Health and Physical Education
Health and physical education provides students with the knowledge
and skills that will enable them to achieve and maintain a physically
active and healthful life, not only during their time in school but for a
lifetime. Health and physical education are integral components of a
balanced educational program. Children who are healthy and physically
active increase their chances of achieving to their highest academic
potential and are better able to handle the demands of today's hectic
Health and Physical Education Academic Standards
The Pennsylvania State Board of Education requires that:
- Every student in a primary (generally grades K-3), intermediate
(generally 4-6), middle school (generally grades 7-9) and senior high
(generally 10-12) programs must be provided with planned instruction
that is aligned with academic standards in health and physical
- Schools provide sufficient time and planned instruction in order for
students to achieve proficient levels on the Pennsylvania Academic
Standards in health, safety and physical education.
Since health and physical education are not assessed via a statewide
assessment, school districts must have a local assessment system in
place and determine the proficient levels on those assessments. Neither
the Pennsylvania Department of Education nor the State Board of
Education mandates a specific number of minutes or times per week that
health and physical education is provided. Each school district has the
authority to make the decision as to the most appropriate manner in
which to schedule classes as long as it is within the boundaries of the Pennsylvania School Code and the Pennsylvania Code.
Neither the Pennsylvania School Code nor the State Board of Education
allows for waivers for students from the requirements of health and
physical education due to participation in a physical activity, such as
interscholastic sports, band or ROTC. Physical activity is only one
component of physical education and physical activity does not meet all
of the requirements and standards of physical education.
The Standards Aligned System (SAS)
is the Pennsylvania Department of Education's digital curriculum and
instruction resource site. SAS is comprised of six distinct elements
which provide a common framework for continuous student, teacher, and
school and district growth. The elements are Standards, Assessment,
Curriculum Framework, Instruction, Materials and Resources, and Safe and
Supportive Schools. SAS is designed to organize and deliver educational
content carefully aligned to Pennsylvania Academic Standards.
Available on SAS are resources for teaching and developing high quality health, safety and physical education
A person holding a valid and active Pennsylvania teaching certificate
in the area of Health and Physical Education K-12 is qualified to teach
all health and physical education courses in grades K-12.
An educator holding a valid and active Pennsylvania certificate for Health and Physical Education (Code
4805) is qualified to teach: health; kinesiology; motor skill
development and motor learning; group interactions; personal fitness;
principles of exercise and training; the effects of physical activity on
the body systems; games and sports; lifetime leisure skills; dance and
rhythmic activities; outdoor skills and activities; and adaptive
physical education and swimming/aquatics.
Certification and Staffing Policy Guidelines (CSPG) that
pertain to health and physical education certification and course
assignment include: CSPG 47 – Health and Physical Education; and CSPG 69
– Grades PK-4.
Questions regarding certification requirements should be directed to the Pennsylvania Department of Education's Bureau of School Leadership and Teacher Quality.
Organ Tissue Donation Awareness Project
The Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness (OTDA) Project was created by
Act 102 of 1994. Act 102 established The Governor Robert P. Casey
Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund and designated
the responsibilities of the Departments of Health, Transportation,
Education, and Revenue to support statewide efforts that foster an
understanding of the importance of organ and tissue donations. The
Department of Education's OTDA Program strives to develop an awareness
of organ and tissue donation, and transplantation through education in
Pennsylvania's secondary schools. The OTDA Program provides educators
with curriculum resources, professional development and implementation
mini-grants. The OTDA Program is managed by Lancaster/Lebanon
Intermediate Unit 13 in partnership with the Department of Education.