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March 2, 2023

Child rock climbing

It’s Not Just About Inspiring Them Today, It’s About Empowering Them For Life

I once heard University of Michigan Football Coach Jim Harbough tell someone that he wouldn’t know the impact of his work/program until he could see who his players would become later in life as husbands, fathers, community members, and friends. 

The same is true of the students in your classes. You see them for a snapshot in time. What you do with them in that time has the opportunity to frame the mindsets, understanding, skills, and behaviors that will influence the choices they make throughout their lives. 

To achieve the level of health and physical literacy to empower students for life, you need to engage students with opportunities that are relevant, meaningful, and that connect to their lives beyond school. Oh… and they should also be fun! So I ask you:

  • How are you encouraging students to reflect on their learning and set goals for their health and fitness? How are they given the opportunity to personalize their experiences in class?
  • How are you encouraging students to find fun and engaging ways to utilize their skills and knowledge outside of class? 
  • What would students say about the impact of your class on their health (physical and mental) and fitness? Are students getting what they need to influence their health and physical literacy for life?

Take a few minutes to reflect on these questions, and give students the opportunity to voice their own responses. Use your reflections and student input to evolve your work to capitalize on the snapshot of time that you have with them. Providing them with authentic experiences that are focused on their personal needs, you are more likely to empower them to attain and maintain a healthy lifestyle!

Looking for an example? Katie Frietas, a physical educator from Canyon Crest Academy, arranged for her class to go rock climbing as part of their Outdoor Adventure unit. Outdoor Adventure is a great activity to meet the Ed Code requirement for high school students to receive instruction and assessment in Individual and Dual Sports while also connecting to local resources/opportunities and student interest.  

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

Health and Physical Education Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
Get the latest information on our website.

What You Need To Know About 2022-23 Physical Fitness Testing (PFT)

The California Department of Education (CDE) announced that PFT procedures and requirements for 2021-22 will remain in place for the 2022-23 school year, including:

  • PFT should only be administered during the testing window from Feb. 1 through May 31.
  • All students in grades 5, 7, and 9 will participate in physical fitness using the FITNESSGRAM assessments and their results should be recorded and used to inform students’ achievement of Physical Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools. 
  • There will be no submission of student-level data. Participation information will be collected and reported on the School Accountability Report Card.
  • Information related to calculating a student’s body mass index (height, weight, gender, birthday, etc.) should not be collected.
  • Healthy Fitness Zones should not be used.
  • Students with disabilities are to be given as much of the test as their condition will permit. 

Please see the PFT Update Slides from the February 2023 SDCOE Assessment Huddle or email Paige Metz for more information.

Please email Paige Metz if you have any questions.

Chargers Announce Next Round of Grant Funding

Looking for funding to make lasting change to your current programs, equipment and/or facilities? The Chargers Champions Grant opportunity is back, but your window to apply is closing soon. Don’t miss this opportunity to significantly impact the physical literacy of your students and athletes. Applications are due by March 6 at 11:59 p.m. Visit the Chargers Champions Grant Webpage for more information and to apply! 

Calling All Health and Physical Education Leaders

SDCOE is launching a Health and Physical Education Leadership cadre to inform health and physical education programming in San Diego County. SDCOE will identify, train, and support selected San Diego Health and Physical Education instructional leaders to:

  • Collaborate to update health and physical education programming 
  • Model “best practices” for instruction
  • Provide professional learning, consultation, coaching and/or technical assistance to teachers, sites, and districts
  • Support the implementation of curriculum and instruction strategically designed to develop all students’ health and physical literacy
  • Encourage opportunities for students to apply their learning to life outside and beyond school

SDCOE will contract with each cadre member’s district/site for $5,000 to pay for cadre member’s time beyond the contracted day (district hourly wage) and substitute expenses for members to participate in cadre activities Cadre members will be selected based on leadership experience/training, recognition as a model educator, experience facilitating professional learning, experience coaching/supporting other health and physical educators and ongoing commitment to increasing students’ health and/or physical literacy. For more information, check out the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre Announcement and complete the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre Application by April 1.

San Diego CAHPERD Announces Social

The annual California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) State Conference is just a week away. San Diego attendees are planning to get together Friday evening for a San Diego CAHPERD Social. Please fill out this Google Form to receive information re: time and place. 

San Diego CAHPERD Is Looking for a New Representative to State CAHPERD

It is a two-year commitment and is a great way to get involved, stay informed and meet incredible people. If you are interested in this leadership opportunity, please email Bailee Holt-Sandsmark at [email protected].

Hang out With Fellow Health and Physical Educators

Meet up with your health and physical education peers at the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Hangouts on the first Wednesday of every month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and receive the latest updates, resources, materials, and best practices in health and physical education. Use this Zoom Link to join each month. 

Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in Health and Physical Education

Guest facilitator a.t. Furuya from Transform Together will provide a three-day series to provide critical information and insight to health and physical educators to best support LGBTQ+ students. This online professional learning will provide instruction and take home material including:

  • Session 1 (March 13, 3:30 to 5 p.m.): Research, Terminology and Gender Identity
  • Session 2 (April 17, 3:30 to 5 p.m.): Policy and Curriculum
  • Session 3 (April 24, 3:30 to 5 p.m.): Case Studies and Best Practices

Click here for more information and to register.

Health Education Framework Series Empowers Teachers to Develop Students’ Health Literacy

The SDCOE Health Education Framework series, a combination of asynchronous and synchronous professional learning, is designed to help teachers implement skills-based instruction to build students’ health literacy. Content includes:

SDCOE is now offering the entire series in one day, on March 22 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Register for the learning event.

Don’t Miss the 2023 CAHPERD State Conference

The CAHPERD State Conference is right around the corner! This year’s Creating Connections and Building Bridges conference offers a robust program specifically focused on issues and topics that are critical to current California health and physical education, including equity, social and emotional learning, universal design for learning, physical literacy, assessment, student voice, ready to use activities, dance, self-defense, CPR and much more. Check out the Conference Schedule and Session Sneak Peek to find what you need to learn, connect with colleagues, and find inspiration. The conference is scheduled to take place March 9 to 11 in Santa Clara. Visit for more information and to register.

SHAPE America Is Back on the West Coast

The Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America National Convention is scheduled for March 28 to April 1 in Seattle. Join teachers, researchers, and leaders from throughout the country at this event designed to inform systems, culture, and practice to increase students’ health and physical literacy. SHAPE America has released a Justification Toolkit to explain the impact your attendance can have on your work and students. Visit for more information.

View all SDCOE events

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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