Enhanced P.E.

Illinois’ kids deserve to have physical education so they can be academically competitive, healthy, and ready to take on the challenges that face the next generation. Towards that end, the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI) has worked to enhance physical education (P.E.) in schools since 2012 and contributes a vast set of resources, professional development and policy work to IAPO to support P.E.

The journey to enhanced P.E.:

  • Origins of Enhanced P.E. in Illinois

Selection of “Enhanced Physical Education” as an intervention to promote in Illinois: IPHI was invited to Washington D.C. as part of a delegation, along with the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) and the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE), to review a set of evidence-based interventions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Guide to Community Prevention Services

Children running on a gym floor. The children are all wearing black shirts and black shorts. Their tennis shoes are different colors and their socks are black. The gym floor is light brown with white lines in various places. The children are different sizes and ages.

Convinced by research linking physical activity with a reduced risk of developing chronic disease among children, as well as a growing body of neuroscience research linking movement and improved health, academic and behavioral outcomes among students, the delegation selected “Enhanced Physical Education” (EPE) as an intervention to promote in Illinois.  Read more about EPE here.

Development of Enhanced P.E. Strategic Plan: Back in Illinois, ISBE, IDPH and IPHI led efforts to produce the Enhanced P.E. Strategic Plan, a high-level roadmap for implementing a vision that all students enrolled in Illinois K-12 schools will participate in daily, high-quality physical education.  The plan was informed by input from a voluntary Enhanced P.E. Task Force.

  • New laws to strengthen P.E.: Continued advocacy by IPHI and partners led to the passage of Public Act 97-1102, which established the Illinois Enhance P.E. Task Force (EPE Task Force). The EPE Task Force was charged with revising the State Learning Standards on Physical Development and Health to integrate enhanced P.E. concepts and bring them into alignment with current best practices. Its second charge was to promote and recommend EPE programs that could be integrated with broader wellness strategies and health curriculum in elementary and secondary schools. Read the EPE Task Force’s report and recommendations here, which were adopted and become effective in 2015-16. 

Based on the EPE Task Force’s recommendation to develop and utilize metrics to assess the impact of enhanced P.E., Public Act 98-0859 was then enacted to implement fitness testing in Illinois in the 2016-17 school year. PA 98-0859 created the Stakeholder and Expert Task Force on P.E. (SETFPE), which was charged with operationalizing fitness testing. Read the SETFPE report and recommendations here.

IPHI served on these task forces and, based on our P.E. expertise, was engaged by ISBE to provide logistical support and subject-matter expertise as well.

Professional Development: Based on this previous experience, IPHI was selected by the Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) as part of a CDC grant to develop and deliver Pump Up P.E.: Promote Health, Learning and Lifelong Fitness, a professional development program for P.E. teachers on implementing state P.E. requirements and EPE best practices. Watch a video about this project here

Image: Use “running arc” photo in the Google drive of photos

Subsequently, IDPH funded additional Pump Up P.E. trainings across Illinois and IPHI has been commissioned by numerous districts to provide trainings and technical assistance.  To date, IPHI’s cadre of master trainers have delivered 56 trainings to over 1,000 P.E. teachers from over 300 districts across Illinois. Learn more about our Pump Up P.E trainings and TA packages here

Questions or interested in booking a Pump Up P.E. Training? Contact Sarah Chusid, Physical Activity Program Manager.