We, the members of the Canyons School District Adapted Physical Education Program in collaboration with representatives from district wide staff and administration, have developed this statement as an indication of our belief in the benefits and outcomes to be derived by our students from participation in adapted physical education (APE). We believe students in need of motor support, should be provided appropriate APE by a qualified adapted physical education teacher. The need for appropriate general physical education (GPE) or APE is a requirement for all students. This belief is supported nationally be the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) and the National Consortium for Physical Education for Individuals with Disabilities (NCPEID) and locally by the Utah Core State Standards (UCSS) and Canyons School District general elementary and secondary physical education curriculum maps. To meet these standards and goals, all students must achieve the developmental sequence of objectives delineated in the APE curriculum. In the Canyons School District (CSD), students will graduate not only with the knowledge to be “college and career ready” but the skills to be “exercise and wellness able” for life. Carefully integrated and coordinated APE in (CSD) is critical to both the overall school curriculum and implementation of special education services. Quality APE is an essential component for proper development of every student of all ability levels. CSD special education administration, faculty, and community members consisting of parents and students, fully support the need for comprehensive and carefully constructed APE for students to master the essential movement patterns needed to maintain health and fitness throughout life. Also, CSD holds the beliefs that APE impacts students in the areas of academics, social, emotional, and physical development. The adapted physical education program in CSD ensures that physical education specialists provide students the skills necessary to become proficient in a variety of skill themes, health related fitness concepts, lifetime sports, games, and recreation both during and after their school years. Those skills foster an understanding and a passion for a lifetime rich in physical activity and overall health. To achieve these principles, CSD APE is dedicated to providing adapted physical education services to qualified students according to their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) delivered by a certified physical education teacher. CSD also promises to provide the adapted physical education program with appropriate facilities and resources needed to execute programming. The CSD APE program is built around a dynamic and action oriented curriculum of objectives. As a direct result of mastering the objectives in the adapted physical education curriculum, students will exit the program with the following goal achievements by the end of 12th grade:

– the knowledge base needed to participate in lifelong physical activity and healthful living through physical literacy

– the awareness of their individual bodies and overall spatial orientation while moving with others throughout space

– the fundamental understanding and physical skills needed to participate in modified individual and team sports

– a knowledge and value of the variety of lifetime activities

– the locomotor skills needed to participate in a multitude of societal games, modified sports, and heath-related fitness activities

– the fundamental object control skills needed to participate in a variety of societal games, modified sports, and heath-related fitness activities

– the skills needed to successfully participate in group games and modified sports by mastering personal and social responsibility

– the comprehensive knowledge of the various holistic wellness modalities

– improved physical fitness skills and cognitive knowledge needed for a lifetime rich in moderate to vigorous activity

– basic dance and rhythm movement patterns needed to participate in self expression and dance within society

Program Rationale

Adapted physical education is a crucial component to student development and a healthy lifestyle. It is scientifically proven that physical education and physical activity have a positive impact on not only the acquisition and maintenance of psychomotor skills and health concepts, but physical activity also improves psychological and affective domain development through helping manage classroom behavior, increase concentration, and promote social skills. According to the Center of Disease Control, exercise is beneficial for students because it helps a variety of lifestyle factors including: controlling and maintaining proper weight, reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce risk for type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and other health related diseases, reduce risk of some cancers, strengthen bones and muscles, improve mental health and overall mood, improve ability to do daily activities and strengthen balance and mobility. For older adults, exercise and physical activity if increases the chances of living longer (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017). More specifically, physical education for students with disabilities is especially important due to higher rates of obesity and lack of motor proficiency. Children ages 10-17 with special health care needs are 5% more likely to be obese than their peers without disabilities. A lack of motor proficiency in students with disabilities occurs due to higher levels of inactivity. Students with disabilities reported a 13% increase of physical inactivity compared to students without disabilities (Health and Human Services, 2017). For these multitude of reasons, it is essential that students with disabilities with motor needs are offered and taught the necessary APE curriculum and are supplied the tools to achieve an active lifestyle for a lifetime.