Physical Education

Physical education plays a critical role in educating the whole child as part of a well-rounded education. Like other academic courses of study, physical education is based upon rigorous state and national standards. 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 an understanding of the importance of physical activity.
 
Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.04.13.01 requires every school system to provide an instructional program in physical education for all students in grades PreK-8 each year to meet the requirements of the State Framework. Further, each local school system must offer a standards-based physical education program in grades 9-12 which enables students to meet graduation requirements and select physical education electives that align with the State Framework.

The State Framework identifies what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade. It was developed by local and national subject matter experts, including school system leaders, certified physical education teachers, and students. Local education agencies use it as a guide to create their curricula and instructional resources. 



ADAPTED PHYSICAL EDUCATION

A specially designed physical education service for a student with a disability is called adapted physical education.

A student with a disability, as defined in COMAR 13A.05.01.03B(78), shall have an equal opportunity to participate in the standards-based physical education program to meet the requirements of the State Framework.

Local education agencies (LEAs) must provide reasonable accommodations to ensure students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate, to the fullest extent possible, in the standards-based physical education program. LEAs must also ensure that adapted, allied, or unified physical education, as defined in Education Article §7-4B-01, Annotated Code of Maryland, is available and coincides with the standards-based physical education program outcomes for the students who qualify.

Additional guidance for teaching students who are not meeting grade-level outcomes can be found in the Guide for Serving Students with Disabilities in Physical Education (2022).

Contact Information

Jason Semanoff
Physical Education Specialist, Instructional Programs Branch
Office: (410) 767-0327
jason.semanoff@maryland.gov