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Santa Clara USD |  BP  6142.7  Instruction

Physical Education And Activity   

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The Governing Board recognizes the positive benefits of physical activity on student health and academic achievement. The district shall provide all students the opportunity to be physically active on a regular basis through high-quality physical education instruction and may provide additional opportunities for physical activity throughout the school day. The district's physical education and activity programs shall support the district's coordinated student wellness program and encourage students' lifelong fitness.

(cf. 5030 - Student Wellness)

(cf. 6142.8 - Comprehensive Health Education)

The district's physical education program shall provide a developmentally appropriate sequence of instruction aligned with the state's model content standards and curriculum framework.

(cf. 6011 - Academic Standards)

(cf. 6143 - Courses of Study)

For grades 9-12, the overall course of study shall include the effects of physical activity upon dynamic health, the mechanics of body movement, aquatics, gymnastics and tumbling, individual and dual sports, rhythms and dance, team sports, and combatives. (Education Code 33352; 5 CCR 10060)

The Board shall approve the courses in grades 9-12 for which physical education credit may be granted.

(cf. 6146.1 - High School Graduation Requirements)

(cf. 6146.11 - Alternative Credits Toward Graduation)

The district's physical education program shall engage students in moderate to vigorous physical activity, as defined in the accompanying administrative regulation, for at least 50 percent of class or session time. The Superintendent or designee shall develop strategies to monitor the amount of moderate to vigorous physical activity that takes place in the physical education instructional program.

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the district's program provides students with equal opportunities for instruction and participation regardless of gender in accordance with law.

(cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

Students with disabilities shall be provided instruction in physical education in accordance with their individualized education program or Section 504 accommodation plan.

(cf. 6159 - Individualized Education Program)

(cf. 6164.6 - Identification and Education Under Section 504)

During air pollution episodes, extreme weather, or other inclement conditions, physical education staff shall make appropriate adjustments to the program or shall seek alternative indoor space to enable students to participate in active physical education.

(cf. 3514 - Environmental Safety)

(cf. 5141.7 - Sun Safety)

The Superintendent or designee shall develop strategies to supplement physical education instruction with additional opportunities for students to be physically active before, during, and after the school day.

(cf. 1330.1 - Joint Use Agreements)

(cf. 5142.2 - Safe Routes to School Program)

(cf. 5148 - Child Care and Development Program)

(cf. 5148.2 - Before/After School Programs)

(cf. 6145 - Extracurricular and Cocurricular Activities)


Physical education instruction shall be delivered by appropriately credentialed teachers who may be assisted by instructional aides, paraprofessionals, and/or volunteers.

(cf. 1240 - Volunteer Assistance)

(cf. 4112.2 - Certification)

(cf. 4112.21 - Interns)

(cf. 4113 - Assignment)

(cf. 4222 - Teacher Aides/Paraprofessionals)

The district shall provide physical education teachers with continuing professional development, including classroom management and instructional strategies designed to keep students engaged and active and to enhance the quality of physical education instruction and assessment.

(cf. 4131 - Staff Development)

(cf. 5121 - Grades/Evaluation of Student Achievement)

Physical Fitness Testing

The Superintendent or designee shall annually administer the physical fitness test designated by the State Board of Education (FITNESSGRAM) to students in grades 5, 7, and 9. (Education Code 60800; 5 CCR 1041)

Temporary Exemptions

The Superintendent or designee may grant a student a temporary exemption from physical education under either of the following conditions: (Education Code 51241)

1. The student is ill or injured and a modified program to meet his/her needs cannot be provided.

2. The student is enrolled for one-half time or less.

Permanent Exemptions

The Superintendent or designee may grant a student a permanent exemption from physical education under any of the following conditions: (Education Code 51241)

1. The student is age 16 years or older and has been enrolled in grade 10 for one or more academic years. However, such a student shall not be permitted to attend fewer total hours of courses and classes than he/she would have attended if enrolled in a physical education course.

2. The student is enrolled as a postgraduate student.

3. The student is enrolled in a juvenile home, ranch, camp, or forestry camp school with scheduled recreation and exercise.

Program Evaluation

The Superintendent or designee shall annually report to the Board each school's FITNESSGRAM results for each applicable grade level. He/she shall also report to the Board regarding the number of instructional minutes offered in physical education for each grade level, the number of two-year and permanent exemptions granted pursuant to Education Code 51241, and any other data agreed upon by the Board and the Superintendent or designee to evaluate program quality and the effectiveness of the district's program in meeting goals for physical activity.

(cf. 0500 - Accountability)

(cf. 6190 - Evaluation of the Instructional Program)

Legal Reference:


33126 School accountability report card

33350-33354 CDE responsibilities re: physical education

35256 School accountability report card

44250-44277 Credential types

49066 Grades; physical education class

51210 Course of study, grades 1-6

51220 Course of study, grades 7-12

51222 Physical education

51223 Physical education, elementary schools

51241 Temporary, two-year or permanent exemption from physical education

51242 Exemption from physical education for athletic program participants

52316 Excuse from attending physical education classes

60800 Physical performance test


1040-1048 Physical performance test

3051.5 Adapted physical education for individuals with exceptional needs

4600-4687 Uniform complaint procedures

10060 Criteria for high school physical education programs

80020 Additional assignment authorizations for specific credentials

80037 Designated subjects teaching credential; special teaching authorization in physical education

80046.1 Added authorization to teach adapted physical education


794 Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504


1758b Local wellness policy


53 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 230 (1970)


Doe v. Albany Unified School District (2010) 190 Cal.App.4th 668

Cal200 et al. v. San Francisco Unified School District et al. (2013), San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. CGC-13-534975

Cal200 et al. v. Oakland Unified School District et al. (San Francisco Superior Court, Case No. CPF-14-513959

Management Resources:


Districts at Risk from Lawsuits Regarding PE Instructional Minute Requirement, Legal Alert, May 2015

Monitoring for Success: A Guide for Assessing and Strengthening Student Wellness Policies, 2012

Student Wellness: A Healthy Food and Physical Activity Policy Resource Guide, rev. 2012

Active Bodies, Active Minds: Physical Activity and Academic Achievement, Fact Sheet, February 2010

Maximizing Opportunities for Physical Activity Through Joint Use of Facilities, Policy Brief, rev. February 2010

Maximizing Opportunities for Physical Activity During the School Day, Fact Sheet, November 2009

Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity in Physical Education to Improve Health and Academic Outcomes, Fact Sheet, November 2009


Physical Education and California Schools, Policy Brief, rev. October 2007


Physical Education Framework for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade 12, 2009

Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools: Kindergarten Through Grade 12, January 2005

Adapted Physical Education Guidelines for California Schools, 2003


School Health Index (SHI): Self-Assessment and Planning Guide 2014


The Administrator's Assignment Manual, 2007


2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, October 2008



California Department of Education, Physical Fitness Testing:

California Healthy Kids Resource Center:

California Project LEAN (Leaders Encouraging Activity and Nutrition):

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

Commission on Teacher Credentialing:

Educational Data System, California physical fitness:

Healthy People 2010:

National Association for Sport and Physical Education:

President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports:

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services:


adopted: April 24, 2014 Santa Clara, California

revised: January 26, 2017