California Districts Enforcing Physical Education Requirements
In the great state of California, a parent who represents the advocacy group Cal200 has agreed to a settlement with dozens of California school districts (accounting for more than one fifth of elementary students in the state,) requiring schools to prove they are providing at least the minimum amount of physical education. School teachers must now publicly document how many minutes of physical education their students receive, which is a huge win for public health advocates who have watched P.E. sink to the bottom of schools’ priorities, overshadowed by a focus on standardized testing.
California state law requires teachers to provide 200 minutes of physical education every 10 days for grades 1 through 6. Texas has similar requirements: a minimum of either 30 minutes daily or 135 minutes weekly in a TEKS-based physical education class or a TEKS-based structured activity, including structured recess (TCTA.org).
To meet the settlement requirements in CA, “‘Riverside Unified is creating an online system that will allow teachers to enter their physical education instruction time, add details such as whether a field trip disrupted the schedule on a certain day, and publish the schedule on the school website,’ Fine said. ‘Principals will be able to check a box indicating when they did a spot check and add a note about what they found'” (EdSource). The question is, what tools can we provide to help educators record these minutes accurately, and with ease?
Our Teach Healthier app allows educators to cumulatively track the number of minutes they implement app lessons with their students, and all lessons meet both national and Texas state requirements. An educator in any state can download and use the app, and we suggest that they make sure the lessons meet their own state requirements.
We’re thrilled to hear stories like this one of states taking P.E. requirements seriously, placing the deserved value on daily physical activity for all students. We created Teach Healthier together with HCB Health to make delivering and tracking physical activity and nutrition lessons easier, and we hope that in turn, Texas policymakers and advocacy groups will make sure our students are moving and learning about their health every single day. “Teach Healthier capitalizes on mobile app technology to provide educators and federal grant makers with real-time physical activity data for individual classrooms, schools and school districts,” says Tanya Mahr at HCB. “It’s more important than ever for schools and teachers to stay accountable for meeting state education guidelines, and Teach Healthier offers a simple solution using only a smartphone or tablet to help track compliance.” We couldn’t agree more, and we hope you will share the app with teachers and families in Texas and beyond.