Mandating physical education in schools

Arkansas has not formally adopted state standards for physical education; however, the state does require schools to follow the K-8 Physical Education and Health Curriculum Framework and Physical Education and Curriculum Framework for Grades 9-12 (2005).The Department of Education requires students to participate in a “national recognized health-fitness assessment for the purpose of setting age-appropriate personal goals” along with improvement in various physical areas.Guidance for the Development of California School Wellness Policies (2005), developed in a collaborative effort between the Department of Education and other organizations, provides districts with suggestions and concrete recommendations for meeting Section 204 requirements (Project LEAN and Healthy Children Ready to Learn).House Bill 11-1069 (2011) requires each school district board of education to adopt a policy that incorporates a minimum number of minutes of physical activity each month, or each day if the school meets less than 5 days per week, into each elementary school student’s schedule.Administrative Code 290-2-3 (1997) requires schools to purchase from the list of Health and Physical Education Textbooks Adopted by the Alabama State Board of Education unless another textbook is recommended by the local textbook committee, recommended by the local superintendent, and adopted by the local board of education.The Alabama Department of Education requires a yearly student physical fitness assessment for all students in grades K-12 in physical education.California Code of Regulations Title 5, Division 1, Chapter 10, Subchapter 1, Article 3.1, 10060, requires each high school student to be evaluated on his or her progress in each of the following content areas: the effect of physical activity on dynamic health, mechanics of body movement, aquatics, gymnastics and tumbling, individual and dual sports, rhythms and dance, team sports, and combatives.Education Code 51210.2 (2002) encourages each school district to employ a credentialed physical education teacher within any elementary school and to provide each teacher instruction in physical education with yearly theoretical practical training in developmental physical education.

Education Code 51241 (2007) permits a school district to exempt a student if the pupil is ill or injured and a modified program to meet the needs of the pupil cannot be provided or enrolled for one-half, or less, of the work normally required of full-time pupils.

The Special Subject Area Endorsement (2008) requires a valid elementary, secondary, or special education certificate, 30 hours of courses to include one course in the methods of teaching physical education at the elementary level, one course for the secondary level, and either 24 semester hours of courses in physical education, content areas, a master’s degree in physical education, or a comparable certificate from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Arizona Revised Statute 15-705 (no date available) requires each governing board to adopt policies and procedures including minimum statewide requirements regarding participation in extracurricular activities for pupils in grades 6-12.

The Rules Governing Nutrition and Physical Activity Standards allow local districts to require physical education or activity in excess of these requirements.

Arkansas Public Schools (2009) details the course requirements for students: in grades K-8 all students must receive instruction in physical education (the amount is not specified).

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