Physical education and health are required of all students in grades 6-10. Physical education can be taken as an elective class in grades 9 and 10 (Personal Fitness I/II) after completion of Grade 9 Physical Education/Health I /Health, PE & Grade 10 Driver Education II 11-12. Advance Physical Education is an elective class in grades 11-12. The middle and high school program allows for 35% – 40% instructional time for health education. Physical fitness and skills for individual and team sports skills are taught to promote and to improve physiological growth and development as well as to encourage participation in fitness activities that are the keys to a healthier, happier, and more productive life. As a result of physical education instruction, the student will be able to:
• Acquire, apply, and evaluate movement concepts and strategies to respond confidently, competently, and creatively in a variety of physical activity settings.
• Access, evaluate, and synthesize health-related information to protect, enhance, and advocate for health, well-being, safety, and participation in physical activity across a lifespan.
• Enjoy and engage in regular movement-based learning experiences and understand and appreciate their significance to personal, social, cultural, and environmental health practices and outcomes.
The content of the Standards of Learning for physical education is organized around the following five essential strands of health and physical development and application:
1. Motor Skill Development – Demonstrate competence in motor skills and movement patterns needed to perform a variety of physical activities. As motor patterns become more refined and proficient throughout the middle years, they can be transitioned into specialized skills and patterns and used in more complex learning settings. High school students will demonstrate a level of competence in several physical activities that they are likely to continue beyond graduation.
2. Anatomical Basis of Movement – Apply knowledge of the structures and functions of the body and how they relate to and are affected by human movement to learning and developing motor skills and specialized movement forms. Middle school students learn and apply more complex concepts of human movement. High school students develop a working knowledge of human anatomy and physiology concepts and principles, enabling them to independently apply concepts in order to acquire new skills or enhance existing skills.
3. Fitness Planning – Achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of personal fitness. Recommended criterion-referenced wellness testing (grade 6-12) includes Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER), cadence push-ups, cadence curl-ups, back-saver sit and reach, and trunk lift. Middle school students continue to learn about the components of fitness: how they are developed and improved, how they interrelate, and how they contribute to overall fitness to develop and implement a personal fitness plan. High school students plan, implement, evaluate, and modify a personal, goal-driven fitness plan that enables them to achieve and maintain the level of fitness needed to meet their personal goals for various work-related, sport, and leisure activities.
4. Social Development – Demonstrate the aptitude, attitude, and skills to lead responsible, fulfilling, and respectful lives. Middle school students participate cooperatively with others and understand reasons for rules and procedures. High school students initiate and exhibit responsible behaviors and positively impact the behaviors of others in physical activity settings inside and outside of school.
5. Energy Balance – Explain the importance of energy balance and nutritional needs of the body to maintain optimal health and prevent chronic disease. The middle school student will extend learning of energy balance, to include nutrition, fitness concepts, physical activity, health-related components of fitness, nutrition guidelines, meal planning, screen time, and sleep and will explain the connection to personal health and fitness. The high school student will explain the importance of energy balance and nutritional needs of the body to maintain optimal health and prevent chronic disease for the present and into the adult years.
Physical education is one of the most brain compatible disciplines in schools today. For more than fifty years, pioneers in behavioral optometry and sensorimotor training have provided statistical research showing the positive link between health and exercise in relation to student learning and achievement.
Instruction in Grade 9 health also includes hands on CPR, AED and basic first aid and Family Life Education. Classroom instruction in driver education is taught to all students as part of the tenth-grade health and physical education course.