Health and Physical Education
About Physical Education

Curricular Standards

Curricular Standards Physical education is one of three components of the in the North Carolina State Standard Course of Study in the Healthful Living Education curriculum. The physical education program for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and the national standards established by the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance.

Physical education is taught by certified physical educators in grades K-12. Elementary students receive physical education instruction one day a week. At the middle school level, students receive one semester to one year of physical education instruction. Students at the high school level are required to take two semesters of physical education to meet state and local graduation standards. Electives are available to high school students.


The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' physical education program collaborates with local community organization to enrich the physical education program and provide students the incentives to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.

The Carolina Panthers, Nike, and the elementary physical educators have joined to form the Panther P.A.L.S. Club to provide students incentives to run or walk each day.

As a community service project elementary and middle school physical educators, support the American Heart Association through their Jump Rope for Heart campaigns. Teachers and schools receive educational materials to help them design rope jumping learning experiences. Schools also receive educational support materials, Heart Power Kits, for classroom use.

Presbyterian Health Care, Project Fit America, and local community businesses have provided playground equipment, teacher resource materials, and teacher in-service educational experiences.

Assessment of Fitness Levels

As we move into the next century, it is imperative for students to learn the process and concepts of fitness assessment. Our goal is to provide students with the ability to evaluate their fitness throughout their lives. Through physical education instruction, students will be empowered to take responsibility for their level of fitness.

Curricular and Instructional Considerations

Physical fitness programs should be individualized to allow for different needs and levels of fitness. The teaching/learning environment should be supportive, encouraging, and accommodate individual differences. Content topics that should be included in a one-day-a-week elementary health-related fitness unit of study are listed below.

  • A rationale about the importance of regular physical activity
  • Information about the components and measurement of physical fitness
  • How to interpret fitness test results
  • How to set long and short-term goals
  • How to be healthy and physically active
  • How to choose activities that have intrinsic value for the student
  • These activities include the following characteristics:
  • Challenge
  • Curiosity
  • Control
  • Creativity
  • Fun

Modification of One-Mile Walk/Run

Based upon data from the Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research, students in grades K-3 (ages five to nine) should not be timed in the mile. Nine-year-old students in grade 4 and above may receive a score. Teachers in grades K-3 are strongly advised to use the PACER.

The purpose for testing cardiovascular/aerobic capacity for K-3 students is to provide an enjoyable learning experience. The objective is for the students to complete the recommended distance at a comfortable pace. The emphasis is on learning to pace and to successfully complete the task. Students and teachers are encouraged to keep walk/run or PACER records to monitor individual progress.