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Physical Education

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)

Instructional Requirements

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 must pass 5 out of 6 components of the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) taken during 9th grade. PFT certification or documentation must accompany the PE exemption request.
  • 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.

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.