• SHAPE America (Society for Health And Physical Education) believes that every student in our nation's schools, from kindergarten through grade 12, should have the opportunity to participate in quality physical education. It is the unique role of quality physical education programs to develop the health-related fitness, physical competence, and cognitive understanding about physical activity for all students so that they can adopt healthy and physically active lifestyles. Today's quality physical education programs are important because they provide learning experiences that meet the developmental needs of youngsters which help improve a child's mental alertness, academic performance, readiness to learn and enthusiasm for learning.

    According to SHAPE America guidelines, a high-quality physical education program includes the following components: opportunity to learn, meaningful content and appropriate instruction. Each of these areas is outlined in detail in SHAPE America's quality physical education (QPE) documents which range from the National Standards for Physical Education to Appropriate Practice Documents, Opportunity to Learn Documents and the Assessment Series. Books can be ordered online at shapeamerica.org


    • Instructional periods totaling 150 minutes per week (elementary) and 225 minutes per week (middle and secondary school)
    • Qualified physical education specialist providing a developmentally appropriate program
    • Adequate equipment and facilities



    • Instruction in a variety of motor skills that are designed to enhance the physical, mental, and social/emotional development of every child
    • Fitness education and assessment to help children understand, improve and/or maintain their physical well-being
    • Development of cognitive concepts about motor skill and fitness
    • Opportunities to improve their emerging social and cooperative skills and gain a multi-cultural perspective
    • Promotion of regular amounts of appropriate physical activity now and throughout life



    • Full inclusion of all students
    • Maximum practice opportunities for class activities
    • Well-designed lessons that facilitate student learning
    • Out of school assignments that support learning and practice
    • No physical activity for punishment
    • Uses regular assessment to monitor and reinforce student learning

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