March 30, 2009. 

Physical Assessment Requirement: Code 14:122(b) (2006) requires each school district and charter school to assess the physical fitness of each student at least once at the appropriate elementary, middle and high school level, with the results to be provided to the parent, guardian or relative caregiver.  Code 14:122(b) (2006) also provides for the fitness assessments to be administered at common grade levels statewide.


Florida

Last Updated: 6/16/2011
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MandateStatute 1003.455 (2007) requires each school district board to provide 150 minutes of physical education each week for students in grades K-5. This was expanded in 2008 to include the requirement for students in grade 6 who are enrolled in a school that contains one or more elementary grades. It requires instruction to be at least 30 consecutive minutes on any day physical education instruction is given. Beginning with the 2009-10 school year, students in grades 6-8 are required to complete the equivalent of one class period per day of physical education for one semester of each school year.


Last Updated: 10/27/2011

Statute 1003.428 (2007) requires one credit in physical education to include integration of health beginning with students entering their first year of high school in the 2007-2008 school year. 

Exemptions:  Statute 1003.428 (2007) states that participation in an interscholastic sport at the junior varsity or varsity level for two full seasons shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education if the student passes a competency test on personal fitness with a score of "C" or better. Completion of one semester with a grade of "C" or better in a marching band class, in a physical activity class that requires participation in marching band activities as an extracurricular activity, or in a dance class shall satisfy one-half credit in physical education or one-half credit in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan. Completion of 2 years in a Reserve Officer Training Corps (R.O.T.C.) class, a significant component of which is drills, shall satisfy the one-credit requirement in physical education and the one-credit requirement in performing arts. This credit may not be used to satisfy the personal fitness requirement or the requirement for adaptive physical education under an individual education plan (IEP) or 504 plan.
 
Statute 1003.455 (2008) provides exemption from the requirements of physical education for students in grades K-8. Exemption may be provided if a student meets one of the following requirements: 1) The student is required to enroll in a remedial course, 2) A parent requests in writing that a student enroll in another course offered by the school, or 3) A parent notifies the school in writing that a student is participating in physical activities outside the school day which are equal to or in excess of the mandated requirement.
 
Curriculum Content: The Next Generation Sunshine State Standards for Physical Education (2008), which are based on the National Standards for Physical Education, describe the state's learning expectations for grades K-12. The state does not provide or recommend particular curriculum materials.

Georgia

Last Updated: 7/18/2013

Mandate: Georgia Code 20-2-142 (no date available) requires the State Board of Education to prescribe a course of study in health and physical education for all grade levels.  Code 20-2-776 (2009) requires each local school system to provide at least the minimum instruction in physical education required by the State Board of Education in Code 20-2-142. State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.12 (2011) requires local boards to develop and implement an accurate comprehensive health and physical education program" that includes motor skills, physical fitness, and lifetime sports. The rule further requires 90 hours of contact instruction in physical education and health for students in grade K-5 and must be made available for students in grades 6-12. State Board of Education Rule 160-4-2-.47 (2002) requires high school students to complete one unit of Health and Physical Education (out of 22 units) in order to graduate.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Quality Core Curriculum Standards and Resources suggest lessons plans and resources to use in the classroom for physical education in grades K-12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Code 20-2-777 (2009) requires each local school district to conduct an annual fitness assessment program one time each school year for students in grades 1-12, The assessment must be conducted during a physical education course taught by a physical education instructor.


Hawaii

Last Updated: 9/22/2009

Mandate: State Board of Education Policy 4540 (2006) requires one credit of physical education for high school graduation.

The state Wellness Guidelines, which schools are required to implement over a four year period through 2010-11, require 45 minutes of physical education classes per week for grades K-3, 55 minutes per week for grades 4-5, 107 minutes per week for elementary grade 6, and 200 minutes per week for secondary grades 6-12.  The Wellness Guidelines also specify that physical activity may not be used as punishment and schools may not withold physical activity as punishment.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The state has adopted Physical Education Content Standards (2005) for grades K-12 that serves as a guideline, but is not a specific curriculum for schools to follow.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Iowa

Last Updated: 11/22/2010

Mandate: Code 256.11 (2005) requires physical education to be taught in grades 1-12. All students in grades 9-12 are required to participate in physical education activities for at least a 1/8 unit each semester. The Code also requires 1 credit of basic physical education for high school graduation.

281 IAC 12.5 requires students in grades 1-12 to receive instruction in physical education that include movement experience, fitness activities, and sport skills and activities. The code further requires 1 credit of physical education to be offered and taught during the high program.

Iowa's model Wellness Policy (2010), put forth by the Iowa School Board, recommends district wellness policies include a daily physical education for grades K-12.

ExemptionsCode 256.11 (2009) allows for exemptions as follows. Twelfth graders may be excused from the physical education requirement by the school principal if: (1) the student is enrolled in a work-study or other educational program that requires the student to be off school premises during the day, or (2) the student is enrolled in an academic class not otherwise available, or (3) the student participates in an athletic program that requires at least as much time as the physical education requirement. Students in grades 9-12 may be excused if requested by a parent or guardian. These students must then participate in an athletic program that requires at least as much time as the physical education requirement. This is not required if a parent/guardian files a written statement with principal that course or activity conflicts with religious belief.

Curriculum Content: 281 IAC 12.5 outlines the specifics of instruction that students should receive in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1-12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Idaho

Last Updated: 2/25/2013

Mandate: Statute 33-1605 (no date available) requires all school districts to provide instruction in health and physical fitness. State Board of Education Administrative Rules 08.02.02.104.01-04 (page 10-11) state requires Physical Education in elementary schools and middle/junior high schools and at the high school, Physical Education is required to be offered as an elective under other required instructional offerings.

Exemptions: None specified.
 
Curriculum Content
: The Idaho Content Standards for Physical Education (2010) sets uniform content standards for physical education for elementary, middle, and high school. Curriculum review is conducted in six year cycles as documented in State Board of Education Administrative Rule 08.02.03.128.01 (page 32).


Illinois

Last Updated: 12/26/2012
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Mandate: 105 ILCS 5/27-5 (1996) mandates all school boards to provide for instruction and training in physical education of students in their schools. 105 ILCS 5/27-6 (1996) also states that students enrolled in public schools must engage in a course of physical education daily during the school day. A school board may, however, authorize an exemption for students in grades 11 and 12 for reasons specified in the Statute. Public 105 ILCS 5/27-7 (2005) requires the physical education course of study to include the development of movement skills, enhancing health-related fitness, increasing student knowledge, encouraging healthy habits and attitudes, and offering opportunities to learn how to work in cooperative group settings. The course of study must also provide students with an appropriate amount of daily physical activity as part of the regular curriculum.

Public Act 097-1102 creates a task force to promote and recommend enhanced physical education programs that can be integrated with a broader wellness strategy and health curriculum in elementary and secondary schools in this state. Some strategies that the task force is to look at include: educating and promoting leadership on enhanced physical education among school district and school officials; developing and utilizing metrics to assess the impact of enhanced physical education; promoting training and professional development in enhanced physical education for teachers and other school and community stakeholders;  and identifying and seeking local, State, and national resources to support enhanced physical education. The task force must make recommendations, based on neuroscience research on physical activity and learning, to the Governor and the General Assembly on the Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health. The task force is co-chaired by the state superintendent of schools and state health director. The new task force builds on the work of a voluntary task force, which produced the Illinois Enhanced Physical Education Strategic Plan (2012), which provides a roadmap for implementing the vision that all Illinois K-12 students participate in daily, high-quality physical education.


Last Updated: 5/12/2008

Exemptions: HR 1028 (2004) encourages the state to end its practice of allowing waivers from school code requirements related to physical education. If a wavier is given, however, it must comply with the two requirements given in 92 HR 0333 (2002). 105 ILCS 5/27-6 (2005) allows the school board to grant students in grades 11 and 12 exemptions from physical education courses for the following reasons: (1) ongoing participation in interscholastic athletic programs, (2) enrollment in academic classes required for admission to an institution of higher learning, and (3) enrollment in academic classes required for graduation from high school, (4) involvement in for-credit marching band program (grades 9-12), and (5) involvement in a school-sponsored ROTC program. 105 ILCS 5/27-6 (2005) allows students in grades 9-12 to be excused from physical education courses if the time must be utilized to receive special education support and services.

Curriculum Content: 105 ILCS 5/27-7 (1998) calls for the State Board of Education to prepare and make available guidelines that incorporate the purposes stated in the Statute for physical education for all grades and types of schools. In 1997, the state approved the Illinois Learning Standards for Physical Development and Health.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Indiana

Last Updated: 12/6/2010

Mandate: Code 20-30-5-7 (2005) requires school corporations (local school districts) to provide physical fitness as part of the curriculum. Code 20-30-5-7.5 (2006) requires school corporations to provide daily physical activity in elementary school, which may include recess.  511 IAC  6.1-5-0.6 (2010) requires each school corporation to develop and implement a curriculum for K-12 that includes a pa planned sequence of learning experiences of breadth and depth that each child can apply information about health, nutrition and physical activity. 511 IAC 6.1-5-2.6 (2010) includes physical education in the required curriculum for elementary school.  511 IAC 6.1-5-3.6 includes physical education in the required curriculum for middle school.

State Board of Education 511 IAC 6-7-6.1 (2000) (also found in graduation requirement table) requires two credits of physical education for graduation for all diploma types.

Exemptions: None.

Curriculum Content: The Indiana Academic Standards of Physical Education (2000) provides standards for grades K-12 in physical education.  State Board of Education policy 511 IAC 6.1-5-2.5 includes physical education as a content area for elementary, middle school and high school.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Kansas

Last Updated: 7/22/2013

Mandate: State Board Regulation 91-31-32 (2005) requires that as a prerequisite for accreditation, each school should provide physical education, which shall include instruction in health and human sexuality."  For graduation from high school,  State Board Regulation 91-31-35 (2005) requires one unit of physical education, which shall include health and may include safety, first aid, or physiology."

The Kansas School Wellness Policy Model Guidelines (2005) provides time recommendations for physical education and percentage of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity for students.  House Resolution 6011 (2006) states the legislature's support for physical education and urges the State Board of Education to require some type of physical education class for all grades K-12.

Exemptions: Regulation 91-31-35 (2005) allows the physical education (including health) high school graduation requirement to be waived for medical or religious reasons. Regulation 91-31-34 (2005) states, a school shall neither offer credit for athletic practice nor count athletic practice as a physical education course."

Curriculum Content The state does not have a required or suggested curriculum.  However, the Department of Education encourages the use of the Kansas Model Curricular Standards for Physical Education (no date available) to plan and implement health education in the schools.

Physical Fitness Assessment: No state policy.


Kentucky

Last Updated: 5/19/2013

MandateKentucky schools must follow the Kentucky Core Academic Standards for Kentucky Schools Grades P-12 (2010), which outlines minimum state education requirements and provides curriculum guidelines. The standards require physical education for students in primary, intermediate, and middle school, although the amount of instruction is not specified. In addition, high school students must complete a unit of both health and physical education in order to graduate.

Curriculum Content: The Kentucky Board of Education's Learning Goals and Academic Expectations detail the state's standards for health and physical education, which are imbedded within the Practical Living content area.

State Assessment Requirement:No state policy.


Louisiana

Last Updated: 9/5/2013

Mandate:  Bulletin 741 (2008) requires students in grades 1-8 to receive 150 minutes of physical education per week.  RS 17:17.1  (2005) requires each elementary and secondary school to provide improved physical activity and fitness in schools by encouraging innovative physical education programs. 


Last Updated: 9/5/2013
Bulletin 741 requires 1.5 units of physical education for public high school graduation. In The Louisiana Handbook for Nonpublic School Administrators  (2005), requires 2 units of health and physical education for non-public high school graduation.
 
RS 17:276 (1980) requires each public secondary school to offer, as part of the physical education program, sexually segregated contact sports and sexually integrated noncontact sports with the options for students to choose either or both.

RS 17:1941 requires school districts to make available physical education services, specially designed if necessary, to every student with a disability receiving a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE). It also requires schools to make available specially designed physical education (Adapted Physical Education) for students with disabilities as prescribed in the student’s Individual Education Program (IEP).
 
ExemptionsBulletin 741 allows an approved Junior Reserve Officer Training Corp program to be substituted for the 2 credits of health and physical education upon board approval. This code further allows students to be exempted from this requirement for medical reasons only, but the number of credits required for graduation remains at 23.
 
Curriculum Content: Bulletin 102 outlines state Physical Education Content Standards (2009). The standards document also serves as a suggested curriculum framework, although local schools are not required to adhere to it.
 
Physical Fitness Assessment: RS 17.17.5 (2009) provides for health-related fitness assessments to determine physical fitness levels of students in school. The bill expands a pilot program to provide for statewide implementation focused on school systems with high poverty levels.

Massachusetts

Last Updated: 4/8/2014

Mandate: General Law 71.1 (no date available) requires all schools to provide instruction in physical education, but grade levels or amounts of instruction are not specified. General Law 71.3 (no date available) says that, "Physical education shall be taught as a required subject in all grades for all students in the public schools for the purpose of promoting the physical well-being of such students." However, high school students are not required to complete specified units of physical education to graduate. Further, 603 CMR 26.05 (2012) states that each school must provide equal opportunity for physical education for all students

Exemptions: General Law 71.3 (no date available) specifies that "no pupil shall be required to take part in any military exercise if his parent or guardian is of any religious denomination conscientiously opposed to bearing arms, or is himself so opposed, and the school committee is so notified in writing; and no pupil shall be required to take part in physical education exercises if a licensed physician certifies in writing that in his opinion such physical education exercises would be injurious to the pupil."

 

Per HB4459 (2010), there is guidance on developing school district wellness policies to promote integrating requirements for physical education, recommending to be no less than 150 minutes per week at the elementary level and 225 minutes per week in middle and high school levels.  The law also states physical education requirements should be created and enforced to promote healthful levels of vigorous physical activity.


Curriculum Content: General Law 71.1 (no date available) requires instructions in "fitness and body dynamics" and General Law 71.3 (no date available) specifies that, "Instruction in physical education may include calisthenics, gymnastics and military drill." The Common Core of Learning (1994) outlines the state's basic standards for students and the Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework (1999) provides a more detailed vision of standards for what students should be able to learn and know regarding physical activity and fitness in grades prek-12. The framework serves as a suggested curriculum for local schools.  HB4459 (2010) encourages improving the quality of physical education curricula by including classroom lectures identifying benefits of physical activity and health and selecting physical activities that help students use large muscle groups.


Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Maryland

Last Updated: 9/29/2011

Mandate: Codes 7-409 (2005) and 2-205 (1996) require each public school to have a physical education program for all students in grades K-12 to develop good health and physical fitness and improve motor coordination and physical skills.  State Board of Education Regulation 13A.04.13.01 (2001) outlines the requirements for the physical education instructional program in grades K-12. 

Code 7-409 (2009) directs the Department of Education to adopt regulations requiring public schools that are newly constructed or completely renovated after Jan 1, 2013 to include a gymnasium and adequate space for physical education instruction and to adopt guidelines for use of facilities for physical education programs.  

Code 7-4B-02 (2008) requires county boards of education develop policies and procedures to promote and protect the inclusion of students with disabilities into mainstream physical education and athletic programs.

Curriculum Content: Graduation requirements include one-half credit of physical education.  Regulation 13A.04.13.01 (2001) provides program goals for physical education in grades K-12.

Exemptions: None specified.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Maine

Last Updated: 6/3/2013

Mandate: Statute Title 20-A 4711 (2009) requires all elementary schools to provide the basic coursework, which includes physical education, for all students. Education Rule Chapter 132 (2007) requires students in grades PreK-12 be taught about the health benefits of physical activity. Statute Title 20-A 4723 (1983) requires the secondary course of study to include physical education per Statute Title 20-A 4721 (2009) Education Rule Chapter 127 (2002) requires one credit of physical education for graduation from high school.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: PreK-12 standards that aim to help students acquire knowledge, develop motor skills, and demonstrate responsible behavior in physical activity settings are provided for physical education in Health Education and Physical Education (2007).

Physical Fitness Assessment: Title 20-A Chapter 207-A & Chapter 222, §6209  provide guidance on the instruction standards and assessment requirements for physical education. 

 


Michigan

Last Updated: 5/28/2013

Mandate: MCL 380.1502 (1993) states that "health and physical education for pupils of both sexes shall be established and provided in all public schools... each pupil attending public school in this state who is physically fit and capable of doing so shall take the course in physical education."

MCL 380.1278a (2007) (Michigan Merit Curriculum) requires 1 credit of health and physical education for gradution. Schools have flexibility in how they meet the requirement.

The State Board of Education's Policy on Quality Physical Education and Physical Activity in Schools (2012) recommends schools to offers instructional periods of physical education totaling 150 minutes per week at the elementary level and 225 minutes per week at the secondary level (middle and high school), for students of all abilities, including those with disabilities, and those in alternative education programs.

The Michigan State Board of Education's nonbinding Policy on Quality Physical Education (2003) recommends that instructional periods total 150 minutes per week (elementary) and 225 minutes per week (middle and high school). Their Model Local Wellness Policy (2005) recommends districts adopt policies promoting physical educational opportunities.

Exemptions: MCL 380.1278b allows a student to substitute one physical education and health credit to acquire extra English language arts, mathematics, science or world language credits, if a student has an approved personal curriculum.   In addition, students may test out of any state required graduation credit if the student earns: 1) a qualifying score, as determined by the department, on the assessments developed or selected for the subject area by the department; OR, 2) the student earns a qualifying score, as determined by the school district or public school academy, on one or more assessments developed or selected by the school district or public school academy that measure a student’s understanding of the subject area content expectations or guidelines that apply to the credit.  

MCL 380.1502(2) allows a school to credit a student’s participation in extracurricular athletics or other extracurricular activities involving physical activity (sports, marching band, etc) as meeting the physical education graduation requirement.  If a district does decide to use extracurricular physical activities to meet the physical education requirement, the student must still demonstrate proficiency in the physical education credit guidelines. Guidance is provided in the Michigan Merit Curriculum High School Graduation Requirements.

Curriculum Content: Schools are encouraged to use the Michigan Department of Education's Physical Education Content Standards and Benchmarks (1998). The Michigan Department of Education has assembled a useful website with many guidance and resource materials.

Physical Fitness Assessment: No state policy.


Minnesota

Last Updated: 11/22/2010

Mandate: Statute 120A.22 (2005) requires physical education for students between 7-16 years (duration and frequency not specificed) and assigns the responsibility of developing standards to local districts. However, the Healthy Kids Bill (2010) requires the Department of Education to adopt the National Association of Physical Education (NASPE) standards as statewide standards. Local districts are then required to adopt health and physical education standards, which must incorporate the NASPE standards. Although not outlined in code, precedence has determined that physical education must be taught at all grade levels in the elementary and middle/junior high levels, and must be taught at least once in high school.  The expectations are outlined in the Standards, Tests and Graduation Requirement Chart (2006).

Exemptions: The State Board of Education (no link available) requires all students to participate in physical education classes unless there is an appropriate written request (from a parent, guardian or medical practitioner) for a student not to participate. For exemption for six or more consecutive school days, the note must be from a medical practitioner.

Curriculum Content: Standards are to be developed locally.  The Healthy Kids Bill (2010) requires the Department of Education to adopt the National Association of Physical Education (NASPE) standards as statewide standards. Local districts are then required to adopt health and physical education standards, which must incorporate the NASPE standards.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Local districts are required to develop assessments for physical education.


Missouri

Last Updated: 8/28/2013

Mandate: Revised Statute 161.102 (1995) requires the state board of education to adopt and implement rules and regulations for the provision of courses in physical education to all pupils and students in all public schools and in all educational institutions. The Missouri School Improvement Program Resource Standards for Missouri Public School Districts (2013), requires that each elementary student receives instruction in physical education for a minimum of 50 minutes each week (25 minutes for half-day kindergarten classes), and that the classes be taught by teachers certificated in the field. Junior high/middle schools must teach physical education to all students for a minimum of 3,000 minutes each year. High schools must offer at least 1 unit of physical education out of 40.5 units. Students must complete 1 unit credit in physical education, out of 24 specified units, for high school graduation as outlined in the Missouri Graduation Requirements (2007).

ExemptionsNone, except for students in the adult diploma program. The Missouri Graduation Requirements Handbook (2007) specifies that courses devoted to conditioning for interscholastic sports or practicing for interscholastic sports may not be counted toward meeting the minimum requirement. 

Curriculum Content
: Revised Statute 160.514 (1993) requires the State Board of Education to develop academic standards and voluntary curriculum frameworks, and requires all schools to adopt or develop a written curriculum that meets the standards. 5 CSR 20-200.260 (2011)—formerly 5 CSR 50-375.100 (1996)–lists the academic standards for health and physical education. The state's voluntary framework is Missouri's Framework for Curriculum Development in Health Education and Physical Education(2009), which calls for students to receive instruction on efficiency of human movement and performance and on physical activity and lifetime wellness. 
 
Physical Fitness Assessment: Each year, schools are required to submit the percent of 5th and 9th grade students that meet the minimum criteria in the Missouri Physical Fitness Assessment Manual (2000). Physical fitness grades also are included in a student’s grade point average.

Mississippi

Last Updated: 9/9/2009
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Mandate: Code 37-13-134 (2007) requires the following for physical education: 150 minutes weekly of activity based instruction as defined by the State Board of Education instruction for K-8 and half of a Carnegie unit of physical activity or physical education for graduation (grades 9-12). State Board of Education Policy 4012 (2008) defines physical education, physical activity and activity based instruction further stipulates that of the required 150 minutes of activity based instruction, the total number of minutes of physical education may not be under 50 minutes per week for grades K-8.


Last Updated: 12/28/2013

Code 37-11-8 (2010) requires the Office of Healthy Schools/Department of Education to develop and implement the HealthierUS School Initiative (USDA) to facilitate healthier choices and practices by local school districts through the promotion of healthier school environments. The Office of Healthy Schools may provide financial incentives to schools receiving recognition through the HealthierUS program. Requirements for participating schools are outlined in the statute, including providing students with physical education and the opportunity for physical activity.

Code 37-13-151 (1999) requires school districts to provide home economics education programs in grades 10, 11 or 12 that contain instruction in preparing students to assume responsibility for their care and guidance with emphasis in physical health.

Exemptions: State Board of Education Policy 4012 (2008) allows extracurricular activities in grades 7-8, such as basketball, baseball, marching band, show choir, cheerleading, etc., that is sanctioned by the Mississippi High School Activities Association and ROTC to be substituted for physical education if attendance is kept,  instruction is based on at least one competency from the Mississippi Physical Education Framework, and staff licensed by Mississippi Department of Education supervises practices and games.

State Board of Education Policy 4012 (2008) also allows for a medical exemption from physical education with a medical release form completed by a physician.

Curriculum Content: Standard 33 of the Mississippi Public School Accountability Standards (2006) states the basic curriculum of each elementary and middle school to include physical education. Standard 32 requires physical education be a part of the high school basic curriculum on an elective basis.

Physical Fitness Assessment: State Board of Education Policy 4012 (2008) requires students to participate in fitness testing using the Fitnessgram, Activitygram, President's Challenge to Fitness, or other comparable program. The assessment must be conducted in grade 5, and the grade the student will earn the 1/2 Carnegie unit of physical education for graduation.


Montana

Last Updated: 12/17/2012

Mandates: In Montana, elementary, middle/junior high, and high school students are required to take health enhancement courses per standards for school accreditation outlined in State Board of Public Education Administrative Rule 10.54.2501 (2000). State Board of Public Education Administrative Rule 10.55.905 (2000) requires 1 unit of health enhancement, with one-half unit each year, for two years in high school and 1/2 unit each year for middle school students.  A "unit" is equal to 225 minutes per week. (Note: In the Montana School Accreditation Standards, the traditional disciplines of 'health education' and 'physical education' are combined into one content area called Health Enhancement. Simply put, Health Enhancement is a health outcome approach (rather than a performance outcome approach) that uses the combination of classroom and activity-based instruction to mutually reinforce the content mater in each of the two disciplines.)

Exemptions: None.

Curriculum Content: With State Board of Public Education Administrative Rule 10.54.7010-7073 (1999), the State Board adopted the Health Enhancement K-12 Content and Performance Standards for grade levels (by end of grade 4, 8 and 12). The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


North Carolina

Last Updated: 12/18/2010

Mandate: State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) requires students enrolled in K-8 to participate in physical activity as part of the district's physical education curriculum. Elementary schools should consider providing 150 minutes per week and middle schools should consider 225 minutes per week including a minimum of physical education every other day for the school year. State Board of Education Board Policy GCS-N-004 (16 NCAC 6D.0503) (2002) requires high school students to complete 1 credit (out of 20) in health and physical education in order to graduate. (Details are also provided in NC Course of Study Graduation Requirements table.)

State Board of Education Policy GCS-S-000 (2005) prohibits taking away physical activity (including physical education) from students as a form of punishment. Similarly, it prohibits using severe and inappropriate exercise as a form of punishment.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) outlines the content that districts are expected to follow. The curriculum calls for students in grades K-1 2 to receive instruction in motor skills and movement patterns, skill acquisition and performance, establishing and maintaining regular participation in physical activity, accepting responsibility for personal fitness, demonstrating responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity settings, development of an awareness of the intrinsic value and benefits of participation in physical activity.

Physical Fitness AssessmentThe North Carolina Healthful Living Standard Course of Study (2006) requires that students in select grades complete a pre and post health-enhancing fitness assessment, including monitoring of the heart.


North Dakota

Last Updated: 12/13/2012

Mandate: Code 15.1-21 (no date available) requires physical education to be provided to students. At the high school level, school are required to offer one-half credit of physical education each school year, provided that once every four years the unit must be a concept-based fitness class that includes instruction in the assessment, improvement, and maintenance of personal fitness.     For purposes of high school graduation, grades 9-12 require 1 unit of physical education, of which ½ unit may be health, for high school graduation according to NDCC 15.1-21.

Exemptions: None specified. 

Curriculum Content: The Department of Public Instruction (DPI) has approved K-12 content and achievement standards for physical education as of September 2008. The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum framework.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Nebraska

Last Updated: 11/27/2011

Mandate: 92 NAC 10-004.04B7 (no date available) requires that the high school program include 20 instructional units" (out of a total of 400) or two years of daily classes or the equivalent in personal health and physical fitness. 92 NAC 10-004.03A9 (no date available) and 92 NAC 10-004.03A9 (no date available) mandate physical education for elementary and middle school.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: 92 NAC 10-004.02A6, 92 NAC 10-004.03A9, and 92 NAC 10-004.04B7 outline the required K-12 curriculum for Nebraska schools.  The Nebraska Physical Education Essential Learnings (2006) outlines what students are expected to know and be able to do by the end of grades 2, 5, 8 and 12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


New Hampshire

Last Updated: 12/22/2011

Mandate: RSA 189:11-a (2004) says, The school board of each school district shall develop and adopt a policy recommending that all pupils participate in developmentally appropriate daily physical activity, exercise, or physical education..." The law also directs the State Board of Education to adopt and distribute rules for a model physical activity policy. State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.41 (2005) lists required concepts of a K-12 physical education program. State Board of Education Rule Ed 310.03 requires each local school board to adopt a policy regarding physical activities and exercise. The policy must recommend that all students in K-12 participate in 30 to 60 minutes of physical activity and exercise per day.

State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.26 (2005) gives local school boards the authority to adopt instructional time requirements for K-8 physical education. State Board of Education Rule Ed 306.27 (2005) requires that high school students complete 1 credit in physical education coursework in order to graduate (out of 20 required), and high schools must offer at least 2 credits of courses in physical education (out of 45 required).

Exemptions: The state permits local districts to allow students to substitute extended learning," (activities provided outside of the regular school day that align with the local physical education curriculum) to meet the physical education requirements in middle and high school.

Curriculum Content: The Physical Education Curriculum Guidelines (2005) provides suggestions for curriculum content in physical educational for students in grades K-12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


New Jersey

Last Updated: 12/26/2011

Mandate: N.J.S.A 18A:35-7 (1967) requires every pupil, except kindergarten pupils, attending public schools to take courses in physical education and health.  The core standards establish requirements for students in grades K-12.  N.J.S.A 18A:35-7&8 (1967) requires that students in grades 1-12 receive 150 minutes (or 2 hours) of health, safety and physical education per week, prorated for school holidays.  Local school districts decide how many minutes per week are necessary in each area in order to achieve the core standards. State Board of Education Admninistrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:8-5 (no date available) requires 3.75 credits of health and physical education per year (out of a total 110 credits required) for high school graduation.

Exemptions: Determined by local school boards.  Per State Board of Education Administrative Code N.J.A.C. 6A:14-4.1(f) (no date available) schools are required to provide alternatives in order for students with a disability to meet the physical education core standards.

N.J.A.C.6A:8-5.1 (2009) allows district boards of education to establish a process to approve individualized student learning opportunities that meet or exceed the Core Curriculum Content Standards, including those in physical education. This new regulation requires all high schools to adopt “option II” policies and procedures that permit a student or group of students to meet or exceed the core standards in any subject area through alternative activities. These activities may be school sponsored or accomplished outside the school. Documentation of the student’s achievement of the curricular objectives is required.


Curriculum Content: The mandatory CCCS for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education (2009) include instruction in identifying the short-term and long-term benefits of physical activity and engaging students in vigorous physical activity that develops all components of fitness.  Standards 2.5, Motor Skill Development, and 2.6, Fitness, must be met by the end of grades 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


New Mexico

Last Updated: 12/30/2013

Mandate: 22-13-1 NMSA (2005) requires students in grades 1-8 to receive instruction in physical education. 22-13-1.1 NMSA (2009) requires students to have one unit in physical education or other physical activity for graduation

Exemptions: 6.30.2.10.J9(n) NMAC (2000) allows the physical education graduation requirement to be waived because of a permanent or chronic medical condition that does not permit physical activity.  6.30.2.10.8 NMAC (2000) allows local districts to design courses, known as alternative credit, which with approval of the Secretary, will satisfy any of the 14 specified credits required for graduation.  Requirements for this process are outlined in the policy. However, guidance (2013) from the Secretary of Education states that NM law does not allow students to graduate without a physical education credit, and beginning in 2014-15, there will be no further exemptions or substitions for PE credit for graduation.

6.29.9.8
NMAC (2009) details the NMPED K-12 content standards with benchmarks and performance standards for Physical education for physical education. The Physical Education Standards (1997, revised 2006) set required benchmarks and performance standards for teaching physical education. Local schools are required to align physical education curriculum to the performance standards.

Curriculum Content6.29.9.8 NMAC (2009) details the NMPED K-12 content standards with benchmarks and performance standards for Physical Education. Local school districts are required to align their K-12 Physical Education Curriculum to these K-12 Physical Education Standards (1997, revised 2006)content standards with benchmarks and performance standards.  

6.12.6 NMAC (2006) requires local school districts to adopt wellness policies that address student and school employee wellness through a coordinated school health approach which shall include a planned, sequential, K-12 physical education curriculum that provides the optimal opportunity for all students to learn and develop physical activity and is aligned to the NMPED physical education content standards with benchmarks and performance standards set forth in 6.29.9.8 NMAC (2009).

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Nevada

Last Updated: 9/9/2009

Mandate: NRS 389.018 (2003) requires physical education be taught, as practicable, in all public schools. State Board of Education Administrative Code  389.2425, 389.283, 389.2946, 389.386, 389.485, 389.2425 (2000) detail student performance standards in physical education for grades 2, 3, 5, 8, and high school. State Board of Education Rule 389.664 (Board of Education Rule) requires 2 units of physical education to receive a standard high school diploma.

Exemptions: State Board of Education Administrative Code 389.488 (1987) allows a student to be exempt from taking a course in physical education based on a physical or mental condition supported by a written statement from a physician, religious beliefs supported by a written statement from a parent/guardian, enrollment in ROTC, or intentions of enrolling into a course comparable to physical education. A school district may exempt a pupil for not more than 1 credit for participating in interscholastic athletics, on a drill team, in a marching band, in a dance group or on a cheerleading squad if school sponsored and participates for at least 120 hours.

Curriculum ContentState Board of Education Administrative Code 389.283, 389.2946, 389.386, 389.485 also include student performance standards for physical education for grades 2, 3, 5, 8 and 12. The state department of education's website offers documents that summarize the Physical Education Content Standards (2000). Schools are not required to follow a specific curriculum.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


New York

Last Updated: 9/9/2013

MandateRegulation 11.135.4(c) (2) (a) requires daily participation in physical education for students in grades K-3 and three times each week for grades 4-6. The minimum time devoted to physical education shall be at least 120 minutes each week. For grades 7-12, the regulations require physical education 3 times per week in one semester, and 2 times per week in the second, or a comparable time each semester if the school is organized in other patterns.

Education Law 803 requires physical education instruction for all pupils above the age of eight in all elementary and secondary schools. State Board of Education Regulation 100.3(a) (2004) and100.4(b) (2004) outline program requirements for students in grades 1-4 and 5-8, respectively, which include required instruction in physical education. Regulation 100.5 (2005) requires high school students to earn 2 units in physical education (out of 22) in order to graduate. 

Exemptions:  No state policy.

Curriculum Content: Standard 1 of the Learning Standards for Health, Physical Education, and Family and Consumer Sciences (1996) outlines learning standards for physical education, but does not require schools adhere to a specific curriculum.

 
Physical Fitness Assessment: Regulation 11.135.4 requires local school districts to develop and implement plans to provide physical education to all students, which must include assessment activities for determining the students' performance toward the goals and objectives of the program. 

Ohio

Last Updated: 2/23/2009

Mandate: Pursuant to OAC 3301-35-04 (2001) and 3313.60 (2001), physical education is a required part of the curriculum for all levels, although duration and frequency are not specified. The State Board of education requires high school students to complete .5 unit of coursework in physical education in order to graduate. ORC 3301.20 (2008) requires the state to employ a full-time physical education coordinator to provide guidance and technical assistance to school districts regarding physical education and activity.

Exemptions: Pursuant to OAC 3313.603 (2007), the board of education of each school district and the governing authority of each chartered nonpublic school may adopt a policy to excuse from the high school physical education requirement each student who, during high school, has participated in interscholastic athletics, marching band, or cheerleading for at least two full seasons. If the board or authority adopts such a policy, it may not require the student to complete any physical education course as a condition to graduate. However, the student must be required to complete one-half unit, consisting of at least sixty hours of instruction, in another course of study.

Curriculum Content: None.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Oklahoma

Last Updated: 9/17/2013
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Mandate: Statute 70-11-103.9 (2007) requires school districts provide all students with physical education programs, which may include athletics. It specifically requires that all public elementary schools, grades K-5, provide instruction in physical education or exercise program for a minimum of an average of 60 minutes per week.  Recess time may not be counted toward the physical education requirement.  The statute strongly encourages, but does not require, districts to provide physical education instruction to students in grades 6-12.  Statute 70-11-103.6 (2005) strongly recommends, but does not require, high schools encourage students to complete two units of health and physical education.


Last Updated: 9/17/2013

Statute 70-11-103.9 (2007) requires school districts to provide to parents or guardians of students a physical activity report. It must include the following: (1) A summary on how physical activity is being incorporated into the school day; (2) A summary of the types of physical activities the students are exposed to in the physical education programs; (3) Suggestions on monitoring the physical activity progress of a child and how to encourage regular participation in physical activity; and (4) Information on the benefits of physical education and physical activity.

Exemptions:
 None granted by SEA.

Curriculum Content: Statute 70-11-103 (2010) outlines criteria for physical education curricula, including a  requirement that at least fifty percent of physical education class time be used for actual physical activity, and that the activity be performed at a moderate or vigorous level. The statute further requires each school district to establish specific objectives and goals it intends to accomplish through the physical education curriculum. The PASS Integrated Curriculum: Health, Safety and Physical Education (2002) establishes physical education standards.  There is no specific required curriculum at any grade level.

Physical Fitness Assessment:
 None.

Oregon

Last Updated: 9/18/2013
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Mandate: OAR 581-022-1210  (2005) requires school districts to provide a K-12 instructional program that includes physical education.  OAR OAR 581-022-1130 OAR (2002) requires high school students to complete 1 unit of coursework in physical education in order to graduate. ORS 329.496 (2007) requires that every public school student in grades K-8 will participate in physical education for the entire school year.  Students in grades K-5 are required to participate in physical education for at least 150 minutes each week.  Students in grades 6-8 are required to participate in physical education for at least 225 minutes each week.  School districts are required to devote at least 50 percent of physical education class time to actual physical activity.  Full compliance is required by the 2017-2018 school year.

 

Last Updated: 9/18/2013

Exemptions: OAR 581-022-1910(1996) allows a district to excuse a pupil from a state required program or learning activity to accommodate for a student's disability or religious beliefs. Procedures are outlined in the Rule.

Curriculum Content: ORS 329.496 (2007) requires  school districts to offer instruction in physical education that meets the academic content standards for physical education adopted by the State Board of Education under ORS 329.045 (2003). The Physical Education Standards (2005) provide benchmarks for grades 3,5,8, and high school. 
 

Pennsylvania

Last Updated: 9/13/2013

Mandate: Students at the elementary, middle, and high school levels shall receive planned instruction in physical education aligned to the academic standards according to 022 PA Code 4.27 (1999). Further details of the requirements at the elementary level can be found in 022 PA Code 4.21 (1999), at the middle school in 022 PA Code 4.22 (1999), and at the high school level, in 022 PA Code 4.23 (1999). The physical education programs shall be adapted for those who are unable to participate and shall provide coeducational instruction with the exception of courses involving contact sports.. 022 PA Code 57.31(1988) requires the completion of one credit in health and physical education to fulfill the graduation requirement.

Exemptions: Parents/guardians may remove the child from instruction when it conflicts with religious beliefs.  A written request must be submitted to the school.

Curriculum Content: The Academic Standards for Health, Safety, and Physical Education (2003) describe what students should know and be able to do by the end of third, sixth, ninth, and twelfth grades. The standards are mandated and binding. Schools are not required to follow a specific curriculum but are required to use the standards as a framework for the development of the local curriculum.  Local districts are required to develop performance assessments for their districts.

Physical Fitness Assessment: No specific policy. However, school districts, according to 022 PA Code 4.12(h)(1999), are required to assess individual student attainment of the academic standards.  School districts are required by 022 PA Code 4.52 (1999) to develop and implement a local assessment system.


Rhode Island

Last Updated: 1/29/2013

Mandate: Statute 16-22-4 (2008) requires all children in grades 1-12 attending public schools to receive instruction in health and physical education for an average of at least 20 minutes in each school day. Section 3.5 of the Rules and Regulations of School Health Programs (2009) stipulate that recess, free play and after school activities cannot be counted as physical education.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: Statute 16-22-4 (2008) requires the physical education curriculum to be based on the physical education standards of the Rhode Island Physical Education Framework: Supporting Physically Active Lifestyles through Quality Physical Education (2003) by September 2012.

The state also outlines an Early Learning Standards framework for early childhood programs includes standards for Physical Health and Development: "Young children's future health and well-being are directly related to strengthening their large and small muscles, using their sensory experiences and practicing healthy behavior. Statutes 16-2-9(a) and 16-21-28 (2005) requires that the school committee of each school district establish a school health and wellness subcommittee. This subcommittee is charged with making recommendations regarding health education curriculum and instruction, physical education curriculum and instruction, and nutrition and physical activity policies. This subcommittee is to be chaired by a member of the school committee, and consist of a majority of non-school employees, including at least one parent.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Statute 16-1-5 (2004) assigns the Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish an assessment program in areas of health and fitness.


South Carolina

Last Updated: 1/18/2012

Mandate: Code 59-10-10 (2005) mandates that students in grades K-5 must be provided with at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, 90 minutes of which must be provided in physical education. Students are required to complete 1 unit (out of 24) of physical education or junior ROTC for a high school diploma as outlined in Curriculum Requirements for a South Carolina High School Diploma and State Board of Education R 43-259 (2003).

Code 59-10-320 (2005) requires the State Department of Education to make available to each district a coordinated school health model to address children's health issues, including physical education.

Exemptions: Code 59-10-10 (2005) allows students in grades K-5 to be exempt from physical education and activity requirements if they meet the standards for exemptions set forth in Code 59-29-80 (no date available).  Exemptions are granted for students involved in a military or naval ROTC program sponsored by one of the military institutions of the United States.  In addition, students may be exempted from physical education requirements by seeking a waiver from the local school board of trustees.  Requests are granted under the following circumstances:  (1) a student presents a statement from a physician indicating that participation in physical education would jeopardize a student's health and well-being, or (2) the parent and student are members of a recognized religious faith that objects to physical education as a part of its doctrine or creed, and both demonstrate that attending physical education would violate their religious beliefs.

Curriculum Content: The Board of Education adopted the Physical Education Curriculum Standards (2008). The state does not require schools to follow a specific curriculum, nor does it provide one. Code 59-10-60 (2005) requires each school district to make every effort to ensure that its schools have age appropriate equipment and facilities to implement these standards.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Code 59-10-10 requires student's individual fitness status to be reported to their parent or legal guardian during their fifth grade, eighth grade, and high school physical education courses. Per Code 59-10-50 (2005), the South Carolina Physical Education Assessment must be administered in each public school in grades 2, 5, 8, and high school. The State Department of Education must develop a procedure for calculating a district and school physical education effectiveness score based on the Assessment.


South Dakota

Last Updated: 1/1/2013

MandateSouth Dakota schools are not required to provide instruction in physical education at any specific grade level. However, beginning with students who are freshman in the fall of 2013, a .5 unit of physical education is required for high school graduation (2009).

Exemptions: Not applicable.

Curriculum Content: The State Board of Education approved voluntary South Dakota Physical Education Content Standards (2000) which are organized in grade level clusters K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12.  The state does not require or recommend a specific curriculum framework or curriculum materials.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Tennessee

Last Updated: 12/29/2013

Mandate: The Rules of the State Board of Education, Minimum Requirements for the Approval of Public Schools 0520-1-3-.06  (2010) requires students in grades K-8 to complete physical education annually, and students in grades 9-12 to complete 1 unit of wellness that includes health and physical fitness. Graduation requirements include 1.5 credits of physical education and wellness.

ExemptionsRules of the State Board of Education, Minimum Requirements for the Approval of Public Schools 0520-1-3-.05 (2010) states that pupils who have physical disabilities shall have the physical education and lifetime wellness program modified based on the annual written recommendation of a physician. The statement of the physician shall indicate the type of disability and include a recommended activity program. In addition, the rule permits school districts and schools to allow students to substitute JROTC for their required Lifetime Wellness credit in high school.
 

Curriculum Content: The Tennessee Department of Education has developed Physical Education Standards for pre-K through grade 12.  The Lifetime Wellness Standards (2009) for grades 9-12 also include standards for personal fitness. 

 

The Tennessee State Board of Education Physical Activity Policy 4.206 (2005) requires each LEA to implement the Physical Education and Other Physical Activity Module of the CDC’s School Health Index to assess and plan each school’s physical activity.

 

Physical Fitness Assessment: No state policy. 


Texas

Last Updated: 9/24/2009
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Mandate: Education Code 28.002 (2007) requires students in grades K-5 to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity for at least 30 minutes throughout the school year. This may be accomplished through the physical education curriculum or daily recess. Students in grades 6-8 are required to participate in moderate or vigorous daily physical activity (as a part of the physical education curriculum) for at least 30 minutes for at least four semesters.  If this is impractical due to scheduling or other factors, the district may require a student to participate in moderate or vigorous physical activity for 135 minutes per week or 225 minutes per two weeks on a block schedule.


Last Updated: 9/16/2011

Administrative Code 74.2 (1993) requires school districts that offer K-5 must provide instruction in the physical education curriculum. State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.32 (2002) further mandates enrolled K-6 students to participate in a minimum of 30 minutes per day or 135 minutes per week of physical activity. State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.3 (2004) requires school districts offering grades 6-12 to provide instruction in physical education. Further, high school students are required to fulfill 1 credit of physical education to receive a high school diploma according to State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.51 (2003). Education Code 28.002 (2009) requires each school district to establish specific objectives and goals for the physical education curriculum, including student/teacher ratios. If the student/teacher ratios are more than 45:1, the district must specifically identify the manner in which the safety of the students will be maintained.

State Board of Education Administrative Code  74.31 (2001) requires districts to classify students for physical education into unrestricted, restricted, or adapted and remedial categories.

Education Code 38.013 (2003) requires the agency to provide one or more coordinated health programs that accounts for health education, physical education and physical activity, nutrition services, and parental involvement in each school district.

Exemptions: State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.11 (1997) allows for temporary or permanent medical exemption with a physician's note.  It also gives school districts permission to allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for credit towards the high school graduation requirements.  Waivers may be granted for credit to individual students for involvement in high quality private or commercially sponsored programs (minimum of 5 hours per week) and those in Olympic-level physical training (15 hours per week).  The Graduation Requirements state that the following activites can be substituted for the PE requirement: drill team, marching band, cheerleading, ROTC, athletics, dance I-IV, and approved private programs and certain career and technical education courses.

Education Code 28.002 (2009) requires a school board to provide exemption for any student who is unable to participate in the required physical activity because of illness or disability. In addition, boards must provide exemption to middle or junior high students that participate in an extracurricular activity with moderate or vigorous physical activity components. Students must provide proof of participation in the activity.

Curriculum Content: Education Code 28.002 (2009) requires a physical education curriculum that is sequential, developmentally appropriate, and designed, implemented and evaluated to enable students to develop the motor, self-management and other skills necessary to participate in physical activity throughout life. Each district is required to establish specific objectives and goals for the physical education curriculum. Requirements for the curriculum are outlined in the statute. Among them is the requirement that at least 50% of the physical education class be used for actual student physical activity and that the activity be, to the extent practicable, at a moderate or vigorous level.

State Board of Education Administrative Code 74.1 (2004) requires each school district offering K-12 to adopt a physical education curriculum. State Board of Education Administrative Code 116.1 to 116.52 (1998) describe the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Physical Education.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Education Code 38.101 (2007) requires a school district to assess the physical fitness of students enrolled in grades 3-12.  Students with a disability are exempted from this requirement. Education Code 38.102 (2007) requires the Commissioner of Education to adopt an assessment instrument that measures aerobic capacity, body composition, muscular strength, endurance and flexibility and includes age- and gender-specific criterion-referenced standards. Results are strictly confidential.  Education Code 38.103 (2007) requires the school district to provide summarized results to the Department of Education.


Utah

Last Updated: 2/8/2012

Mandate: According to R277-700.3 (2004), the State Board of Education requires instruction in physical education in grades K-2 (as a part of integrated curriculum), grades 3-6, 1 credit in physical education in middle school according, and 1.5 credits in physical education for high school graduation.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Physical Education Core - Secondary (2005) and Physical Education Core - Elementary (1997) and sets standards for students in grades K-12 to receive instruction in physical education and activity.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Virginia

Last Updated: 4/25/2012

Mandate: Code 22.1-207 (1991) requires that "physical and health education shall be emphasized throughout the public school curriculum by lessons, drills and physical exercises, and all pupils in the public elementary, middle, and high schools shall receive as part of the educational program such health instruction and physical training as shall be prescribed by the Board of Education and approved by the State Board of Health," but the statute does not specify grades levels or amounts of instructional time. State Board of Education Rule 8VAC20-320-10 (1980) requires all elementary and secondary schools to present a comprehensive health education program that focuses on providing instruction in physical fitness. House Joint Resolution No. 260 (2004) urges school districts to provide age-appropriate and culturally sensitive physical education to teach students how to conduct and maintain physically active lifestyles. HB1092 (2012) requires the Board of Education to develop physical education guidelines for public elementary and middle schools.

8VAC20-131-50 (2000) requires high school students to earn at least 2 credits in health and physical education (out of 22) in order to graduate.

Code 22.1-253.13:1 (2008) mandates local boards to develop and implement a K-12 program of instruction that emphasizes essential skills and concepts of physical education. The program must have a goal of at least 150 minutes per week on average. This may be met by physical education classes, extracurricular athletics, or other programs or physical activities deemed appropriate by the local school board. 

State Board of Education Rule 8VAC20-131-80 (2000) requires elementary schools to provide a program of instruction in physical education to each student. Similarly, Code 22.1-200 (1980) requires physical education to be one of the subjects taught in the elementary grades in every public school. Each elementary school shall provide students with a daily recess during the regular school year as determined by the school.  8VAC20-131-90 (2000) requires each middle school to provide instruction in physical education. 8VAC 20-131-100 (2000) requires secondary schools to provide 2 units of health and physical education for students to meet the graduation requirements in 8VAC20-131-50.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Health Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires students in grades K-10 to be able to explain good health and the benefits of physical activity and fitness, and the role of regular physical activity.

Physical Fitness Assessment: The Physical Education Standards of Learning (2008) requires a standardized physical assessment of students in grades 4-12.


Vermont

Last Updated: 10/3/2010

Mandate: 16 VSA 906 (1998) requires public schools to provide students with a physical education course of study, although duration and frequency are not specified. The State Board of Education Manual of Rules and Practices (2006) requires 1 years of physical education for high school graduation.

The Nutrition and Physical Fitness Guidelines (2005) recommend 150 minutes per week of physical education for elementary students and 225 minutes per week for middle and high school students.
Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Vermont Physical Education Grade Expectations (2004) sets health knowledge and skills standards for students in grades preK-12. Standard 2 requires students to learn to identify healthy behaviors and learn the benefit of exercise.

Physical Fitness Assessment: The Vermont Physical Education Grade Expectations (2004) requires student assessment in physical education (Fitnessgram or other nationally accredited test) for grades 5-12.


Washington

Last Updated: 3/6/2012

Mandate: RCW 28A.230.040 (1984) requires every student in grades 1-8 to receive instruction in physical education. RCW 28A.210.365 (2007) states that it's a goal of Washington state to ensure that by 2010 all students in grades 1-9 should have at least one hundred fifty minutes of quality physical education every week.

WAC 180-51-061 (2001) the Washington State Board of Education specifies that beginning July 1, 2004, students who enter the 9th grade or begin the equivalent of a four-year high school program, will be required to complete two credits of health and fitness courses (out of 19 required credits). Details are also provided in High School Graduation Requirements (2004).

WAC 392-172-162 (1995) requires physical education services to be made available to every special education student receiving FAPE.

Exemptions: RCW 28A.230.040 allows only those students who have a physical disability, religious belief or participates in directed athletics to be excused from receiving instruction in physical education. RCW 28A.210.365 (2007) states that it's a goal of Washington state to ensure that beginning with the 2011-2012 school year, any district waiver or exemption policy from physical education requirements for high school students should be based upon meeting both health and fitness curricula concepts as well as alternative means of engaging in physical activity, but should acknowledge students' interest in pursuing their academic interests.

Curriculum Content: The Essential Academic Learning Requirements for Health and Fitness (2003) sets requirements for physical education for grades for grades 5, 8 and high school. RCW 28A.210.360 (2004) requires each district board of directors to adopt a policy on access to nutritious foods and developmentally appropriate exercise by August 1, 2005, based on the model policy developed by the Washington state school directors association. This model policy includes physical education and fitness curriculum recommendations.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


Wisconsin

Last Updated: 3/26/2013

Mandate: Code PI 18.03 (1986)  and Statute 118.33(1)a(1) requires 1.5 credits in physical education to be completed over three years which incorporates instruction in the effects of exercise on the human body, health-related physical fitness, and lifetime physical activities to be granted a high school diploma.  Statute 121.02 (2001) and school district standards requires physical education at least three times per week for grades K-6, weekly for middle school, and three courses during high school in grades 9-12. 

Exemptions: Code 118.33 (2012) permits a school board to allow a pupil who participates in sports or in another organized physical activity, as determined by the school board, to complete an additional 0.5 credit in English, social studies, mathematics, science, or health education in lieu of 0.5 credit in physical education.

Curriculum Content: The Department of Public Instruction provides guidance for schools in their voluntary Phyiscal Education Standards (2010) and Physical Education Standards Checklist.  Schools are not required to use a specific curriculum program.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


West Virginia

Last Updated: 2/23/2013

Mandate: Code 18-2-7a (2005) requires students in elementary school to participate in at least 30 minutes of physical education at least three days a week, at least one full period of physical education in middle scohol, and at least one full course credit of physical education for students in high school, although the amount of instruction is not specified.

Physical education is also required for Pre-K-12 under State Board Policy 2510 (2008).

Exemptions: Code 18-2-7a (2005) allows the state to grant waivers to school districts regarding physical education time requirements.  The waiver allows districts to develop alternative programs if schools do not have the required number of certified physical education instructors or adequate physical setting to meet the state requirements.

Curriculum Content: State Board Policy 2520.6 (2003) provides content standards and objectives for physical education, but does not mandate any specific curriculum. State Board Policy 2520.55 created wellness content standards for grades pre-K through 4, combining health education and physical education content standards into one package that are to be delivered collaboratively by the physical education specialist and classroom teacher.

Physical Fitness Assessment: Code 18-2-7a requires the State Board to prescribe a program within the existing health and physical education program which incorporates fitness testing, reporting, recognition, and fitness events and incentive programs which requires the participation in grades 4-8 and the required high school course." Each school is also required to participate in National Physical Fitness and Sports Month in May of each year.


Wyoming

Last Updated: 8/30/2013

Mandate: Rule 5218, Chapter 31 (2003) requires all public school children in grades 1-8 to be proficient in physical education as mandated by the State Board in the Wyoming Physical Education Content and Performance Standards (2008). Proficiency in physical education is also required for graduation from high school.

Exemptions: None specified.

Curriculum Content: The Wyoming Physical Education Content and Performance Standards (2008) sets benchmarks for standards that students must master in the grade spans of K-4, 5-8, and 9-12. While a curriculum framework is provided, specific courses, materials, or instructional methodology are not mandated by the state.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.


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