Survey Results Reveal Back to School Readiness and Concerns of Nation’s Health and Physical Education Teachers


RESTON, VA, September 1, 2020—SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators recently compiled the results of a nationwide survey which captured the state of mind of health and physical education (HPE) teachers as they faced school reentry in the 2020-2021 academic year. Results indicate that for these educators, the impact of COVID-19 cannot be overstated.

of teachers indicated they are looking to SHAPE America to lead the way on best practices and guidance for HPE in schools.

More than 2,000 K-12 health and physical education teachers responded to the survey, which was conducted in May as the 2019-2020 school year ended. The survey results helped inform SHAPE America’s 2020-2021 School Reentry Considerations for K-12 Physical Education, Health Education, and Physical Activity.

Back to School Readiness

Not surprisingly, health and physical educators were feeling unprepared at the end of the 2019-2020 school year, with 82% of teachers reporting they had been given no information about what to expect in the fall.

When asked to speculate about the most likely setting for teaching and learning in their school, 67% of teachers indicated that they were anticipating a hybrid model — one that would include a combination of distance and in-person learning.

Professional Development Needs

The survey revealed that this is a stressful time for HPE teachers, with budget cuts and the potential for job loss being significant concerns for many. Even as they struggled with uncertainty, HPE teachers were eager to deliver positive experiences for their students.

When asked to indicate their need for professional development, over 60% indicated that “best practices for teaching HPE with social distancing” and “effective low- or no- touch activities” were “extremely important.” 80% of teachers indicated they are looking to SHAPE America to lead the way on best practices and guidance for HPE in schools over the next 12 months.


Given the significant impact of this pandemic on students’ physical, mental and social-emotional health, it’s vital to prioritize students’ health and well-being as schools begin the new academic year.
-- Stephanie Morris, SHAPE America CEO 


School Reentry Resources

SHAPE America has a variety of reentry resources available for health and physical educators, including:

As health and physical education teachers prepare to teach using new models of instruction, they are also developing teaching strategies related to equity, inclusion and accessibility; social and emotional learning (SEL); and trauma-sensitive learning.

In support of these efforts, SHAPE America began a one-year project in August — funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — to help health and physical educators navigate new models of learning during COVID-19.

Project Director Sean Nevills will lead efforts to create resources and professional development around the topics of culturally responsive teaching in health and PE, teacher self-care, trauma-informed practice, distance learning, and teaching in person with physical distancing.

Professional development will include:

  • Leadership workshop on culturally responsive teaching in HPE
  • Webinar series on culturally responsive teaching in HPE
  • Webinar series on teacher self-care
  • Webinar series on trauma-informed practices in HPE

New resources will include:

  • Lessons and videos of HPE activities with a focus on providing equitable resources (for in-person instruction with physical distancing and distance learning)
  • Lessons and videos of trauma-informed HPE activities and lessons (for in-person instruction with physical distancing and distance learning)
  • Instructional resources with a focus on SEL (for in-person instruction with physical distancing, distance learning, and hybrid learning)
  • Trauma-informed resources for HPE instruction
  • Culturally responsive resources for HPE instruction
These resources will be available at no cost on the SHAPE America website.

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Press Information

Contact SHAPE America at:
(800) 213-7193