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Jan. 3, 2023

This Year… CHOOSE FUN!

Happy New Year! As we begin 2023, I hope you will consider joining me in my new year’s resolution. This year, I choose to prioritize FUN in my life! 

Why prioritize FUN? Not only does having FUN build resilience and decrease burnout, research also shows that it makes us happy, healthy, and connected to those around us.

Catherine Price, author of The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again, recently spoke at the Live Well San Diego Advance Conference. I was inspired by her concept of having a “FUNtervention” to intentionally fill your life with things that bring you joy. As easy as it may sound, I appreciated the SPARK approach to FUN that she shared:

  • Make Space: Reclaim time and protect/prioritize the flow of FUN
  • Pursue Passion: Identify specific things that make you playful, happy, and connected
  • Attract: Find “FUN magnets” in activities, people, and settings
  • Rebel: Don’t be afraid of looking dumb
  • Keep at it: Make it a regular habit to insert FUN each day, so it becomes your lifestyle

Believe it or not, FUN doesn’t usually happen by accident. Be intentional this year. Prioritize FUN activities, people, and places, and do the same for your students. Set them up to engage with content in ways that anchor their learning in joy. When you do, you set them up with the desire and motivation to pursue FUN for life… as we all should! So this year… CHOOSE FUN!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to support you, your site, or district.

Health and Physical Education Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
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What You Need To Know About 2022-23 Physical Fitness Testing (PFT)

The California Department of Education (CDE) recently announced that PFT procedures and requirements for 2021-22 will remain in place for the 2022-23 school year, including:

  • PFT should only be administered during the testing window from Feb. 1 through May 31.
  • All students in grades 5, 7, and 9 will participate in physical fitness using the FITNESSGRAM assessments and their results recorded. 
  • There will be no submission of student-level data. Participation information will be collected and reported on the School Accountability Report Card (SARC).
  • Information related to calculating a student’s body mass index (height, weight, gender, birthday, etc.) should not be collected.
  • Healthy Fitness Zones (HFZs) should not be used.
  • Students with disabilities are to be given as much of the test as their condition will permit. 

Please email Paige Metz if you have any questions.

The Age-Old Question in Physical Education… How Do We Handle Nonsuits?

Recently, there was a post on the SHAPE America discussion board about this very topic. There was a response by SHAPE America's former president, Judy Lobianco, that captured this topic in a way that provides a caring and equitable look at this question. Here is an excerpt from her post.

"​No matter what the kid is wearing they still have a right to engage in the learning objectives somehow. It is therefore not a loss of credit, but credit obtained in a different way related to the objective. I've seen this... so beautifully done across the country in so many PE classrooms. My worry… is the "Why." Is something happening in the locker room? Is there something happening with the student themselves? Is there an access issue? Is their fear about PE and not dressing is an excuse not to play? SO much going on that just has nothing to do with dressing out at all.”

Rather than placing a “0” in the grade book and walking away when students don’t dress out, take a minute to make a difference. Apply Judy’s lens when addressing students who do not dress out. Make an effort to learn more. Connect with the students. Build rapport and relationships. Let them know you care. Create opportunities for them to engage with content and build physical literacy. In doing this, you increase your chances of positively impacting students’ lives. 

Congratulations to Bailee Holt-Sandsmark, San Diego County’s Newest NBCT!

Hip hip hooray for Bailee Holt-Sandsmark from Canyon Crest Academy (San Dieguito Union High School District) for earning National Board Certification. As a Nationally Board Certified Teacher (NBCT), Bailee has shown evidence that she meets high professional standards, utilizing best practices and exhibiting high levels of content knowledge. Congratulations, Bailee! Please email if you know of another San Diego County health or physical educator who earned NBCT this year so we can celebrate their amazing accomplishment.

For more information regarding the NBCT process, visit To learn about incentives for California teachers, visit CDE’s NBCT Incentive Program Webpage. Incentives include subsidies for the certification process and offering $25,000 incentives for working in eligible high-priority schools. 

Hang Out With Fellow Health and Physical Educators

Meet up with your health and physical education peers at the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Hangouts on the first Wednesday of every month from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. and receive the latest updates, resources, materials, and best practices in health and physical education. Use this Zoom Link to join each month. 

Health Education Framework Series Empowers Teachers to Develop Students’ Health Literacy

The Health Education Framework (HEF) Series, a combination of asynchronous and synchronous professional learning, is designed to help teachers implement skills-based instruction to build students’ health literacy. Click the following links to learn more about the complete spring afternoon series, or attend individual sessions. All sessions are scheduled for 3:30 to 5:30 p.m.

  • Session 1: Framework Overview (Jan. 11)
  • Session 2: Nutrition and Physical Activity; and Mental, Emotional, and Social Health (Jan. 18)
  • Session 3: Growth, Development, and Sexual Health; and Injury Prevention and Safety (Jan. 26)
  • Session 4: Alcohol, Tobacco, and Other Drugs; and Personal and Community Health (Jan. 31)

New Offering: Attend all four sessions of the SDCOE Health Education Series in one day on March 22 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click the following link for more information and to register for the SDCOE Spring HEF One-Day Professional Learning Event

Supporting LGBTQ+ Students in Health and Physical Education

Guest facilitator a.t. Furuya from Transform Together will provide a three-day series to provide critical information and insight to health and physical educators to best support LGBTQ+ students. This online professional learning will provide instruction and take home material including:

  • Session 1 (Feb. 27, 3:30 to 5 p.m.): Research, Terminology and Gender Identity
  • Session 2 (March 6, 3:30 to 5 p.m.): Policy and Curriculum
  • Session 3 (March 13, 3:30 to 5 p.m.): Case Studies and Best Practices

Click here for more information and to register. 

NEW! Standards-Based Health Education Lesson Planning

Join us as we navigate and strategize to intentionally build students’ knowledge and skills to increase their health literacy. On Feb. 9 (3:30 to 5 p.m.), participants will collaborate to understand the ins and outs of the California Health Education Standards-Based Instructional Design Template. Click the following link for more information and to register for SDCOE Standards Based Health Education Lesson Planning.

Check Out the New and Improved Physical Literacy Institute

Participate in conversations designed to explore the concept of physical literacy and to identify strategies and actions to provide instruction to strategically impact students’ understanding, skills, mindsets, values, and habits associated with physical activity. Together, we will utilize standards-based instructional design, social and emotional learning, universal design for learning, and culturally and linguistically relevant teaching to provide meaningful learning experiences for students. The Physical Literacy Institute will take place online from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Feb. 14, Feb. 28, and March 14. Visit the Spring Physical Literacy Institute Registration web page for more information and to register.

Don’t Miss the 2023 CAHPERD State Conference

It is time to come back to the California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (CAHPERD) State Conference. This year’s conference offers a robust program specifically focused on issues and topics that are critical to California health and physical education including: equity, social and emotional learning, universal design for learning, physical literacy, assessment, student voice, ready-to-use activities, dance, self-defense, CPR, and much, much more. It is a great opportunity to learn, connect with colleagues, and find inspiration. The conference is scheduled to take place March 9 to 11 at the Marriott in Santa Clara, CA. Visit for more information.

SHAPE America is Back on the West Coast

The Society for Health and Physical Education (SHAPE) America National Convention is scheduled for March 28 to April 1 in Seattle, WA. It’s not too late to take advantage of early bird registration to interact with teachers, researchers and leaders from throughout the county. Visit for more information.

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If you have any questions or comments about Health and Physical Education Monthly Update, please contact Paige Metz.
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