SHAPE America has defined the essential components of physical education.
Policy and environment — one of the four essential components of physical education — can ensure that state requirements are implemented throughout school districts and schools at all grade levels, for all students.
Well-defined policy helps create an environment of valuing physical education as a core subject. Such policy requires full inclusion of all students in daily physical education in grades K-12, with instruction periods totaling 150 minutes per week in elementary school and 225 minutes per week in middle school and high school.
Such policy does not allow waivers or exemptions from physical education class time or credit requirements, and does not allow students to substitute other activities (e.g., ROTC, interscholastic sports) for physical education class time or credit requirements.
In addition, the policy requires that physical education is taught by a state-licensed or state-certified teacher who is endorsed to teach physical education, and that class size is consistent with that of other subject areas and aligns with school district and school teacher/student ratio policy.
Finally, strong policy includes accountability measures and ensures that physical activity is not assigned or withheld as punishment.
Policy and Environment Resources