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Physical Education

The goal of The Howard County Public School System’s Physical Education program is to help prepare students for college and career readiness by developing physically-literate individuals who have the knowledge, skills, and confidence to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Students are encouraged to question, integrate, analyze, communicate and apply cognitive, psychomotor and affective concepts helping them gain a wide multicultural view of the world through physical education learning experiences. It is our hope that through positive experiences students will value physical activity and acknowledge its contributions to a healthful lifestyle.

A physical education program will be provided each year for all students in pre-kindergarten through grade eight. The elementary school master schedule will reflect an average of 90 minutes of physical education per week. The middle school master schedule will reflect 50 minutes of physical education every other day. In grades nine through twelve, program offerings will be provided to enable students to meet graduation requirements and to select physical education electives. Students with disabilities will be provided equal opportunities to participate in the HCPSS mainstream physical education program.

The HCPSS physical education curriculum is based upon the national standards set forth by the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America and the Maryland State Physical Education curriculum. The focus of the HCPSS physical education program is to ensure that all students will:

  • Demonstrate competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns that are needed to perform a variety of physical activities.
  • Apply knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.
  • Demonstrate the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
  • Exhibit responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
  • Recognize the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and/or social interaction.

Pre-k – 12 Curriculum

These resources have been created to provide parents with support in Physical Education instruction.

Additional Resources

PE Dress Guidelines for Students

Physical education students should wear clothing and footwear that allows for safe & free movement and is conducive for learning:

  • Appropriate athletic and supportive footwear is needed for safety, protection, and performance. Students should wear an athletic shoe that can be tied or velcroed.
  • No attire on/around the neck (necklaces, lanyards, garments).
  • No dangling clothing (scarves or clothes that are baggy). Exceptions should be made for religious garments.
  • No jewelry, with the exception of stud earrings, medical bracelets, and fitness trackers, may be worn during physical activity.

Wearing or changing into a specific uniform for physical education class is not part of the physical education standards, curriculum, requirements, or expectations. Students’ grades should not be reduced due to a failure to wear a specific uniform for class. Students should not be required to change or wear specific uniforms for class nor should they be required to purchase uniforms from the school in order to participate or maintain a grade. Students should be able to participate in the active portion of the class, as long as they are meeting the guidelines for physical education dress as indicated above. Students who are not dressed safely to participate should not be forced to change but should instead be given an assignment aligned to the current unit of study and should participate in a non-active role in class. If a student is wearing clothes to school that adhere to the guidelines, they should not be required to change.

Students should be made aware by their physical education teacher of the consequences for being unprepared for psychomotor assessments, as it pertains to their individual grade. Students unable to participate in physical education class should be provided an alternate learning activity reflective of the lesson(s) taking place.

Every child has different needs and experiences, both inside and outside of the school walls. For any student who may have a difficult time meeting these guidelines, the physical education teacher should confer with the school’s Pupil Personnel Worker, school counselor and administrators to find appropriate clothing and footwear for the student.


  • Eric Bishop, Coordinator of Health and Physical Education