Press Release


SHAPE America Releases a New Parent’s Guide for Physical Education 

RESTON, VA, September 25, 2017 — In recognition of the first ever "Take Your Parent to PE Week," September 25-29, SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators has released a new parent's guide called Getting to Know Your Child's PE Program. "Take Your Parent to PE Week" is sponsored by Active Schools.

According to Charlene Burgeson, executive director of Active Schools, "The purpose of 'Take Your Parent to PE Week,' #ParentsLovePE, is to introduce physical education programs and teachers to parents so they engage throughout the year. What better way is there for parents to learn about physical education than by seeing it for themselves?"

Sharing that belief, SHAPE America encourages parents to familiarize themselves with their child's physical education program. To do that, the organization has created a guide which helps parents determine if their child's PE program helps them attain the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for leading healthy and active lives. 

Among the 12 questions SHAPE America suggests parents get answers to from administrators and physical education staff are the following:  

  • Is PE taught by a certified teacher with a degree in physical education?

  • Do students receive formal instruction in PE that meets one or both of the following guidelines?
a. A minimum of 150 minutes per week (for elementary school students) and 225 minutes per week (for middle school and high school students)

b. At least three class periods per week across the entire school year for all grades
  • Is the physical education class size similar to that of other content areas, to ensure safe, effective instruction?

  • Do administrators conduct regular observations and evaluations of the PE program and teacher performance?  

"It is important to ask these questions to ascertain whether the school values physical education as a core subject," says SHAPE America President Fran Cleland of West Chester University. "Parents have a strong voice in ensuring that educators are being supported in their efforts to provide students with the learning experiences they need to make healthy decisions. We want every child to succeed."

Approximately 50 million students are currently enrolled in America's elementary and secondary schools (grades pre–K to 12). SHAPE America wants to ensure that by the time today's youngest students graduate from high school in 2029, all of America's young people are prepared to lead healthy and active lives through effective health and physical education programs. We call this commitment 50 Million Strong by 2029.

Health and physical education (HPE) classes teach lifelong healthy habits that will help children grow up into healthier adults with less risk for chronic disease and diabetes. To learn more about what parents can do to play a vital role in making sure there is adequate support for health and physical education programs in schools, visit SHAPE America's website.


About Active Schools:
Active Schools is a national movement to help schools provide at least 60 minutes a day of physical education (PE) and before, during and after school physical activity for all students, is sponsoring the first-ever “Take Your Parent to PE Week” from September 25-29, 2017. Visit to learn more.

About SHAPE America
SHAPE America - Society of Health and Physical Educators is committed to ensuring all children have the opportunity to lead healthy, physically active lives. As the nation's largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals, SHAPE America works with its 50 state affiliates and national partners to support initiatives such as the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, Let's Move! Active Schools and the Jump Rope For Heart/Hoops For Heart programs.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education, and our resources provide the leadership, professional development and advocacy that support health and physical educators at every level - from preschool to university graduate programs. For more information, visit

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