Physical education significantly contributes to students’ well-being; therefore, it is an instructional priority for California schools and an integral part of our students’ educational experience. High-quality physical education instruction contributes to good health, develops fundamental and advanced motor skills, improves students’ self-confidence, and provides opportunities for increased levels of physical fitness that are associated with high academic achievement. (California Physical Education Model Content Standards)
Students in grades 1-6 must be provided at least 200 minutes of PE every 10 consecutive instructional days. Students in grade 7-12 must be provided at least 400 minutes of PE every 10 consecutive instructional days, with two years required at grades 9-12. In AUSD students in grades K-5 are provided 1 hour (60 minutes) of PE instruction each week by a PE specialist. The remaining minutes are provided by the classroom teacher through a variety of activities. Students in grades 6-9 are enrolled in daily physical education as one of their required class periods. High school students must complete 1 additional year of PE during grades 10-12.
High School Exemption Process
Any AUSD high school student in grades ten (10) through twelve (12) may request an exemption from the graduation requirement of a second year of physical education (Education Code 51241(b)(1)) for either a full year (two semesters) or for a half year (one semester). The requirements for an approval of such an exemption follow:
- Students shall evidence successful participation in AUSD interscholastic sports. One (1) seasons fulfill this requirement for a half a year (or one semester) PE exemption; two (2) seasons fulfill this requirement for a one year (or two semesters) PE exemption.
- Students must obtain required signatures to document all requirements are met.
- Verification of participation in AUSD interscholastic sports must be completed by the school’s Athletic Director (AD).
- Exemption requests from current 12th grade students must be submitted to school staff by the end of April. This includes any exemptions that may include spring sports still in progress.
- Note: Neither marching band nor pep team participation is considered to satisfy exemption requirements of interscholastic sport participation. JROTC participation already qualifies for an exemption from PE.
Students/families interested in pursuing an exemption should visit their school's office to inquire about any additional steps in the site's process.
The exemption form can be downloaded here: PE Course Exemption Form
Physical Fitness Test (PFT)
The physical fitness test (PFT) for students in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM®. The main goal of the test is to help students in starting life-long habits of regular physical activity. Students in grades five, seven, and nine take the fitness test. The test has six parts that show a level of fitness that offer a degree of defense against diseases that come from inactivity. The test results can be used by students, teachers, and parents.