Health & Adapted/Physical Education Adoptions
Health and Physical education plays a vital role in improving students' health and social outcomes and promoting academic success. Ensuring that young people have access to the most up-to-date, medically accurate, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed curriculum is imperative to the development of students' health literacy and physical literacy skills.
Working with a diverse group of educators, administrators, and other school staff, the Health and Adapted/Physical Education adoptions hope to test, adopt, and implement the best fitting curriculum for the varied needs of our district.
Health Education Adoptions
K-12 Health Education Position Paper
Health education plays a vital role in improving students' health and social outcomes and promoting academic success. Embedded within health education is the development of students' health literacy skills. Health literacy is defined as "the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others."¹
The importance of health literacy can not be understated, as many studies suggest, low health literacy is associated with poorer health outcomes. In addition, low health literacy can exacerbate health inequities which are more prevalent among oppressed and marginalized populations due to racism, sexism, cisgenderism, ableism, classism, heterosexism, and other systems of oppression. Ultimately, these inequities are reflected in differences in quality of life, rates and severity of disease, access to treatment, disability, and death. However, robust health education that bolsters one's health literacy has the power to reduce these inequities.
Health literacy is embedded in the PPS graduate portrait through facets such as developing powerful and effective communicators, inclusive and collaborative problem solvers, and transformative racial equity leaders. To achieve these aspirations for our students, PPS requires students in grades K through 12 to be taught comprehensive health education. It must be medically accurate, age and developmentally appropriate, culturally and linguistically sustaining, and implemented in safer and more supportive learning environments where all students feel valued. Additionally, PPS utilizes a skills-based approach to health education. This approach develops the following skills to strengthen students’ health literacy and enhance their ability to:
- Comprehends concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
- Analyze the influences of family, peers, culture, media, technology, and other factors on health behaviors.
- Access valid and reliable resources, information, products, and services to enhance health.
- Use interpersonal communication skills to enhance health and avoid or reduce health risks.
- Use decision-making skills to enhance health.
- Use goal-setting skills to enhance health. Practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
- Advocate for personal, family, and community health.
Aligning with the mission of the Health and Adapted/Physical Education team, PPS is committed to supporting teachers with authentic skills-based health education professional development opportunities. In addition, the team will facilitate the curation and development of culturally relevant and responsive, inclusive, and medically accurate evidence-informed curricula across all health education units. Finally, they will engage the collective community in the selection of materials by including students, families/households, community partners, and government entities. Through these actions, we hope that all students may become confident, resilient, and empathetic advocates for themselves and others.
¹U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2021). Retrieved from: https://health.gov/our-work/national-health-initiatives/healthy-people/healthy-people-2030/health-literacy-healthy-people-2030
Best Practices in K-12 Health Education
The purpose of this document is to provide research-based strategies for instruction in health education. The following best practices are in alignment with Portland Public Schools (PPS) policies, Oregon laws, Oregon Department of Education (ODE) State Standards, National Health Education Standards (NHES) and Sexuality Education Standards (NSES).
PPS wishes to engage all students in equitable, inclusive skills-based health education to become confident, resilient, and empathetic advocates for themselves and others. To achieve this vision, the following guiding principles for K-12 health education apply :
- Employment of highly trained and qualified health education teachers;
- Health topics and curricula are developmentally appropriate, planned, and follow a sequential scope and sequence aligned to ODE Health Education Standards, NHES, and NSES;
- Instructional materials are culturally relevant and responsive, inclusive, and medically accurate across all units;
- Instructional materials integrate the skills-based health education model to foster the development of students’ health literacy; and
- Provides ongoing professional development opportunities for teachers to remain up-to-date on new and emerging health information and teaching practices.
PPS will use many of the practices outlined in SHAPE America’s Appropriate Practices in School-Based Health Education. Broken down into the following categories, learning environment, curriculum, instructional strategies, assessment, advocacy, and professionalism, below is a synopsis of the document mentioned above.
- Health teachers develop and maintain a positive learning environment that:
- Allows all students to feel emotionally, socially, and physically safe.
- Is inclusive and supportive of all students, regardless of race, ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and/or physical ability.
- Allows all students to have the opportunity to experience success.
- Facilitates mutual respect between students and teachers.
- Is designed to be visually stimulating and engaging for students.
- Works collaboratively with other school services to enhance the classroom and school environment in supporting healthy behaviors.
- The health education curriculum:
- Is sequential, comprehensive, and planned, from K through grade 12.
- Is aligned with the PPS Graduate Portrait and Policies, Oregon laws, ODE Health Education Standards, NHES, and NSES.
- Reflects a holistic approach to health and wellness, which conveys health-enhancing norms, attitudes, and values.
- Uses a skills-based approach to emphasize the development of health literacy.
- Includes formative and summative assessments, which help inform the goals of topic areas to meet students’ needs.
- Allows for multiple opportunities to practice health-related skills.
- Includes culturally inclusive learning activities, emphasizes social interactions, and allows for students to personalize and internalize learning.
- Provides opportunities for students to connect with trusted adults and other community resources to enhance their health.
- Provides opportunities for teachers to personalize lessons to meet students’ individual needs.
- Health teachers deliver instruction that:
- Works towards the achievement of the learning objectives.
- Uses formative assessment to monitor progress toward objectives.
- Facilitates skill development leading to skill proficiency.
- Employs instructional strategies that promote student self-reflection.
- Implements participatory teaching and activities that are current and relevant to students.
- Is differentiated to meet the needs of all students.
- Uses different modes of delivery and various approaches to keep students engaged.
- Health teachers design and implement assessments that:
- Measure student achievement of lesson objectives and student growth.
- Are performance-based and designed to measure students’ knowledge acquisition and skill performance.
- Are variable, relevant, and meaningful to students.
- Uses the data gathered to evaluate the effectiveness of the lessons.
Advocacy & Professionalism
- Health teachers should:
- Advocate for quality health education at the local, state, and national levels.
- Advocate for a positive school culture toward health and health education.
- Engage in professional development opportunities.
- Maintain a high standard of practice.
22-23 SY Adoptions
Unlike other content areas, there are very few comprehensive health education curricula. Due to this fact and the rapidly changing nature of the environment students are growing up in, the Health & Adapted/Physical Education team works on adoptions based on the subject of the units each year rather than adopting a single curriculum all at once. The areas currently undergoing the adoption process are:
- Mental & Emotional Health K-5
- Mental & Emotional Health 9-12
- Nutrition K-12
If you have questions about the adoption process or what it entails, please visit the Instructional Resources Adoption website here.
Projected Timeline for Health Education Adoptions
Unlike other content areas, there are very few comprehensive health education curricula. Due to this fact and the rapidly changing nature of the environment students are growing up in, the Health & Adapted/Physical Education team works on adoptions based on the subject of the units each year rather than adopting a single curriculum all at once. Projected adoptions are as follows:
- 23-24 SY Disease & Illness Prevention K-12
- 23-24 SY Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention K-12
- 24-25 SY Growth & Development K-12
Currently Adopted Curricula
The curricula currently adopted by the Health & Adapted Physical Education team are:
- Health Education
- K-12 (Adopted 21-22 SY)
- Mental & Emotional Health
- 6-8 (Adopted 22-23 SY)
- Violence Prevention
- Health Education
Curriculum is the knowledge and skills that ALL students are expected to learn as they progress through our school system. The following materials are not adopted curriculum, but are recommended for teacher use by the Health & Adapted/Physical Education team.
- Mental & Emotional Health
- Disease & Illness Prevention
- K-12 - New York City Disease & Illness Prevention Curriculum
- NYC Public Schools has kindly shared their Disease & Illness Prevention Curriculum with us. Only some lessons/materials are recommended, and these resources are currently under revision by NYCPS. For more information, please check out their website or reach out to the Health & Adapted/Physical Education team.
- K-12 - New York City Disease & Illness Prevention Curriculum
- Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drug Prevention
- Growth & Development
Physical Education Adoptions
K-12 Adapted/Physical Education Position Paper
Physical education is a foundational component of a student’s journey to life-long health, physical activity, and finding joyful movement. Participating in school-based physical education allows students to develop physical literacy, which is “the ability, confidence, and desire to be physically active for life.”¹
Aside from fostering students’ physical literacy skills, following a planned, sequential K-12 scope and sequence for physical education benefits the development of students’ cognitive skills as demonstrated by increased grades and standardized test scores; ability to stay on task; and improvements to overall levels of physical activity.² Additionally, the collaborative nature of sports and team-based activities can positively impact students’ social skills, self-esteem, and character.² These skills help students develop several of the attributes included in the PPS Graduate Portrait including developing students who are positive, confident, and connected to their sense of self, are inclusive and collaborative problem solvers, and are resilient and adaptable lifelong learners.
To provide an effective physical education program, SHAPE (Society of Health and Physical Educators) America recommends elementary students should receive a minimum of 150 minutes per week of Physical Education, and middle and high school students receive a minimum of 225 minutes of Physical Education per week.5 During this time, students develop their physical literacy, major and fine motor, and collaboration skills through a series of age-appropriate activities and games. Students will also demonstrate their mastery of the following Oregon state standards:
- Standard 1: The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
- Standard 2: The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance.
- Standard 3: The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
- Standard 4: The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
- Standard 5: The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.
Ensuring that students are set up to succeed and achieve these standards and other skills, the Health and Adapted/Physical Education team at PPS is committed to employing highly qualified, licensed physical education teachers. Additionally, the team acknowledges that for students and teachers to be successful, teachers must have access to safe and age-appropriate equipment, current and relevant curricula and technology, and opportunities to access ongoing professional development designed to deepen content knowledge and improve cultural competency. Across all grade levels, appropriate accommodations, modifications, adaptations, and support for all learners are also required to create a fully inclusive classroom environment. We hope that working collaboratively with teachers, school administrators, parents, and other community members will create an environment where all students are welcomed, feel valued, and foster students’ development and motivation to continue learning and lead towards a life-long physically healthy lifestyle.
¹ SHAPE America. (2015). Physical Literacy in the United States A Model, Strategic Plan, and Call to Action. Retrieved from: https://www.shapeamerica.org/uploads/pdfs/PhysicalLiteracy_AspenInstitute-FINAL.pdf
² One World International School (2022). Why Is Physical Education So Important? Retrieved from: https://www.owis.org/blog/why-is-physical-education-so-important
Best Practices in K-12 Physical Education
1. Learning Environment
- Gymnasium, classroom, cafeteria, auditorium, outdoor (covered/uncovered), playground, field.
- Students are emotionally, socially, and physically safe and supported.
- Inclusive to ALL (race, ethnic origin, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, and/or physical, mental, or emotional disability.
- Mutual respect between staff and students- clear boundaries and expectations, restorative justice, SEL.
- Every student is required to take daily physical education in grades K–12, with instruction periods totaling 150 minutes/week in elementary and 225 minutes/week in middle and high school. ″School districts and schools require full inclusion of all students in physical education.
- School districts and schools do not allow waivers from physical education class time or credit requirements.
- School districts and schools do not allow student exemptions from physical education class time or credit requirements.
- School districts and schools prohibit students from substituting other activities (e.g., JROTC, interscholastic sports) for physical education class time or credit requirements.
- Physical education class size is consistent with that of other subject areas and aligns with the school district and school teacher/student ratio policy.
- Physical activity is not assigned or withheld as punishment
- Developmentally appropriate based on most recent data and standards provided
- Curriculum aligned with district/state standards and graduation policies
- Gross Motor Skill Development and demonstrate health literacy (application of skills to games and activities: age and developmentally appropriate.
- culturally relevant and inclusive focus on social interaction, personalization, and application of learning.
- Opportunities to bring in members of the community to support learning
- Teacher guided curriculum to best meet individual student needs
- Aligned with Scope and Sequence-based on PPS/ODE Guidelines - Standards
- (For HS) Offer students options for non-competitive units that center on skill-building, movement, and collaboration.
3. Instructional Strategies
- Goals should be oriented to students needs
- Formative assessment to monitor progress toward objectives (not graded, concurrent with continual learning)
- Use of differentiated instruction
- Instruction facilitates skill development and proficiency
- Instruction includes student reflection and feedback
- Instruction is current, relevant, and engaging to students
- Meets needs of all students (inclusive learning environment)
- Multiple formats of delivery that engage and inspire students and maintain interest and motivation.
- Measurement of student growth based on multiple factors: (formative assessment, peer/self-assessment, standard assessment as a guide)
- Performance-based on knowledge and use of skill to age and developmental standards.
- Provide a variety of assessment measures that are relevant and meaningful to students and inspire independent progress
- Assessment can be individual, small group, or large. Group- students helping students achieve
- Assessments focus on improvement and goal setting to demonstrate progress.
- All students succeed - progress measured by individual improvements/gains as well as class improvements.
- Participate in district, local, state, and national continuing education opportunities.
- Maintain a high standard of practice- post daily goals and objectives.
- Remain current with the professions movement (SHAPE.org).
Physical Education Adoptions & Recommended Materials
Curriculum is the knowledge and skills that ALL students are expected to learn as they progress through our school system. The currently adopted curriculum for K-8 is SPARK, and the currently adopted curriculum for 9-12 is OPEN Physical Education.
Currently, the Health and Adapted/Physical Education is working on a new adoption for Physical Education for grades K-8. The lessons within each unit are designed to help students develop their physical literacy skills and transition into finding movements that best support their needs. If you have questions about the adoption process or what it entails, please visit the Instructional Resources Adoption website here.