How Many Years of Physical Education?


Recently at Pacifica High School, there have been some eyebrows raised on the call for extending the amount of years one must take physical education, a state requirement in California.

Through California’s Categorical Program Monitoring profile, the requirement to take physical education for four years in high school is enforced. However, to fulfill the requirements for high school graduation students must take at least two years of physical education. Like many rules, there are always exemptions, and in this case waivers.

In order to be granted temporary exemption, the board of a school district or the office of the county of superintendent must first grant it to a student for reasons such as illness or injury. Permanent exemption may be granted through the same officials if the student is 16 and older and has been enrolled in grade 10 for one academic year or longer.

“The fact that the school district now requires physical education for all four years is dumb, especially because this rule was implemented my senior year,” says anonymous student, “I understand that they care about our physical health but it’s not their place to force people without a waiver to take it every year.”

Although the state has its standards for the course of physical education, school districts are not required to comply. This information is important to note as it explains why many students at Pacifica High School were not required to submit a physical education waiver in the years before. Overall, if the district has decided to comply to the state’s requirements then that’s great, but it could be seen as a waste of time to some as it takes away an hour each day from taking and learning from actual academic courses.