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Sept. 1, 2022

Use Student Voice to Shape Student Experience

There is nothing quite like the start of the school year. A blank slate for students and teachers. A world of endless opportunities. But which opportunities will we take? What can we do to optimize students’ experiences? Will we continue to do what we have always done or will we challenge ourselves to better meet students' needs?

Perhaps, we should consider two important lessons learned over the past few years:

  1. The more students know we care about them, the more likely they are to thrive in our classes. It is critical that we get to know our students as individuals. We need to use their names and know their stories so that we can connect with them and connect them to what we want them to learn.
  2. Students’ experiences vary greatly. It is up to us to leverage each student's strengths to empower them as expert learners in our class. To do this, we need to know more about their reality on campus.

To achieve both of these goals, it is imperative that we not only seek student voice, but that we use what they say to guide our work.

Take a few minutes to have conversations with a wide variety of students. Create an opportunity to learn more about their experience in health and physical education in the following areas.

  • Class Culture: What makes them thrive? What limits, harms, or scares them? Include questions related to the locker room, student-to-student interactions, teacher-to-student interactions, and more.
  • Student Engagement: What motivates and inspires them? What stifles their learning? How would they like to engage with content?
  • Grading: How do students view the grading system? What helps and hurts their learning? What suggestions do they have?
  • Out-of-Class Connections: What would encourage them to practice healthy or active behaviors outside of class? What sounds fun?

NOTE: It is critical that students feel safe to have authentic conversations. Please keep student privacy and mental health in mind as you listen to what they have to say.

Once you have collected input from students of different races, genders, identities, backgrounds, socio-economics, interests, etc., take time to reflect on what they shared. Shift your practices, procedures, and policies to reflect their voice.  

If we want students to thrive in our classes, we need to build a system that empowers them to learn. How will you use student voice to shape their experience this year?

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to support you, your site, or district. Wishing you a fantastic school year!

Health and Physical Education Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
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What You Need To Know About 2022-23 Physical Fitness Testing (PFT)

The California Department of Education (CDE) recently 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 recorded. 
  • There will be no submission of student-level data. Participation information will be collected and reported on the School Accountability Report Card (SARC).
  • Information related to calculating a student’s body mass index (height, weight, gender, birthday, etc.) should not be collected.
  • Healthy Fitness Zones (HFZs) should not be used.
  • Students with disabilities are to be given as much of the test as their condition will permit. 
  • Two-year exemptions based on pupils satisfactorily meeting five of the six standards of PFT are not currently available. Students are not eligible for a physical education exemption until they are 16 years of age or older and have been enrolled in 10th grade for at least one academic year. 

Please email Paige Metz if you have any questions.

New Requirement for Menstrual Equity in Schools

AB 367 requires California public schools to provide free tampons and pads in campus bathrooms. To better understand the new requirements, SDCOE has created a Resources for Menstrual Equity in Schools webpage that features language, templates, and resources to help local educational agencies understand and address this addition to Ed Code.

New Requirement for Mental Health Instruction in Health Education Courses 
It’s time to update health education programming. New legislation in Senate Bill (SB) 224 requires all districts and sites that offer one or more courses in health education to pupils in middle school or high school to include all of the following mental health content:
  • Overarching themes and core principles of mental health 
  • Signs and symptoms of mental health challenges
  • Evidence-based services and support
  • Mental health wellness and protective factors
  • Warning signs of common mental health problems
  • How to seek and find assistance
  • Evidence-based and culturally responsive practices
  • The connection and importance of mental health to overall health and academic success and to co-occurring conditions
  • Prevalence of mental health challenges across all populations, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic statuses
  • Stigma surrounding mental health challenges

In addition, SB 224 requires that on or before Jan. 1, 2024, the California Department of Education (CDE) will develop a plan to expand mental health instruction in California public schools. For more information review this health education and SB 224 infographic.

Hang Out With Fellow Health and Physical Educators

Hang out 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. Hangouts will begin on Wednesday, Sept. 7. Use this Zoom Link to join each month. 

Free Professional Learning From Physical Education-Health Project

The 2022 Professional Learning Institute put on by the Long Beach Physical Education-Health Project is offering three days of in-person professional learning for free on Sept. 10, Oct. 22, and Dec. 3. Registrants are asked to attend all three days of the Institute in Long Beach, which focuses on gaining a deeper understanding of the concept of self (a person’s essential being that distinguishes them) to advance student learning and the importance of physical activity for lifelong health and well-being. Register by 5 p.m. on Sept. 6 via the 2022 Long Beach Physical Education-Health Project 2022 Professional Learning Institute registration link. For more information contact

Represent Your District/Site at the Fall SDCOE Health and Physical Education Advisory Meeting on Oct. 6

Join representatives from throughout San Diego County on Oct. 6 from 9 to 11 a.m. to discuss:

  • National, state, and local updates
  • Professional learning opportunities
  • Trends and best practices
  • Network with other districts and sites
  • Resources

There is no cost to attend, but advanced registration is required. View our Physical Education Advisory Meeting webpage for more information and to register.

View all SDCOE events

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

The 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. Click the following date links to learn more about the complete fall series, or attend individual sessions. All sessions are scheduled from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

  • Session 1: Framework Overview (Oct. 4)
  • Session 2: Nutrition and Physical Activity, AND Mental, Emotional and Social Health (Oct. 18)
  • Session 3: Growth, Development, and Sexual Health, AND Injury Prevention and Safety (Nov. 1)
  • Session 4: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs, AND Personal and Community Health (Nov. 15)

Check Out the NEW and IMPROVED Physical Literacy Institute!

Participate in conversations designed to better understand the concept of physical literacy and to identify strategies and actions to provide instruction to strategically impact students’ understanding, skills, mindsets, values, and habits associated with physical activity. Together, we will utilize standards-based instructional design, social and emotional learning, universal design for learning, and culturally and linguistically relevant teaching to provide meaningful learning experiences for students.

The Physical Literacy Institute will be offered online twice this school year. Click on the links below for more information and to register. Visit the SDCOE Physical Literacy Institute online registration system for more information.

Join the 2022-23 Cohort of the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Academy 

Educators who have completed the Physical Literacy Institute or all four of the Health Education Framework series are invited to participate in the Tier 1 Health and Physical Education Leadership Academy (HPELA). The first of a two-tier leadership series is designed to develop model pedagogy and practice for teacher recognition as a role model and leader on campuses/in districts. HPELA provides a combination of professional learning and on-site coaching to develop and promote best practices. Meetings will take place virtually from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, Oct. 26, Nov. 30, Dec. 14, Jan. 11, Jan. 25, Mar. 8 and Mar. 22. Visit the Tier 1 Health and Physical Education Leadership Academy registration system for more information and to register.

Health and Physical Education Leadership in Action (Tier 2) Kicks Off 2nd Year!

Those who have completed PELA may register for the second tier of the leadership series, designed to study and implement effective leadership voice and strategies. SDCOE’s Health and Physical Education Leadership in Action focuses on best practices for communication, promotion, and advocacy. Join us Oct. 19, Nov. 16, Jan. 19, and Mar. 15 as we develop skills sets, messaging, strategies and action to make a difference in health and physical education in San Diego County and beyond. Visit the Health and Physical Education Leadership in Action (Tier 2) registration system for more information and to register.

Plan Ahead to Attend State and National Conferences

Looking to update programming, identify exciting ways to engage students, or network with colleagues? Plan ahead to attend one of the following events!

New Resources to Support SB 224 Mental Health Education Requirements

The California Health Education Community of Practice/Health Education CISC Subcommittee has recently posted resources related to SB 224 on the California Health Education website. There is now a specific webpage for Mental Health Education (SB 224). It is on the “Administrators” pull-down menu at the top of the page. On this page you will find:

Additional resources will be added to this website throughout the school year.

New 988 National Suicide Prevention Hotline

Individuals in need of immediate mental health assistance can now dial/text 9-8-8 or web chat at to connect with counselors trained to understand how you are feeling and connect you to resources that are specifically tailored to your needs. 988 counselors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Educators are encouraged to share this information with students and families.

CDE Releases Toolkit to Evaluate Health Education Instructional Materials
CDE recently released a Health Education Instructional Materials Evaluation Toolkit to help districts and sites vet instructional materials to ensure that instruction is aligned to Health Education Model Content Standards for California Public Schools, Health Education Framework for California Public Schools and California Education Code requirements for health education instruction including:
  • Nutrition education
  • Suicide prevention
  • Comprehensive sexual health education
  • Human trafficking

The CDE will offer a webinar later this spring to provide specific insight on how to use the toolkit effectively.

ASHWG Reviews Curricula for Compliance with California Healthy Youth Act

The California Healthy Kids Resource Center, together with the Adolescent Sexual Health Work Group (ASHWG), conducted an intensive review of growth development and sexual health curriculum in accordance with the California Healthy Youth Act. A total of nine publishers submitted curricula to be reviewed. Access all of the curricula reviews by expanding the Links to Compliance Assessment Tools and Resources tab, which includes the following:

  • A table that lists the curriculum reviewed along with the information on where it can be borrowed or purchased
  • Compliance assessment tools (used to grade the curricula against Education Code) that are specific to each curriculum that was reviewed
  • A California Healthy Kids Curricula Review introduction methodology that describes the law, review process, and the compliance assessment tool grading

This 2020-21 California Healthy Youth Act curricula review is intended to be an update of previous reviews done by ASHWG, and these reviews are posted on the California Healthy Kids Resource Center webpage. Reviews can be found by scrolling down the home page and clicking Links to Compliance Assessment Tools and Resources. For additional information, visit the CDE CHYA webpage. A recording of a recent webinar explaining how to use CHYA compliance reviews will be available later this month.

California Health Education Website Helpful for Educators

Last year a new, one-stop shop website launched for all things related to health education programming. features critical resources for each of the six content areas that include:

Bookmark as it will continue to be updated and populated with content to support the implementation of the new California Health Education Framework.

New and Updated Resources to Support LGBTQ+ Youth

The CDE has added significant updates to its Supporting LGBTQ+ website, including specific resources to support educators, students, and families. Even better news is that they include links to local resources in San Diego County. Be sure to share this information with administrators, counselors, teachers, and families. In addition, schools may use this information to update their comprehensive sexual health instruction to make sure that experiences are inclusive and accessible for all students.

Also, the San Diego LGBT Community Leadership Council’s Youth Services Committee — under the leadership of San Diego Pride, the SD LGBT Community Center, The North County LGBTQ Resource Center, and Trans Family Services — has recently released LGBTQ+ Youth Standards of Care. The standards outline best practices and relevant resources that reflect and comply with California Education Code and laws.

San Diego County Live Well Schools: Tools for Schools Searchable Resource Database
Check out the Tools for Schools searchable resource database from Live Well Schools. More than 300 resources, searchable by topic, will connect you to programs, partnership ideas, policy strategies, and tools to meet short-term needs of students and families and facilitate long-term planning for schools and districts. Tools for Schools provides a wide array of resources based on a broader definition of wellness that includes social and emotional health and a focus on addressing health disparities.
If you have any questions or comments about Health and Physical Education Monthly Update, please contact Paige Metz.
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