School Reentry Considerations

Hybrid Learning for Physical Education and Health Education

In the hybrid learning model, students attend school in person on a staggered schedule. For example, some students attend school in the mornings while others attend in the afternoons, or attendance is staggered by days of the week. When not attending school in person, students participate in distance learning.

When developing their curricular units, assessments, and learning activities, health and physical education teachers following the hybrid model should use the strategies and considerations listed above for in-school instruction with physical distance learning. Any considerations listed above for the in-person with physical distancing and distance learning models of student learning should also be applied in the hybrid learning model.

Here are additional considerations for health and physical education teachers that are specific to the hybrid learning model:

  • Consider assigning tasks for at-home completion and then have students apply the knowledge gained in the school setting (i.e., have students practice a skill at home and then apply it during a class activity).
  • In school, have students participate in individual physical activities (e.g., dance, yoga, track and field, fitness stations) that comply with physical distancing guidelines and require little or no equipment. When students are at home, have them focus on activities for motor skill development (e.g., underhand throwing, self-toss and catch, catching with a parent or sibling).
  • Consider a flipped classroom approach where students first learn about a topic at home and then come prepared to learn more about it in class (e.g., students watch a video about The Haka at home, then in school the teacher answers questions and teaches in more depth).
  • Consider switching from providing direct instruction to more of a student-directed instruction approach (e.g., project-based learning or flipped classroom).
  • Provide synchronous learning opportunities (distance learning that happens in real time) as much as possible, but record lessons to provide to students who may not have access in real time.
  • Allow for optimal student choice and provide opportunities for students to engage with teachers directly and often. This will be crucial to keep students motivated. Additionally, students are more interested in seeing videos created by their own teachers than shared videos created by other teachers.

The School Reentry Considerations: K-12 Physical Education In-School Instruction With Physical Distancing Supplement, the School Reentry Considerations: K-12 Physical Education Distance Learning Supplement, and the instructional strategies outlined earlier in this document for health education provide examples of specific learning activities that can be utilized by health and physical educators. Educators can use strategies, guidance, and activity examples from both the in-school instruction with physical distancing section and the distance learning section for hybrid instruction.

Although returning to school will present many challenges for communities, educators, families and students, health and physical education provides a vital opportunity for students to gain the knowledge and skills to be physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy.

Suggested citation: SHAPE America. (2020). School reentry considerations: K-12 physical education, health education, and physical activity. Reston, VA: Author.

The recommendations and strategies provided herein are obtained based on guidance for schools provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and national recommendations for physical education, health education, recess, and classroom-based physical activity. The COVID-19 outbreak is an ongoing, rapidly developing situation. Educators are encouraged to monitor publicly available information and to always follow federal, state and local health organization guidance and government mandates. This information may vary and will be updated as necessary.