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April 1, 2024

New National Standards = Big Changes 

The Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America released new national standards for both health and physical education last month. While the complete standards documents will not be published until August, SHAPE has released two kits that document the evolution of the standards, describe major changes from previous standards and identify grade-span outcomes.

SHAPE’s National Physical Education Standards Educator Kit describes four notable changes to the new National Physical Education Standards.

  • A more student-centered approach to the standards: Students are given more choice/autonomy to explore a variety of physical activities and reflect on their experiences so that learning is more meaningful. 
  • The expansion of the term physical literacy to physical literacy journey: Using the term “physical literacy journey” implies a more holistic approach that reflects each student’s developmental journey in physical education and beyond.
  • The shift from grade-level outcomes to grade-span learning indicators, which include learning progressions: Motor skill development is not dependent on age. The grade-span indicators are written to encompass multiple grade levels and stages of development.
  • The change from five to four standards: New standards are written and organized by the learning domains (psychomotor, cognitive affective and social). Health-related fitness is now embedded within the standards throughout the grade span learning indicators.

The National Health Education Standards Educator Kit focuses on preparing students with the skills and functional health information they need while encouraging the following shifts:

  • Illustrating a greater focus on mental health along with personal health
  • Focus not only on individual health but also on supporting the health and well-being of others 
  • Flexibility to focus on influences that are most meaningful
  • Introducing new concepts such as strengths and assets, health literacy, managing chronic conditions, boundaries and consent, misinformation and disinformation, equity, and communicating with others with different perspectives and values

As you examine and discuss the new national standards with colleagues, please keep in mind that most districts/charter schools have adopted the Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools, and may not have adopted the national standards. As well, the national standards do not address California Education Code requirements. It is important that we pay attention to the trends featured in the new national standards and that we apply aspects that make students’ learning more accessible, meaningful and impactful while still meeting California requirements.

More information, including the final standards documents (books) and professional learning, will be released in the upcoming months. In the meantime, I encourage you to take a look at the educator kits and engage in conversations that will cultivate the mindsets and willingness to use the new standards to rethink our practice.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to support you, your site, or district. Happy April!

Health and Physical Education Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
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Reference Guide cover - people working out

Share the New Reference Guide for Physical Education in California Schools! 

Help administrators and colleagues better understand physical education by sharing and discussing the new Reference Guide for Physical Education in California Schools. Written by physical education leaders from throughout California, this resource:

  • Describes the intended outcome(s) of physical education
  • Clarifies California Education Code and regulations for physical education
  • Addresses common issues, questions, and misunderstandings
  • Encourages educators to assess and rethink physical education traditions
  • Guides course design, as well as curriculum and instructional practices
  • Provides access to resources

Rollout presentations will be offered this spring. Look for details and links to register in upcoming SDCOE Health and Physical Education Monthly Updates.

SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre Announces Spring Socials and Awards

All San Diego County health and physical educators are invited to connect with colleagues while enjoying good food and drink at the following events:

  • San Diego Health and Physical Education Social: April 18 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Nova Brazil Brew Pub in Mission Valley (1640 Camino Del Rio North, #341, San Diego)
  • San Diego CAHPERD Awards and Social: May 16 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. (location TBD). Please RSVP to receive updated event information.

Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Nominate Colleagues for 2024 CAHPERD Awards

Nominations and applications are now being accepted for the 2024 San Diego CAHPERD Awards. Don’t miss the opportunity to nominate deserving participants for the following awards:

  • ​​Program of the Year (Elementary and Secondary)
  • Teacher of the Year (Elementary and Secondary)
  • New Professional of the Year
  • Adapted Teacher of the Year
  • Administrator of the Year
  • Community Partner of the Year
  • Outstanding Service to the Profession
  • Retirees 

Please complete the 2024 San Diego CAHPERD Award application/nomination form by April 15. Awards will be presented at the San Diego CAHPERD Year Awards and Social on May 16. Contact Austin Olson, Terri Clark or Paige Metz for more information. 

SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre is Here to Support Your Efforts

Health and physical education leaders selected from throughout San Diego County, who have been trained in student-centered coaching and leadership, are available to provide support to teachers, sites, and districts. Customized support is available for all levels (elementary, middle, and high school) and in the following topics:

  • First best instruction
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Curricula selection, design, and curation
  • On-site coaching
  • Support and networking for aspiring, new, and veteran teachers
  • Professional learning

To learn more, and to schedule one of the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Cadre leaders to work with you, please contact Paige Metz at [email protected]

Picture of leadership cadre group

What You Need to Know About PFT For 2023-24

The California Department of Education (CDE) announced that Physical Fitness Testing (PFT) protocols for 2023-24 will be identical to those that were used in the 2022-23 school year including:

  • NOT collecting any data related to body composition (height, weight)
  • NOT collecting age or gender data
  • NOT using the Healthy Fitness Zones as defined by FITNESSGRAM
  • Providing students with their personal fitness assessment scores
  • Reporting the percentage of students who participate in each of the five required fitness assessments (aerobic capacity, abdominal strength and endurance, trunk extensor strength and flexibility, upper body strength and endurance, flexibility) in the School Accountability Report Card

Teachers are encouraged to:

  • Encourage students to “do their best” on each fitness assessment so that it is an accurate measurement of their current fitness
  • Utilize grade-level standards to determine how PFT scores are utilized for students to set and achieve personal health and fitness goals
  • Give students options to test, not in front of peers
  • Protect student privacy
  • Prioritize an emotionally safe environment to avoid bullying and/or body shaming

For more information, visit the CDE PFT webpage and CDE PFT frequently asked questions webpage.

At this time, it is still unclear how CDE will address the Report to the Legislature, Department of Finance and the State Board of Education: Physical Performance Test that was submitted to the State Board in March 2023. Stay tuned.

San Diego County Announces Revive and Survive Program

The County of San Diego, in collaboration with UC San Diego, has set a goal to train one million San Diegans in hand-only CPR by the end of 2024. The program, called Revive and Survive, will provide free training and can help secure training materials for schools. To learn more visit the Revive and Survive webpage, check out the Revive and Survive informational video or email [email protected]

SDCOE Releases Critical New Substance Abuse Video Series

SDCOE recently released a series of six videos, each 10-20 minutes in length, designed to provide comprehensive, straightforward insight into how substance misuse impacts individuals, families, schools, and communities. The I Choose My Future series is designed to educate middle and high school students about:

  • How the drug landscape has changed
  • The societal impacts of drug abuse
  • The science of addiction, teen brain development, and the impact drugs can have on teens
  • How to identify potentially harmful drugs
  • A closer look at vaping, marijuana, and nicotine 
  • The dangers of opioids and fentanyl

The I Choose My Future instruction guide provides educators suggestions for using the video resources and include discussion questions, sample activities, and more.

SHAPE America Releases New Technology Resource

The Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America recently released Appropriate Use of Technology in Physical Education to provide educators with information to support the use of technology to meaningfully engage students with content and achieve grade level standards.

Is Your Site One of America’s Healthiest Schools?

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation is accepting applications to recognize schools for advancing the health and well-being of students, families, and communities. Applications are due April 16. For more information, including resources to expand health and well-being programming and the link to apply, visit Healthier Generations America’s Healthiest Schools webpage.

Exemplary Site Visits Are Back

The SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre will be facilitating Exemplary Physical Education Site Visits in April. Visits will center around first best Instruction and will utilize new resources designed to identify and collect evidence of first best instruction in action. Time will be given to talk to teachers following each visit. Participants can choose to drive their own vehicle, or take advantage of SDCOE provided transportation. Click the link below for more information and to register for the following visits:

Two-Part Webinar: Facilitating Difficult Questions in the Sexual Health Classroom

On April 16 and 18 from 4 to 5:30 p.m., Elaine Nye (California Department of Public Health, STD Branch) and Sharla Smith (California Department of Education) will provide tips and tools for participants to navigate difficult sexuality-related questions in a classroom or group-setting. This two-part interactive training will provide a framework to classify different types of questions and a protocol for answering these questions. Participants will have the opportunity to ask facilitators how they would answer challenging questions they’ve encountered, and will gain comfort and confidence to answer any type of question that will be asked of them.

Click these links to register for Part 1 April 16 and/or Part 2 April 18.

Register Now for the Spring 2024 SDCOE Health and Physical Education Advisory Meeting

Administrators and teacher leaders are invited to represent their district, or site at the Spring 2024 SDCOE Health and Physical Education Advisory Meeting from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. May 1. Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Discuss national, state, and local updates, initiatives, resources, and trends
  • Identify strategies to utilize the Reference Guide for Physical Education in California Schools to update physical education programming
  • Use first best instruction documents for elementary physical education, secondary physical education, and health education to influence instructional practice
  • Review the Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America National Standards for both health and physical education
  • Learn more about support available from the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Cadre to influence induction programs, curriculum development, instructional practice, and more
  • Provide input to SDCOE for 2024-25 programming
  • Network with other health and physical education leaders 

Click the link above to learn more and register.

Suicide Risk Screening In Schools Training Available 

Don’t miss this free opportunity to learn about best practices in school-based screening for suicide risk and learn how to respond effectively to keep students safe. Click on the Suicide Risk Screening in Schools flyer for more information, and to register for trainings on April 16. 

View all SDCOE events

Resource Defines Required Health Education Content, Resources, and Model Policy

The Health Education Checklist/Planning Tool defines California Education Code and mandates associated with health education instruction. It also features resources including links to Education Code, case studies, model policy, and more. This is a great tool to make sure your site/district is in compliance with the law, identify gaps/opportunities and implement meaningful programming to influence students’ health literacy. Additional tools and resources can be found on the California Health Education website.

SHAPE America Releases New Technology Resource

The Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America recently released Appropriate Use of Technology in Physical Education to provide educators with information to support the use of technology to meaningfully engage students with content and achieve grade level standards.

Critical Resources for Health Education

Critical Resources for Physical Education

Critical Resources for Quality Instruction

If you have any questions or comments about Health and Physical Education Monthly Update, please contact Paige Metz.
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