Physical Education (PE)
Physical Education (PE) develops students' competence and confidence to take part in a range of physical activities that become a central part of their lives, both in and out of school. A high-quality PE curriculum enables all students to enjoy and succeed in many kinds of physical activity.The state guidance says that schools reopening plans should ensure, to the extent possible, that students receive physical education from a certified teacher, whether that be through an in-person, remote or hybrid learning model.
“Participating in Physical Education (PE) is important for our students’ health and well-being. Not only do PE activities benefit students’ physical health, but research indicates regular physical activity improves students’ mental health, as well as contributes to academic success,” according to the guidance.
These sentiments were echoed in the city’s initial guidance, which states that physical education must be a part of every students’ academic program, whether they are receiving in-person or remote instruction.
According to the city, any available school space -- such as classrooms, auditoriums, cafeterias and outdoor fields and playgrounds -- can be used to conduct physical education, so long as it is properly ventilated and provides enough space to safely social distance.
Students are required to wear face coverings at all times, maintain safe social distances and adhere to hand washing protocols at all times, according to city guidance, with classes encouraged to use outdoor space whenever possible and avoid the use of locker rooms.
Due to hybrid learning models likely minimizing the face-to-face interaction time between students and faculty, physical education teachers are advised to develop physical learning activities that can be conducted independently or with other staff members, according to the state.
During in-person instruction, schools must ensure that a distance of 12 feet between individuals is maintained in all directions during aerobic exercises that result in heavy breathing, per New York State Health Department Guidelines.