Mandating physical education
Virginia Beach’s elementary school students generally receive at least 45 minutes of physical activity each day – 30 in physical education and 15 in recess activity.
Virginia’s current Standards of Accreditation require each elementary school to provide students with daily recess at levels deemed appropriate by the school. John Miller, a Democrat who represents part of the Peninsula, and Del.
However, the law was originally written in 1917 and amended in 1967, before the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The childs program should be modified to reflect activities that the child can participate in, even if some modifications are necessary.
music lessons, gifted programs, ESL instruction) for recess. The law requires that the medical inspector determine the childs fitness for participation in such courses. Individual student needs should be addressed through the students Individualized Education Plan or 504 Plan.
The principal must ensure that the student has met local district curricular objectives and should carefully document the students achievement. The school should provide alternative ways for the child to meet the health and physical education core standards. Others prefer to average the four grades and record one final grade on the student record. Local school board policy should not permit a teacher to discipline a student by restricting his/her access to other instructional programs like art, music, or physical education.
For elementary students, schools must design programs that address appropriate activity levels and behaviors not only during physical education but during recess, after-school programs, and class trips. The child could be assigned to participate in physical education during that time that his/her class is receiving health instruction. Such decisions should be subject to administrative review.
According to spokespeople from the divisions, Chesapeake students in first through fifth grade and full-day kindergarten have two 30-minute physical education classes per week and 15 to 20 minutes of recess on each of the remaining three days.