A national leader on the effort, the Chicago Public Schools are demonstrating how a large urban school district, home to 660 schools serving more than 396,000 students, decided to dedicate itself to providing required physical education minutes to every student, every day from elementary school through high school. The fourth largest district in the country serves a diverse population of students including 85 percent low income and 12 percent English language learners.
Realizing their district was falling short of the Illinois state mandate to provide PE to every student every day, the Minds in Motion campaign was launched to help the district reach this goal. With the business and civic community firmly in support, the district school board passed a policy in January 2014 reiterating their commitment to physical education every day for every student.
Explaining its efforts on the issue, the district outlines the following reasons for taking the step to including PE every day for all students:
- Improved Brain Function: Physically active students scored higher in reading comprehension with just 20 minutes of physical activity.
- Improved Test Scores: Active students scored higher on standardized tests.
- Improved Behavior: Disciplinary action among students and suspensions decreased by 50-60% when PE is offered for 5 days per week.
- Improved Health: Regular physical activity led to better health, fewer diseases and improved mental health.
To learn more about their effort: