Physical Education

The goal of physical education is to develop physically literate individuals. Vermont law (16 V.S.A. § 136) defines the Physical Education program as “a sequential, developmentally appropriate program that is an enjoyable experience for students and is designed to help students develop the knowledge, skill, self-management skill, attitudes and confidence needed to adopt and maintain physical fitness throughout their lives”. The Vermont State Board of Education adopted the SHAPE America standards to guide physical education curriculum development in 2015. Students need to develop the knowledge and skills to enjoy a lifetime of healthful physical activity. Physical education should provide students with regular exercise through a variety of physical activities. High school graduates should be able to evaluate their own physical fitness, set goals, and use their knowledge and skills to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. The Agency may provide professional learning, technical assistance, and resources to schools.

Table of Contents

A Vermont Portrait of a Graduate through Health and Physical Education

Vermont Physical Education Assessment (VTPEA)

Linking Health and Learning Newsletter

Physical Education Resources

Additional Information

A Vermont Portrait of a Graduate Through Health and Physical Education 

The Agency of Education provides schools with sample proficiency-based graduation requirements for health and physical education based on state-adopted standards. These sample graduation proficiencies are examples of a rigorous proficiency-based graduation framework that meets Education Quality Standards requirements. A Vermont Portrait of a Graduate (PoG) was collaboratively developed to be used as a tool for reviewing and refining local proficiency-based graduation requirements, as well as a guide for making instructional decisions. The PoG specifies the cognitive, personal, and interpersonal skills and abilities that students should be able to demonstrate upon graduation considering six attributes: learner agency, global citizenship, academic proficiency, communication, critical thinking and problem solving, and well-being. Each attribute includes key descriptors and performance indicators.  

Health and physical education programs should provide students with valuable learning experiences that support the development of PoG attributes. The following diagram highlights specific health and physical education program skills and abilities that are associated with PoG attributes. Information about how the six attributes of a Vermont PoG can be addressed through health and physical education can be found below.

Information about how the six attributes of a Vermont PoG can be addressed through Health and Physical Education can be found below. 

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Physical Education Assessment

The Vermont ESSA plan identifies Physical Education as a indicator in our state accountability system. Vermont is committed to understanding the health-related fitness status of all students. Supervisory Unions, School Districts, or Independent Schools are required to collect and report the fitness data for all publicly funded students in grades 4, 7, and 9.

The Vermont Physical Education Assessment (VTPEA) is a suite of assessments used to assess the fitness levels of all students. The VTPEA suite includes FitnessGram, the Brockport Physical Fitness test, and the Individualized Fitness Assessment. Together, this suite of assessments collects health-related fitness data in four fitness domains. These domains are aerobic capacity, abdominal muscular strength and endurance, upper body muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.

VTPEA data is used to inform and provide feedback for local programs. Feedback should be used to create instructional opportunities to support the development of lifelong and life enhancing fitness habits. All students should have access, membership, and inclusion in fitness education programs.

2022 VTPEA Information

  • Testing Window: April – May
  • Data Use: Vermont ESSA reporting, school, and student reporting, inform programs, assure equity
  • Grade Levels: All publicly funded students in grades 4, 7, and 9 in public or independent schools
  • Assessment Domains: Aerobic capacity, abdominal muscular strength and endurance, upper body muscular strength and endurance, flexibility

VTPEA Resources

The Vermont Comprehensive Assessment Program Portal is currently under construction. Resources that support educators to prepare, administer, and report VTPEA data will be available by fall 2021.

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Linking Health & Learning – A newsletter for Vermont’s Health and Physical Educators

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Physical Education Resources

  • SHAPE America Physical Education Resources
  • Kaiser Permanente Playbook: Playbook is a useful tool for school leaders and health and physical education teachers. The playbook is focused on the health and well-being of teachers, students and staff.
  • OPEN PE: Curriculum planning resources that can help PE teachers and students focus on learning outcomesue to local outbreaks.
  • Dynamic PE: Dynamic PE guides teachers through the process of creating customized lesson plans with hundreds of instructional activities and teaching hints. Each activity has clear objectives, includes a specified equipment list, and adheres to National Standards.
  • PE Central: PE Central provides lesson plans, assessment ideas, skill and fitness challenges, and a video library that can be used to support remote physical education.
  • BOKS: A free research-based physical activity program that empowers school communities to improve their children physically, mentally, and socially through the power of movement.​

  • Adapted Physical Education National Standards (ASPENS): A set of 15 national standards representing the content a qualified Adapted Physical Educator must know to provide physical education to students with disabilities. 

  • Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP): FitnessGram and instructional resources, PYFP at Home, professional development opportunities, and access to grant opportunities.

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Additional Information

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Email Susan Yesalonia, Ed.D. or call (802) 828-6553.

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Vermont Agency of Education
Secretary Daniel M. French
1 National Life Drive, Davis 5
Montpelier, VT 05620-2501

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