The purpose of physical education is for students to develop an "orientation to lifetime fitness." To have an orientation to lifetime fitness, students need to develop the skills, knowledge, and attitude necessary to be physically active for a lifetime. MPS uses the nationally recognized SPARK curriculum for kindergarten to grade 8. This curriculum focuses on using a variety of activities to engage students and get them moving in and out of school. MPS physical education at the high school includes the use of SPARK integrated into a variety of courses to help students learn what it means to be physically active for a lifetime. All students are expected to participate in physical education classes to the best of their ability and demonstrate their competency in the standards.
National Physical Education Standards
MPS uses the National Physical Education Standards from the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America (download the full standards/grade-level outcomes document). All grading is based on these national standards.
- Standard 1 – The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.
- Standard 2 – The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics related to movement and performance.
- Standard 3 – The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.
- Standard 4 – The physically literate individual exhibits responsible personal and social behavior that respects self and others.
- Standard 5 – The physically literate individual recognizes the value of physical activity for health, enjoyment, challenge, self-expression, and/or social interaction.
Adapted Physical Education
The district provides ongoing citywide support to physical education teachers, classroom teachers, and other supportive staff through the services of an itinerant physical education/special education specialist. These services include
- working with teachers who request help/support in developing and implementing differentiated instruction to their special needs students,
- adapted equipment and training,
- motor skills and fitness assessment,
- IEP assistance,
- curriculum development,
- coordination of citywide in-service trainings,
- staff Professional Development Day workshops,
- Special Olympics and adaptive sports assistance,
- adventure education for special populations, and
- supporting teachers with assistive technology needs.
For more information or assistance, please call the Adapted Physical Education office at 414-475-8850.
Fitness testing is an essential skill that students learn to do in physical education classes. Fitness testing helps students understand key components of health-related fitness. For the 2017–18 school year, MPS developed and piloted a new fitness testing process called Fit Check. This process focuses on three primary assessments: body mass index, or BMI (height and weight), PACER (progressive aerobic cardiovascular endurance run), and curl-ups. All students in physical education classes in high schools during this year participated in Fit Check. Teachers in selected schools completed Fit Check assessments during the first semester, and all schools were required to complete the assessments by the end of the second semester. In the 2018–19 school year, Fit Check expanded to grade 4 and higher in all MPS schools.
Milwaukee Public Schools is implementing Fit Check to help teach health-related fitness. MPS will be using evidence-based test protocols. This testing is designed to provide accurate and reliable information about students' levels of physical fitness. The Fit Check physical fitness assessment is based not on athletic ability but on good health. Physical fitness has a direct correlation to the health and happiness of children and adults and also to academic success.
Fit Check scores are excluded from student grades. For the 2017–18 school year, only parents with students in high school received from their child's school a permission form allowing students to opt out of the height and weight measurement of Fit Check. Once the testing was complete, parents of students received the personalized results of the Fit Check assessment. Parents were encouraged to talk with their child about the results and the recommendations.
Fit Check Parent Letter