Both PHYSICAL EDUCATION and opportunities for PHYSICAL ACTIVITY are important for the physical, cognitive and social emotional growth of all students. Research has proven Physical Education and physical activity breaks during the school day enhance student concentration, focus and successful learning while reducing behavior problems. Physical Education and physical activity promote student health and do not compromise academic learning. Click the image to the right for a helpful infographic from the CDC on the benefits of physical activities of all kinds in school!   


Benefits include:

  • REDUCES risk for obesity, diabetes and chronic diseases 
  • ASSISTS in improved academic performance 
  • HELPS children feel better about themselves 
  • REDUCES risk for depression and the effects of stress
  • HELPS children prepare to be productive, healthy adults
  • IMPROVES overall quality of life


  • instruction for all children, teaching them the skills and knowledge needed to sustain an active lifestyle 
  • taught by a highly qualified physical education teacher through a well-defined curriculum with planned sequential instruction, which promotes lifelong physical activity
  • required in grades 1 – 12  by RI law and RI Department of Education regulation with an average of 100 minutes per week (combination of health & physical education)
  • aligned with the standards and performance indicators in The Rhode Island Physical Education Framework


  • bodily movement of any type
  • any recreational, fitness and sport activities such as jumping rope, playing soccer and lifting weights 
  • any daily activities such as walking to the store, taking the stairs or raking the leaves 
  • strongly recommended and encouraged to be provided in schools, with physical activity opportunities such as recess, intramurals, interscholastic sports, classroom activity breaks and walk/run/bike programs offered before, during and after school to enhance the PE curriculum
  • Physical Activity Guide for Parents 2018  (INFOGRAPHIC) (US Dept. of Health & Human Services)
  • Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans  (US Dept. of Health & Human Services)
  • CSPAP (website)  Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program is a multi-component approach by which schools use all opportunities for students to be:
    • physically active before, during, and after school
    • meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day
    • and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime.
  • Fuel Up to Play 60  (website)  Fuel Up to Play 60 is an in-school nutrition and physical activity program launched by National Dairy Council and NFL, in collaboration with the USDA, to help encourage today’s youth to lead healthier lives.
  • ​RI Kids Count Obesity & Physical Activity (webpage)  This page on the RI Kids Count website provides information about increasing physical activity in schools as a way to fight childhood obesity, including links to policy briefs they have produced on this topic, as well as links to other resources
  • Involve School Staff in Promoting Physical Activity  (Springboard to Active Schools brief)