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Health and Physical Education

FREE Health and Physical Education Curriculum for Distance Learning is Here!

The San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) Curriculum and Instruction Department has created FREE curricula for distance learning.  Check out the SDCOE Distance Learning Units of Study or use this guide to find specific SDCOE Distance Learning: Guide for Health and Physical Education for specific links to health and physical education content.  Content is being added every day.  Continue to check back to see what is new.  Please contact Paige Metz at if you have any questions.

Advocacy Resources Are Now Available!Physical Education CA Advocacy

Help administrators, fellow teachers, and parents understand the requirements and benefits of including physical education in reopening plans.  The following tools are designed to help make informed decisions that keep students’ physical, mental, and emotional health on the forefront!  Share these with others to ensure that students receive what they deserve!

SHAPE America Releases 2020-21 School Reentry Considerations: K-12 Physical Education, Health Education, and Physical Education

  • Click here to view the link to the webpage that features SHAPE America’s guidance doc. Note: Scroll to the bottom of the page to download the PDF.
  • Use this document to better understand what 2020-21 might look like and to guide your conversations with your administrators
  • California specific documents should be released soon!

Don’t Miss Weekly San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) Health and Physical Education Hangouts, Wednesdays from 9 to 10 a.m.

Every Wednesday, SDCOE is hosting a weekly hangout for health and physical educators.  Join us as we discuss:

  • Critical information related to health and physical education
  • Resources available to support distance learning and quality instruction
  • Sharing of best practices
  • Opportunity to ask questions and connect with other health and physical educators
  • Join us this Wednesday, July 29 from 9 – 10 am using this Zoom Link.
  • As of August 5, SDCOE Health and Physical Education Hangouts will be held every Wednesday from 3 – 4 pm.  Use this New Zoom Link (good from Aug. 5 – Sept. 30).

Curriculum Resources

A number of organizations are in the process of writing curricula to support distance learning for the 2020-21 school year that is designed to increase rigor and student learning.  Below is a link to preliminary resources.

  • SDCOE Distance Learning Units of Study:  SDCOE has released DRAFTS of the first few Units of Study.  Featured units will be edited/updated in August.  Additional units are in production.  Units are designed so that teachers can “cut and paste” content into any learning management system (Canvas, Google Classroom, etc).  Check back regularly as content is constantly being added.  Units of Study include:
    • K-5 Integrated Units:  Features health and physical education sub-modules that are integrated with other content areas.  Grade level physical education (fitness and skill) addendum units are in production and will be posted soon!
    • 6-8 Thematic Units Featuring the 4 Cs:  Initial drafts of units focused on Communication are posted for grades 6, 7 and 8.  Look for upcoming units on Creativity, Critical Thinking and Collaboration.
    • 9-12 Thematic Units by Course:  Still in production.  Check back soon!
  • is actively writing/updating resources to support distance learning including curriculum and professional learning.  Keep checking back as resources are added regularly.

Additional curricula will be released in August.  Curriculum resources will be posted on the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Webpage as they are available.

California Department of Education (CDE) Releases New Guidance re: Implication for Newsom’s Executive Order

The (CDE) recently posted additional guidance re: Executive Order N-56-20 on the CDE Physical Education FAQs page.  There two critical pieces of guidance include:

  • If an local educational agency (LEA) was not able to administer or complete the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) to 9th grade students prior to school closure, pupils are not eligible for a physical education exemption in the 2020-21 school year.  Only 9th grade students who have completed the PFT and have satisfactorily passed 5 of 6 FITNESSGRAM assessments shall be eligible for a 2 year exemption.
  • Although the minute requirements for physical education have been waived during school closures, physical education requirements have not changed.  LEAs are still required to provide instruction and should provide distance learning options to students.

Visit the CDE Physical Education FAQs page for complete language.  Please contact Paige Metz at if you have questions or would like further clarification.

Understanding Governor Newsom’s Executive Order

On April 22, 2020, the Governor issued an Executive Order N-56-20 waiving the requirements specified in Education Code sections 51210(a)(7), 51220(d), and 51222, related to the minimum required instructional minutes in physical education for grades 1-12 and certain requirements specified in Education Code section 51241(b)(2), related to providing adequate facilities for physical education courses. It is important to remember that this Order of the Governor applies only during the period of time the COVID-19 State of Emergency exists.  

This Order does not eliminate, nor does it change the requirement for all students in grades 1-12 to receive Physical Education instruction. All elementary and secondary Physical Education teachers, special education and elementary classroom teachers required to provide Physical Education instruction should follow the guidance of their local school district on providing quality remote teaching using evidence-based distance learning strategies, effective tools, and appropriate resources that will meet the cognitive, physical, emotional and social learning needs of all students.  

Students’ need, and are entitled to Physical Education. Physical Education, including physical activity, positively influences students’ mental health, physical well-being, and overall wellness. It is critical that school districts, schools and teachers continue to design, plan, and deliver quality Physical Education instruction via remote teaching and distance learning.  It is also important to recognize the many social, emotional learning benefits students receive by participating in Physical Education, including physical activity, and its impact on academic achievement.

The following documents may be used to provide guidance re: the Governor’s Executive Order:

The Role of Health and Physical Educators in COVID-19 

For most of us, life looks vastly different than it did just a few weeks ago. So, what does this mean for health and physical educators? It means that students and families need us now more than ever!

While some of our students may be thriving with the stay at home order, we also know that many of our students need support with:

  • Identifying physical activity options that they can pursue and that interest them
  • Making healthy decisions
  • Achieving mental and social wellness

As districts and sites switch from enrichment activities to structured distance learning, it is critical that health and physical educators are included in the ongoing learning that takes place. Never before has it been quite this important to focus on students’ physical, emotional, and mental well-being. Now is the time for us to step up!

As teachers design distance learning, you are encouraged to consider:

  • Identifying specific needs of the students you work with
  • Making learning accessible by all students
  • Communicating with parents so they are in the loop and can support your efforts
  • Addressing the social and emotional needs of your kids
  • Identifying activities, lessons, and assignments that are fun and relevant

San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) is committed to supporting your efforts with this work in the following ways:

Thank you for all you continue to do for your families, students and communities. Your efforts truly make a difference. Take care of yourselves and stay healthy!

Health and Physical Education Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)


SDCOE will release opportunities to apply for Mini-Grants for districts/sites to update health education programming and implement the California Health Education Framework.  Contact Paige Metz at for more information.

Contact Paige Metz for more information.

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Visit Fit 2 Learn, Fit 4 Life website to access resources for standards-based, Common Core aligned, high activity Physical Education. 

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