Physical Education & Physical Activity

What is it?
Schools can create an environment that offers many opportunities for students to be physically active throughout the school day. A comprehensive school physical activity program (CSPAP) is the national framework for physical education and youth physical activity. A CSPAP reflects strong coordination across five components: physical education, physical activity during school, physical activity before and after school, staff involvement, and family and community engagement. Physical education serves as the foundation of a CSPAP and is an academic subject characterized by a planned, sequential K-12 curriculum (course of study) that is based on the national standards for physical education. Physical education provides cognitive content and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for healthy active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy, and emotional intelligence. A well-designed physical education program provides the opportunity for students to learn key concepts and practice critical skills needed to establish and maintain physically active lifestyles throughout childhood, adolescence and into adulthood. Teachers should be certified or licensed, and endorsed by the state to teach physical education.

Ideas for Your PTA

  • Help your PE teachers! Ask what equipment they need to have their best program.
  • Fund classroom-based physical activity options: exercise balls as chairs, standing desks, desk pedals, and more!
  • Advocate for and support safe and active routes to schools. Conduct a bike and walkability assessment.
  • Supply classroom teachers with recess kits.
  • Advocate for recess and PE time to be protected. Ask if kids can have more time!
  • Consider expanding your learning environments to outdoor classrooms and gardens. Explore how you can improve your playground or create space to walk and run.
  • Give your teachers the gift of professional development! Work with your administrators to support continuing education around energizers or other brain breaks.
Mother on porch waves to child heading off to school



Do you have other ideas to share? Email us at [email protected]!

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