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May 2024

How Do We Define Quality?

Educators throw around terms like “best practices,” often without a common agreement of what constitutes powerful teaching and learning. Without consensus regarding what quality programming looks like, it is easy to develop blind spots and inconsistencies in our practice.  

Recently, the San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE) Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre released two documents to define quality physical education programming based on: 

  • Learning Environment
  • Instruction
  • Curriculum
  • Assessment
  • Professionalism 

The following guiding documents define specific elements that optimize student learning in physical education.

1st Best Instruction: Elementary Physical Education

1st Best instruction: Secondary Physical Education

These documents are not intended to be used to evaluate teacher practice. Even the best teachers will identify things that haven’t previously been on their radar. Instead, these documents are intended to cultivate reflection, conversation, collaboration, and innovation in our work. They are meant to evolve our practice and develop students’ physical literacy in a manner that is equitable, meaningful and empowering.

Take a few minutes to review the document that best matches the students you work with. Consider using it to:

  • Reflect on your current practice by jotting down “evidence” for each of the descriptors. What strengths and opportunities do you see?
  • Share and discuss it with colleagues at department/district meetings (perhaps focusing on one element every time you meet). How might policies, procedures and programming evolve?
  • Plan future units and lessons. What can we do to engage students meaningfully with content?
  • Design a student survey to collect feedback on students’ experiences. What do they say about their learning and experiences? How might we better serve them?
  • Share with site/district leaders, including induction providers, so they better understand what quality physical education looks like. What support do you need to evolve programming?
  • Create a multi-year plan to evolve your practice and programs over time. How can we implement meaningful change without being overwhelmed?

The SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre will provide professional learning during the 2024-25 school year that will provide a “deep dive” into each of these documents. In the meantime, review the indicators. Wrap your head around them. Use them to start conversations. Consider the possibilities.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if there is anything I can do to support you, your site, or district. Wishing you the best of luck as you finish the school year!

Health and Physical Education Coordinator
San Diego County Office of Education (SDCOE)
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Reference Guide cover - people working out

Share the New Reference Guide for Physical Education in California Schools! 

Help administrators and colleagues better understand physical education by sharing and discussing the new Reference Guide for Physical Education in California Schools. Written by physical education leaders from throughout California, this resource:

  • Describes the intended outcome(s) of physical education
  • Clarifies California Education Code and regulations for physical education
  • Addresses common issues, questions, and misunderstandings
  • Encourages educators to assess and rethink physical education traditions
  • Guides course design, as well as curriculum and instructional practices
  • Provides access to additional resources

Join us on May 2 from 4 to 5 p.m. to discuss the essential elements of the new Reference Guide for Physical Education in California Schools. The webinar will review considerations for quality physical education curriculum and instruction, including programming requirements as stated in Ed Code. You'll also discover how to leverage this guide as a resource for assessing teaching methods and enhancing instructional practices. Share the May 2 event flier and link to register with colleagues who might benefit from this critical information. A link to participate will be emailed to registered attendees prior to the webinar. 

Don’t Miss the 2024 San Diego CAHPERD End of Year Awards and Social on May 16!

Join health and physical educators from throughout San Diego County on May 16 from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Firefly Eatery (located at the Dana Resort on Mission Bay) to celebrate quality health and physical education! Connect with colleagues and learn about programs, teachers, administrators, and community partners who exemplify the best in our disciplines. Please RSVP by May 16 to let us know you’ll be there and to receive updated event information.

San Diego County Announces “Revive and Survive” Program

The County of San Diego, in collaboration with UC San Diego, has set a goal to train one million San Diegans in hand-only CPR by the end of 2024. The program, called “Revive and Survive,” will provide free training and can help secure training materials for schools. To learn more visit the Revive and Survive webpage, check out the Revive and Survive informational video or email

SDCOE Health and Physical Education Leadership Cadre is Here to Support Your Efforts

Health and physical education leaders selected from throughout San Diego County, who have been trained in student-centered coaching and leadership, are available to provide support to teachers, sites, and districts. Customized support is available for all levels (elementary, middle, and high school) and in the following topics:

  • First best instruction
  • Equity and inclusion
  • Curricula selection, design, and curation
  • On-site coaching
  • Support and networking for aspiring, new, and veteran teachers
  • Professional learning

To learn more, and to schedule one of the SDCOE Health and Physical Education Cadre leaders to work with you, please contact Paige Metz at

Picture of leadership cadre group

Summer Professional Learning Opportunities You Won’t Want to Miss!

Don’t miss the opportunity to update your practice, expand your expertise and enjoy the camaraderie of other physical educators. Summer workshops offer fun and innovative professional learning! Check out some of what is being offered in California this summer!

July 7-13: California Athletics and Physical Education (CAPE) Workshop at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

July 15-19: Elementary Physical Education Workshop at Cal Poly Pomona

July 19-21: California Middle School Physical Education Workshop at Cal State Fullerton

View all SDCOE events

Critical Resources for Health Education

Critical Resources for Physical Education

Critical Resources for Quality Instruction

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