Physical Education

​Physical Education plays a critical role in educating the whole student as part of a well rounded education. Like other academic courses of study, physical education is based upon rigorous national standards that define what students should know and be able to do as a result of participation. Physical education is unique to the school curriculum as it is the only program that provides students with opportunities to learn motor skills, develop fitness, and gain understanding about the importance of physical activity. Students will be provided an individualized, developmentally appropriate, and personally challenging instructional program that will advance the knowledge, confidence, skills, and motivation needed to engage in a lifelong, healthy, active lifestyle and to become physically literate.

Maryland State Content Standards

Students shall:

(1) Demonstrate competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns;

(2) Apply knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance;

(3) Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness;

(4) Exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others;

(5) Recognize the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and social interaction.

COMAR 13A.04.13.01C
Adapted Physical Education (APE)

The physical education program designed for individuals with disabilities is called adapted physical education as it is in Title 34 Code of Federal Regulations. The program is adapted to meet the needs of each student through modifications and accommodations.

The student is not required to adapt to the conditions of the program as would be implied with adaptive physical education as in adaptive behaviors.

Adapted Physical Education is a service not a setting. It is important to distinguish that students with disabilities that need APE services, receive this service in order to benefit from quality instruction in physical education in the Least Restrictive Environment. Least Restrictive Environment is the federal language to describe the setting for receiving these services.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was re-authorized in 2006 as one of the many reauthorizations of PL 94-142, continues to identify the curriculum content area of physical education for individuals with disabilities.

This legislation identified physical education as a curriculum area that was to be provided for ALL children with disabilities (handicapping conditions). To date, physical education continues to be the only curriculum area identified in federal law, PL 94-142 and its current reauthorization PL 105-17.

In section 300.108 it states:

“Physical Education services, specially designed if necessary, must be made available to every child with a disability receiving a free appropriate public education”

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

In Focus

Contact Information

Jason Semanoff
Physical Education Program Specialist
Division of Curriculum, Instructional Improvement, and Professional Learning
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-2595