Physical Education


The high school experience represents the culmination of physical education instruction for California’s kindergarten through grade twelve students. Throughout their school years, students have experienced a planned sequence of formal physical education instructional experiences. When students reach ninth grade, they are ready to integrate all that they know with all that they can do. They become capable of higher-order thinking and of more skilled performance. The high school courses provide a blueprint for delivering content in a manner that equips students to make a successful transition from the physical education instructional program to participation in physical activity during adulthood.

The foundation for a physically active lifestyle is firmly laid so that students become independent learners who initiate and monitor their own participation in physical activity. Students are provided with opportunities to improve their health-related physical fitness as well as to understand advanced concepts related to physical fitness and physical activity. Students learn how to achieve physical fitness and the importance of maintaining an active lifestyle throughout their lifetime.

Participation in physical activity also can be an important venue for the social, psychological, and emotional development of young adults. Social skills and personal responsibility skills need to be taught and practiced with feedback. Physical education courses provide an ideal setting for adolescents to learn appropriate social interaction skills, suitable ways to express and control emotions, and opportunities to solve complex problems.

California Department of Education: Physical Education Framework for California Schools 2009