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Model PE Policy

Colorado Model
Physical Education Policy

Statement of Philosophy

Colorado public schools value a well-rounded approach to education that includes physical education as part of a rich academic experience. All public school students in Colorado should receive regular physical education with very limited exceptions. The state has adopted robust standards for health and physical education and the most effective way for schools to meet those standards is by providing regular, structured physical education classes, taught by skilled professionals, to all students including those with disabilities.


Model Policy

Physical Education Instruction: 

All schools shall provide every elementary, middle and high school student with high quality physical instruction provided by a qualified instructor.  Such instruction shall be:

  1. Required for 30 minutes daily or, at a minimum, 150 minutes per week for all students in preschool through 5th grade
  2. Required for 45 minutes daily or, at a minimum, 225 minutes per week for all students in 6th through 12th grade
  3. Class size for physical education should be comparable to class size for other academic subjects
  4. Instruction shall include moderate to vigorous physical activity for at least one half of physical education class time
  5. Recess minutes may not be substituted for physical education time
  6. Physical activity breaks may not be substituted for physical education time
  7. Physical activity during physical education courses may be included when calculating physical activity in order to meet the requirements of HB 11-1069
  8. Students will not be removed from physical education for academic reasons
  9. Students will not have physical activity opportunities removed as a form of punishment

Physical Education Instructors

  1. All physical education instructors shall hold an educator license with a physical education endorsement except in cases such as charter schools and innovation schools where no license is required
  2. Physical education instructors shall be adequately prepared and shall participate at least once per year, for a minimum of fifteen hours, in professional development programs that address appropriate practices in physical education including emerging technologies, model programs, and improved teaching methods.

Physical Education Curriculum

Physical education courses shall use a standards-based curriculum that meets the Colorado Physical Education Standards.  These standards describe what all students should know and be able to do at each grade level.

Students with Special Needs

In accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEA) All Students will receive equal quality physical education.

Physical Education Assessment

All students shall be regularly assessed for attainment of physical education learning objectives. All physical education courses shall include formative and summative assessments.  Such assessments should be aligned with state/national physical education standards and the written physical education curriculum and should include transparent grading criteria.

Limited Duration Excused Absences

Only in very rare circumstances should students be exempt from physical education requirements. Students may be excused from participation in physical activities that may be part of physical education classes if they have an injury or medical condition that prevents such participation.  Modified physical activities shall be provided for students whose physical or emotional condition prevents participation in regular class activities for a limited duration of time.

Students may also be excused from participation for a limited duration of time if a parent or guardian presents an authorized excuse such as religious observances or prohibitions.

Physical Education Facilities and Schedules

All schools shall provide safe, clean and well-maintained indoor and outdoor spaces for physical education.  Physical education shall be prioritized when scheduling these spaces.  Schools shall also provide appropriate equipment and facilities to support physical education classes.

District Oversight

Each school shall prepare a three-year physical education action plan that includes student schedules, physical education curriculum, physical education assessments and physical education teacher qualifications, assessment rubrics and professional development plan and submit the plan to the district for review.  If the district determines that the plan does not meet the requirements of this policy, then the school will be required to revise and re-submit the plan until such requirements are satisfied.

The district commits to providing schools with:

  1. A district K-12 standards-based physical education curriculum document
  2. A list of approved instructional resources and a process for approval of new/innovative instructional resources
  3. Samples of approved formative and summative assessments and a process for approval of new assessments
  4. Sample physical education instructor assessment rubrics
  5. Criteria to be used for the “growth” measure of instruct assessments
  6. Lists of appropriate professional development for physical education instructors
  7. A district appropriate practices document that physical education instructors incorporate into their classes.