Physical Education & Activity Guidelines

Learn more about the Department's Physical Education Standards here, including the content of physical education by school level. We foster physical activity for all students, whatever their abilities.

Hawaii Content & Performance Standards III for physical education

The four content standards for physical education are:
  1. Movement Forms: Use motor skills and movement patterns to perform a variety of physical activities
  2. Cognitive Concepts: Understand movement concepts, principles, strategies, and tactics as they apply to the learning and performance of physical activities
  3. Active Lifestyle: Participate regularly in physical activity
  4. Physical Fitness: Know ways to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical fitness

The physical education experience, in general, will include the fostering of acceptance of differences and the ability of each student to contribute to the physical activity setting by honoring the rules of the game and modeling appropriate behaviors. Teamwork and support will be stressed as students work toward individual, team and or group goals. A general emphasis will be placed upon guiding students to make a commitment to physical activity as an important part of one’s own lifestyle. Each school’s physical education department should develop a school plan that ensures that students will have the continued opportunity for participation in physical activity.

Physical Education in Elementary School
Physical education is required in all elementary grades and structured around accepted guidelines of motor and movement form development for all children. Instruction ensures integrated, cumulative physical education in each grade level. Experiences are provided so that each child has an equal opportunity to meet all the content standards in each grade cluster (K-2 and 3-5). The emphasis is on developing the mature forms of locomotor, non-locomotor, and manipulative skills and the application of combinations of movement forms into a variety of basic games and physical activity settings. Students also learn about the basic benefits of physical activity and are encouraged to choose health-enhancing pursuits both inside and outside of the school setting.

Physical Education in Intermediate and Middle School
Physical education is highly recommended, but not required, in intermediate and middle school grades. The intermediate or middle level physical education courses emphasize the application of a variety of movement forms (locomotor, non-locomotor, manipulatives) in a wide range of adapted and modified games and sport activities. Physical education provides opportunities to apply combinations of movement forms starting at a basic level and working towards more complex and changing situations. By the end of the 8th grade, physical education students will have acquired many of the specialized skills required to participate in a variety of recreational, fitness, and sport activities. In addition, courses enable students to make the connections between physical activity and the many health-enhancing benefits of exercise. Students will develop a working knowledge of a variety of training and conditioning principles to choose activities and exercises that improve health-related fitness.

Physical Education in High School
The 1.0 credit physical education requirement for graduation may be met by a student’s successful completion of the 0.5 credit required course and a 0.5 credit basic elective course. Courses enable students to use biomechanical concepts and scientific principles to analyze and improve the performance of self and others. Courses empower students to maintain and improve their own physical fitness, motor skills, and knowledge about physical activity, and help others achieve the same. As a result, students willingly participate in fitness activities, games, sports, dance, and other physical activities inside and outside of the school setting that contribute to the improvement or maintenance of health-related lifelong fitness.

Regardless of grade level, all students have at least 20 minutes a day of supervised recess, during which students are encouraged to participate in moderate to vigorous physical activity.

Physical activity during recess has many benefits: it helps students focus when they return to class, teaches them social lessons, and primes their bodies to digest calories at lunch.

Community Resources

The following resources contain ideas and activities to help your child achieve 60 minutes of physical activity every day:

2024 Hawaii State A Lifetime of Healthy Activity Physical Education (ALOHA PE) Project Video Competition

The Hawaii State Department of Education's (Department) Physical Education Program, Healthy Hawaii Initiative Program, and Hawaii Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (HAHPERD) held the annual 2024 Hawaii State ALOHA PE Project Video Competition focused on the Hawaii Content and Performance III (HCPS III) PE Standard 3 "Active Lifestyle" and HCPS III PE Standard 4 "Physical Fitness." All of Hawaii's middle and high school students were eligible to participate in the 2024 Hawaii State ALOHA PE Project Video Competition. Students learned the importance of healthy lifestyles by creating a personal fitness plan with specific fitness goals. The achievement of these goals is measured by pre and post-data collection and assessment.

Congratulations to the 2024 winners:
Congratulations to the 2023 winners:

Congratulations to the 2022 winners:

Congratulations to the 2021 winners:

The top finishers from 2020 were:

Contact Information

Physical Education Program

Phone: (808) 784-6424


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