Physical Education

students using exercise machines
Physical Education is an academic subject providing the opportunity for students to learn knowledge and skills needed to establish and maintain physically active lifestyles throughout childhood and adolescence and into adulthood. As defined by SHAPE America, a quality physical education program includes the opportunity to learn, meaningful content, appropriate instruction, and student program assessment.

Best Practice:

Germantown Municipal School District (GMSD)

During the 2015-16 school year, Germantown's  coordinated school health improved fitness-based physical education in grades 7-12. The coordinators’ goal was to increase the rigor and enjoyment of physical activity for participating students. As the Polar heart rate program grew this year from a pilot to full implementation, physical education teachers found creative ways to keep GMSD students motivated/moving to meet their target heart rate zone. This was the first year that student who wore heart rate monitors received a participation grade based on the data collected by the Polar heart rate monitor. As part of the Lifetime Sports and Recreation Class (a required course for 10th-12th graders), they started a pilot program comparing pre- and post-intervention BMI (body mass index) levels. This class meets every day for 55 minutes for one semester. By introducing fitness-based play, the teachers were able show a decrease in BMI in 6 of the 15 students in one semester CSH Coordinators’ goal moving forward is to implement this program in the incoming 9th grade wellness program. The school district continues to require physical education twice a week to all students in grades K -8th grade and daily for ninth grade students. The goal is to keep students fit, educate them on how to set attainable individual goals, have fun, and increase academic achievement through being active.


Adapted Physical Education

The department has developed this guide as a means to provide expanded resources for adapted physical education and inclusion in physical education.


Tennessee Virtual Schools

The same physical education requirements for students who attend schools in-person apply to virtual school students, including the requirement that PE be taught by a licensed teacher with an endorsement in physical education. The following resources may be of particular interest to support district virtual school physical education programs.

SHAPE America Guidelines for K-12 Online Physical Education

Effective Online K-12 PE – This one-hour interactive learning module hosted by Focused Fitness is an excellent introduction to effective online instruction for K-12 physical education. Various instructional samples are provided from Tennessee educators. A certificate for 1 PD hour is automatically generated upon successful completion.

Online K-12 P.E. in Action – This follow-up module to Effective Online K-12 PE is primarily interview-based with Tennessee educators sharing their various experiences with online physical education instruction through the 2020-21 school year. A certificate for 1 PD hour is automatically generated upon successful completion.


Tools and Resources:

Learning Readiness Physical Education is a program that allows students to have physical education the period before they have a class they are struggling in.

Physical Education teachers are recognized as the Physical Activity Leader (PAL) in each school. The Physical Activity Leader (PAL) Learning System is a professional development resource for individuals wanting to support an effort to provide 60 minutes a day of physical activity for school-aged youth.

CATCH Physical Education Module

Social and Emotional Learning Policies in Physical Education

NCHPAD for Educators - Adaptive and Inclusive Physical Education

Paul Zeintarski - Learning Readiness PE

ATHLOS Movement and Character Program - Physical Education

Curriculum Options

Using Technology - Chromebooks in Health and Physical Education

Quality Physical Education:

High quality physical education teaches students the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.

Free K-12 Physical Education Curriculum with equity of access for all physical education programs.