Physical Education experienced landmark progress in 2017-2018!! For the first time since the 1970’s, we added two Elementary Physical Education (EPE) Specialists. And for the first time EVER...we hired our own Adapted Physical Education (APE) teacher! The addition of these positions will be of immeasurable value to DUSD students. The research is clear: healthier kids learn better, and movement throughout their school day leads to fewer behavior issues, increased student engagement, and the creation of a safe & supportive learning environment.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is essential in today’s schools. Physical Education is the only content area that explicitly teaches SEL as part of our CA Model Content Standards. Quality PE not only enhances our students’ Physical Literacy journey, it builds better human beings through teamwork, problem-solving, communication, and empathy-building.

Assessment, Grade Level Outcomes (GLOs), & Curriculum Maps in DUSD PE led to some amazing innovation! One example.....Plickers Magnets (“Plagnets”) were implemented this year as a quick technology-based tool for students to self-assess on their progress toward mastering the lesson objective/GLO.

The “4 C’s” of Common Core are readily evident in any PE lesson. Communication, Creativity, Collaboration, Critical Thinking. And opportunities for student voice and choice are developed regularly to empower our young people. Choice of equipment, choice of task or activity, choice of group members....the teacher sets the parameters, and the students are empowered to produce great results as they feel they have a voice in their own learning.

EPE Teacher Devina Cruz - with rubber chickens in hand! - ready to start class with an amazing cooperative activity!

EPE Teacher Rick Rivera prompts a student group to develop shared responsibility for knowing the safety considerations and rules for a cooperative activity. Developing shared responsibility leads to higher levels of group success!

APE Teacher Diego Diaz celebrates a successful event with one of his students during the 1st Annual DUSD Spring Games for our Mod/Severe Students!

APE student Diego Diaz poses for a photo with the Diaz Brothers of “McFarland USA” movie fame! Diego, who has cerebral palsy, just completed his first 5K race in McFarland!

The two Diego’s!! APE student Diego Diaz is pictured here with his APE teacher, also named Diego Diaz (no relation)! Mr. Diaz motivated and supported young Diego to participate in and complete his first ever 5K race in McFarland. This is a moving example of the influence and connection our new APE program can have on our students. One caring adult, going above and beyond his job responsibilities, can motivate these wonderful students to achieve goals not previously imagined!

Legendary “McFarland USA” Cross Country coach Jim White poses with young Diego Diaz at the finish of Diego’s 1st ever 5K race! Motivation, support, care, and love for our DUSD APE students from amazing adults! All made possible through the new DUSD APE program!

Legendary McFarland Cross Country Coach Jim White puts the medal around young Diego Diaz’ neck as he completes his first ever 5K race! All made possible by the DUSD APE program and teacher Diego Diaz! Wow!

DUSD PE was chosen to be a part of a select group of school districts from across the country to participate in SHAPE America’s national Field Test for Physical Education. Several hundred DUSD 5th & 8th grade PE students were able to take the test. The results will be shared with participating districts for the purpose of determining if there is a need for a national PE assessment. DUSD PE wanted to get in on the ground floor of this movement so that we might have a voice in the development of this instrument. DUSD PE Teachers who administered the test provided written input that will be shared with SHAPE America and the A.I.R. testing company. Our voice will help guide the future of a national PE assessment project!!

DUSD PE was recommended by staff at CSU Channel Islands to participate in a physical activity study from San Francisco State University! SFSU is currently doing research on how schools and districts make decisions related to physical education and physical activity programming. Our participation consisted of the completion of a brief survey, followed by a 2-hour phone interview. Once again, the good work and reputation of our district PE program is recognized by other institutes of higher learning, and we are able to continue to shine a positive light on our programs, and our district.

The DUSD PE Task Force met monthly to discuss promising practices, successes, failures, the transition to a Physical Literacy model, and our journey with assessment development. The video below is from one of those meetings where we got hands-on experience with a new team-building model called Breakout EDU. Great stuff!

Fitness Fun Days (FFDs) - used as student incentives - are beginning to replace food-based and other more sedentary types of student reward systems (like watching a movie in the cafeteria). Movement-based incentives like FFDs are naturally engaging and fun for our students! It promotes game-playing as a reward and through careful planning, can also enhance intrapersonal and interpersonal growth & development. If we want our kids to engage in healthy behaviors once they leave us, it’s important to stay away from promoting food as a reward, and reinforce the idea of movement as a reward!! Fitness Fun Days are a great way to achieve this! Kids love it!

Created By
Ken Dyar

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