Physical education (PE) is an important academic subject that teaches students to be physically active, work as a team, and set fitness goals that can last a lifetime. The fitness-based skills that students learn in PE is what emerging research shows is essential to learning.
In New York State, all students must receive PE as a part of their education, including students with disabilities who may be recommended for modified, developmentally appropriate physical education, called adapted PE.
NYC PE teachers receive professional development on using the Physical Best: Physical Education for Lifelong Fitness curriculum, which emphasizes participation in a variety of physical activities (traditional sports, non-traditional sports, and fitness activities). Physical Best helps students find activities and behaviors that contribute to lifelong health and wellness.
Learn more about Physical Education Requirements for Elementary, Middle School, and High School. Also, see what your child’s school provided in the 2015-16 school year under Local Law 102 of the City of New York, an annual reporting bill that includes borough, district and school-level data about how often PE is provided per week, number of certified PE teachers, PE space, and supplemental programs.
PE Works is a multi-year improvement plan, funded by City Hall, to revitalize physical education so that our students receive high-quality, standards-based PE according to State requirements. Read the Year One Report of this initiative. In 2016-17, PE Works staff will assess PE programming and instruction in each district public school, and help schools with the assistance, resources, and planning required to create environments where PE thrives.
Adapted Physical Education
In New York State, all elementary and secondary students must receive physical education as a part of their educational program. The federal law Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, enacted by Congress in 1975) entitles all students with disabilities to receive a free, appropriate public education, including appropriate PE. Adapted Physical Education (APE) is vitally important to the quality of life for students with disabilities. APE is developmentally appropriate PE. APE teachers adapt, modify, and/or change a physical activity so that it is as appropriate for the person with a disability as it is for a person without a disability. For more information, email APE@schools.nyc.gov
Every year, PE teachers provide public schools students with individual fitness assessments that enable them to track their physical fitness levels and progress over time. The results of these assessments are shared with each student and his/her family in a personalized report, now available on NYC Schools Account. Learn more about NYC FITNESSGRAM.
Teachers and Other Educators
For PE professional learning activities, lesson plans, and online collaboration tools, see WeTeachNYC, an online resource library and professional learning portal created by the New York City Department of Education.
For questions about adapted PE in elementary and middle school, email APE@schools.nyc.gov.