Amount of Required Physical Education: Massachusetts mandates physical education in grades K-12, but it does not require daily recess in elementary school. The state requires high schools to provide students with physical education. Compliance with physical education law is monitored during the coordinated program review that is conducted with all school districts on a rotating basis every six years. A school that does not require physical education in every grade is required to develop corrective action plans.
High School Graduation Requirements: State law does not specify the number of physical education credits required for graduation.
Substitutions: The state permits school districts or schools to allow students to substitute other activities for their required physical education credit. Local school officials have discretion to determine whether and how a student, particularly at the high school level, may meet the physical education requirement through an organized program of instructed physical activity. This discretion is similar to the authority of school officials to permit students to fulfill the requirements of an academic course by taking a course elsewhere that the officials deem to be equivalent.
Substitutions: Exemptions/Waivers: Individual school districts may grant waivers or exemptions.
State Standards: The state has developed its own standards for physical education. The Massachusetts Comprehensive Health Curriculum Framework was last revised in 1999. [See State Standards for Physical Education chart for details.]
State Curriculum: The state does not require the use of specific curricula for elementary, middle school/junior high or high school physical education. Local school districts decide their own physical education curricula, which may include commercial curricula.
Class Size: The state does not mandate a teacher-to-student ratio comparable to other curricular areas