Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Are public school students required to take PE in elementary and middle school?

As per state law, minute requirements in elementary schools are 30 minutes daily or 135 minutes per week.  In middle schools, all incoming 6th grades in the 2008-09 school year must earn 4 credits of physical education by the end of their 8th grade year.

If students in grades K-8 are not required to take PE, what is the significance of the Senate 19 Rule?

In accordance with Texas Education Code, §28.002, all students enrolled in full-day kindergarten or Grades 1-6 in an elementary school setting are required to participate in “structured physical activity” for a minimum of either 30 minutes daily or 135 minutes weekly under the following conditions: participation must be in a Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS)-based physical education class or a TEKS-based structured activity; and each school district shall establish procedures for providing the required physical activity that must consider the health-related education needs of the student and the recommendations of the local health advisory council.

Are school districts required to teach the PE TEKS?

Yes. Schools are required to address all TEKS in all of the required curriculum, foundation and enrichment content areas, when providing instruction.

Are public school students required to take PE in high school?

One and one-half credits of PE are required to include Foundations of Personal Fitness (one-half credit) of all students to graduate from high school (19TAC§74.11).

Is the Foundations of Personal Fitness class required of all students?

Yes. In accordance with Texas Administrative Code (TAC), Title 19, Part II Chapter 74, the one and one-half credits of physical education required for high school graduation must include Foundations of Personal Fitness (one-half credit). However, the school district board of trustees may allow a student to substitute certain physical activities for the required credits in physical education, including the Foundations of Personal Fitness.

What substitutions are allowed for the required credits in physical education?

The substitutions must be based on the physical activity involved in drill team, marching band, and cheerleading during the fall semester only; Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC); athletics; Dance I-IV; two- or three-credit career and technology work-based training courses, and off-campus physical education.

What qualifies as an off-campus physical education substitution?

In accordance with local district policy, a school district may award up to two credits for physical education for appropriate private or commercially-sponsored physical activity programs conducted on or off campus. The district must apply to the commissioner of education for approval of such programs, which may be substituted for state graduation credit in physical education. Such approval may be granted under the following conditions:

Olympic-level participation and/or competition includes a minimum of 15 hours per week of highly intensive, professional, supervised training. The training facility, instructors, and the activities involved in the program must be certified by the superintendent to be of exceptional quality. Students qualifying and participating at this level may be dismissed from school one hour per day. Students dismissed may not miss any class other than physical education.

Private or commercially-sponsored physical activities include those certified by the superintendent to be of high quality and well supervised by appropriately trained instructors. Student participation of at least five hours per week must be required. Students certified to participate at this level may not be dismissed from any part of the regular school day.

What is the difference between a “PE Equivalent Activity” and a “PE Waiver”?

A PE equivalent activity is considered equal to PE, and a student who participates in a PE equivalent activity such as athletics, drill team, cheerleading, or off-campus PE receives PE credit for the experience. With a PE waiver a student’s PE obligation is reduced one-half credit each time he or she completes a semester’s work in the approved PE waiver activity. Activities that may qualify as waiver activities include Marching Band, Dance I-IV, or JROTC or by one and one-half units for the entire year for a 2-3 credit Career and Technology work-based training course.

What happens to a student’s transcript if he or she receives a waiver?

Students receive academic credit in the correlating discipline for a waiver approved course. Additionally, a “W” will be placed on the AAR to indicate that PE has been ‘waived.’ A waiver is not a PE credit. A waiver reduces a student’s PE requirement, but does not result in the award of a PE credit.

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