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At these uncertain times in education, many health and physical educators are concerned about whether their programs and jobs are secure for the upcoming school year. I am sure there are many teachers out there that would like to be able to find the words, the resources and the courage to advocate their contributions and worth to their principal, superintendent, families and school board, but just don’t know where to start.  

Honestly, the time to solicit that support should be an on-going effort that needed to take place before now or any other crisis that potentially threatens our content area. Coming “out of the blue” with asks and demands makes it a bit harder. However, your exemplary work often stands on its own merit, so allow me to help with the following letter that you can copy, paste  and edit on your own school or personal letterhead.  Feel free to customize this template so that you can share with stakeholders and administrators about what YOUR specific story and journey has been. Talk about your experience and the experiences of your students. Decision-makers care most about the impact you have on students and families in your school community. Make it personal. 

So, have a look below and be sure to reach out to SHAPE America for more info on advocacy and resources. Good luck to you on your journey to support and promote quality HPE in your school: 

To:  Admin name and title

From: Your name, title, school

Re: Health & Physical Education: 2020-21 school year

I am writing today to offer my assistance in the actions plans for the upcoming school year as a health and physical education content expert at (School Name). Now more than ever, we are experiencing the critical value and necessity of the priority that student wellness has had and will have as we prepare to re-open schools.  

We have known for quite some time from research that skill-based health education and daily physical activity in the amount of 60 minutes a day for school-aged children contributes to the academic achievement of students. We also know that healthy, active children experience positive behavioral change and increased school attendance. 

Additionally, a standards-based, sequential and developmentally appropriate health and physical education program that provides opportunities for health and physical literacy serves to support not only the wellness of our students, but to introduce and reinforce foundational outcomes in the areas of social-emotional learning, equity and inclusion. A few objectives in our health and physical education program that many do not know are associated with my content include: the lifelong skills of relationship-building, decision-making, self-advocacy, kindness, mindfulness, communication and teamwork. 

It is essential that as we plan for what the “new normal” will look like in our schools and in our district, health and physical education take a front row seat in supporting students, many of whom may return to school with heightened feelings of anxiety, stress or depression due to their stay-at-home experiences. 

To that end, I would like to  ask that in the planning for the Fall,  adequate funding for physical education equipment, technology and  professional development be set aside from Federal Title II and Title IV Part A school district funding allocations in order to build the foundation for what will be effective strategies to serve students in  physical education. Please see my suggestions attached. 

(In a separate or attached document, be sure to insert estimated dollar amounts with general equipment and technology need examples and examples of PD you’d want, for example: Extra equipment be purchased in order to institute new hygiene and cleaning protocols between classes: balls, hoops, scarves, cones, floor tape, etc.  to accommodate each student in class to support a healthier and safer environment. Having the means by which to assess students using resources such as plickers and kahoot to minimize the need for regular paper/pencil assessments. Perhaps this is a set up in the gymnasium where information could be projected on a screen and lcd projector mounted from the ceiling.  Attendance at the state and national conventions in the 2020-2021 school year in order to deliver the most cutting edge best practices in your field  and provide evidence that you are committed to a growth mindset on behalf of your students)

In closing, I am looking forward to working with the administration to support and promote the health and wellness of every child in our school through the delivery of an exemplary health and physical education program when we return to school. Please let me know when we can meet to discuss how I can be of help as we plan for the upcoming school year.  Thank you for taking the time and for your anticipated support. 

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