New York State Physical Education Standards

Instructor: Carrie Soucy
The learning standards for physical education in New York focus on three core areas. Read on to learn what the standards entail, along with additional state mandates for physical education at various grade levels.

Physical Education Standards and Requirements in New York

New York's physical education learning standards are organized into expectations for elementary, middle and high school students. The state requires all students to participate in physical education and does not allow exemptions or waivers. For severely disabled students, the state offers alternative assessment standards that align with those for all students. New York additionally outlines the minimum time that elementary, middle and high school students must spend in physical education classes.

Overview of the Standards

New York's physical education standards cover individual activity, community and social behaviors, and knowledge of resources. Each standard includes required learning concepts and performance indicators that confirm students comprehend the concepts. The following areas comprise the three core standards:

  • Personal Health and Fitness
  • A Safe and Healthy Environment
  • Resource Management

Standard One: Personal Health and Fitness

The personal health and fitness standard requires that students learn how to live a physically fit lifestyle. Students develop skills that target strength, endurance, body composition and flexibility. Depending on grade level, students should be able to perform different types of physical activities, such as motor skills games or organized sports.

Performance standards include participation in physical activities, demonstration of typical motor skills, comprehension of the risks of physical activity and inactivity, and awareness of the effects of physical activity on personal wellness.

Standard Two: A Safe and Healthy Environment

The standard on safe and healthy environments outlines expectations for students regarding health and safety. Requirements include demonstrating appropriate social behaviors, understanding the benefits of physical activity, and spotting and mitigating potential safety issues.

Students who meet this standard should be able to recognize safety issues related to physical activity, exhibit appropriate behaviors when involved in or watching physical activities, show an ability to engage effectively and respectfully in a group, and display proper behaviors for preventing injury.

Standard Three: Resource Management

Resource management requires students to know how to utilize community resources for physical activities, understand how to evaluate those resources, and have knowledge of sports and physical fitness-related careers.

The performance indicators for this standard require students to show knowledge of personal and community resources that provide the chance to participate in fitness or sports-related activities as well as engagement in one or more of these physical activities.

Physical Education Requirements

All students, from kindergarten through grade 12, must spend 120 minutes per week in physical education. The weekly physical education requirements for each grade level are:

Grade Range Weekly Physical Education Requirements
Kindergarten through Grade 3 Daily
Grades 4 - 6 At least 3 days per week
Grades 7 - 12 At least 3 days per week half the school year and 2 days each week the other half of the school year

Students in grades 9 through 12 must earn at least two credits in physical education, which typically equals one physical education class per semester throughout four years of high school, in order to graduate.

Resources for Teachers Implementing the Standards

For New York teachers charged with implementing these standards and requirements, there's a variety of professional development resources available. These self-paced courses can be conveniently accessed 24/7 from any computer or tablet. Teachers can use the lessons from these courses to help with lesson and class planning, provide ready-made quizzes and tests for students, and engage students during class or as extracurricular activities to help them learn and understand the importance of physical education.