Policy varies state-to-state on the degree of options to comply with diploma requirements. Possible credit flexibility options include:
- In-school PE: traditional physical education as part of a student's class schedule.
- Summer school PE: a shorter, more intense version of in-school PE.
- Alternative PE: physical activity as a part of a school sport or activity.
- Distance learning: online academic course with individual physical activity.
iPE Position Statement
Based on proven core academic values, we believe: 1) "physical education" and "physical activity" are used interchangeably but differ in important ways; 2) physical education must include a balanced academic/kinetic curriculum, and; 3) all credit flexibility options should meet the same physical education standards and course expectations.
What's the Preferred Strategy?While every student situation is unique, consider these important guidelines:
- Best: whenever possible, students earn PE credits as a part of their regular school schedule.
- Better: the first PE credit is completed as a part of a student's regular school schedule. Subsequent PE credit is earned through summer school or alternative PE that meet the same academic requirements of in-class courses.
- Acceptable: a distance learning course may be appropriate for exceptional cases including course recovery, medical conditions, expulsion, pregnancy, incarceration, injury, individual needs, etc.). Exceptions should only be considered when all other options have been exhausted.
A special note about online PE: Educational technology has many great benefits. However, online learning has limitations and should not be considered as a universal replacement. We want our health care professionals to have hands-on training. We know trade workers need experience with their tools and machines. Athletes require coaching and training. Likewise, online PE is not a suitable replacement for physical education. We know physical education involves in-person instruction, peer interaction, trained supervision, 'eyes-on' evaluation, and appropriate assessment.
Recommended Approach to Credit Flexibility
By offering physical education that is relevant and enjoyable, students use iPE to earn credit via all four options (in-school, summer school, alternative, and distance learning) using a single standards-based curriculum.
A growing demand for more options has sparked a significant rise in the use of course alternatives. If you are concerned about credit flexibility policy, download the Physical Education Credit Flexibility Playbook. This road map for administrators and educators can be used to collaboratively meet the demands of students/parents while remaining in compliance with standards and outcomes.
The playbook is equally valuable to school considering credit flexibility policy as well as schools wishing to evaluate existing policies.
For more information, contact:
Gary Lemke, iPEConnected Educator