Physical Education

Curriculum and Assessment

California Physical Education Standards

Physical Education Framework

Adapted PE

Grade Level P.E. Themes


Physical Fitness Test

Each spring, students in grades 5, 7, and 9 participate in the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT).  The physical fitness test used in California schools is the FITNESSGRAM, a comprehensive health-related physical fitness assessment.  The purpose of the PFT is to assist students in establishing lifetime habits of regular physical activity.

A Note from IUSD About Your Student's Score Report

Physical Fitness Test Frequently Asked Questions

For additional information about the Physical Fitness Test, including test options, information about healthy fitness zones, and other resources please visit the links below. 

Physical Fitness Test - California Department of Education

Reference Guide

Modules, Videos, and Training

Performance Standards

PE for Private Instruction

Step 1: Criteria

A student is eligible for a maximum of 20 units (two years) of Physical Education via Private Instruction, on a pass/fail basis, under either one of the following conditions:
If a middle or high school student is nationally ranked in an individual sport. This eligibility does not include members of a nationally ranked team.
Current National Registries

  • Diving: The student must participate in the USA Diving West Spring Junior National Championships and qualify top 15 for the Summer Zone Championships.

  • Equestrian: Must qualify for United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) rated shows and meet all membership and point requirements for each discipline entered. Must also have competed in a USEF rated show prior to the application submission.

  • Fencing: The student must be in the top 20 in the Y-12 and Y-14 divisions and the top 32 in the Y-17 (Cadet) and Y-20 (Junior) divisions as determined by at either the regional or national levels.

  • Golf: The student must participate in the PGA of Southern California Junior tour and be ranked in the top 15% of singles players in Southern California in his/her age group.

  • Gymnastics: The student competes at USA Gymnastics Level 8-10 or Elite for gymnastics, tumbling and trampoline at regional or national meet competitions.

  • Ice Skating: The student must pass the intermediate level U.S. Figure Skating Tests (moves and freestyle).

  • Surfing: Student competes in the WSA Prime and/or the NSSA Open and is ranked in the top 25% of their age group.

  • Swimming: The student must post three Age Group Championship qualifying times; compete at the official Age Group Championship Summer Meet as an individual, not a relay member, and make it to the semi-finals in at least one event.  Alternatively, qualifying times must be at a AAA ranking or higher; or three AA rankings across three events; or equivalent measure indicating top 20% status. . When Age Group Championship times are not available, please provide equivalent qualifying times and rankings with printouts showing “time standard” ranking. 
  • Tennis: The student must be ranked 3-Star or better as determined by

  • Badminton: Results posted by USA Badminton for USAB junior rankings at

  • US Archery: Results from nationally recognized events as reported at

  • Classical Ballet: Ballet students are not typically approved. However, utilizing the appeal process, elite classical ballet students can be considered at the district level. Elite status will be determined by an invitation to audition and acceptance to a nationally recognized elite summer intensive program that is different than dancer's regular studio and continued enrollment in a program utilizing nationally recognized curriculum. Evidence will include the invitation and acceptance letter from the program.

If a high school student is a member of a team in a sport not offered at the school,

  • and if that membership has been earned through a competitive tryout,

  • and if the team's practice schedule is similar to the schedule of a high school sport team in season,

  • and if the team's typical schedule is comprised of multiple (minimum three per season) interstate competitions during the school year, and at least one of those is out of state

    • or, if the team has earned the right competitively to participate in national level tournaments for the past two consecutive years.

Upon completion of annual paperwork according to stated timelines, up to five units of credit may be awarded for 18 weeks of scheduled activity.
Teams or team sports currently approved in this category are:

  • Synchronized Swimming

    • The Meraquas of Irvine

    • Riverside AQuettes

  • Arctic Jewels (U.S. Synchronized Team Skating Club)

  • Rowing

    • Newport Aquatics Rowing Club

    • Newport Sea Base Rowing

  • Southern California Amateur Hockey Association

    • South Coast Sabers (no longer exists)

    • California Wave Hockey Club Bantam AAA

    • OC Hockey Club (formerly Blackhawks Hockey Club Bantam AAA)

    • Beach City Lightning

    • LA Hockey

    • Anaheim Lady Ducks AAA

    • Huntington Beach High School Hockey

    • Anaheim Ducks High School Hockey League

    • Los Angeles Jr. Kings

Requests for Waiver from Physical Education for Private Ballet Students
The IUSD physical education philosophy includes the belief that a well-rounded physical education program includes development of skill and understanding across a wide range of fitness, physical, and athletic activity. Cross training is accepted by experts for all types of exercise for dance students. Serious ballet students are not exempt from the normal required physical education courses at middle and high school. (Serious ballet students are those who engage in 15 or more hours per week of 'en pointe' training in a recognized and established dance academy.) However, such students may be exempted from jogging or running long distances or other physical education activities that require unusually hard impact to the feet such as pole vault, hurdles, kicking a soccer ball, or activities that may cause injury because of physical contact. Warm-up should require no more time than the normal warm-up for a non-ballet student, albeit, running would not be part of it. All other typical physical education activity should prove beneficial including weight training, aerobic exercise, swimming, all types of dance, body alignment, and fitness training.
Elite students of classical ballet, with pre-professional status, may make their request utilizing the District Review Panel. Applications will be determined by a number of factors. The student must be invited to audition for and be accepted to a nationally recognized elite summer intensive program that is different than the dancer's regular studio (please include the invitation and letter of acceptance in the application.) The student should also study in a program during the year that uses a nationally recognized curriculum and involves an extensive class schedule. Applications, with supporting documentation, can be sent through the schools to the Director of Secondary Education's Office via your school site's administrator.

Step 2: Application & Approval

Independent Study for PE Forms - Submit to school site assistant principal. Deadline is the first week of classes for each semester or trimester.

Physical Education Credit via Private Instruction requires pre-approval by the principal or designee. If approved, the student shall be eligible for one fewer class than is the norm for the grade level.
It is the responsibility of the student to provide appropriate documentation including confirmation of ranking, if applicable, schedule of competitions, and required hours of supervised practice under a qualified instructor.
All other requirements of IUSD Board Policy 6157 and Administrative Regulations regarding Credit for Private Instruction shall apply.
Parents agree to supervise their student during the time they would have been in PE class. A shortened day is to be expected, not allowing for an additional course in the normal school day.
Appeals of school decisions on acceptance of an Independent Study PE application can be made through the office of the Director of Secondary Education via your school site's administrator. Appeals should be placed within seven days of the school decision and include supporting documentation. A District Review Panel will consider appeals and their decision will be final.
Physical Education Credit via Private Instruction Forms
(Application Form, Grade Submission Form, Guidelines Form)
Reference: Amateur Athletic Union

Rev. 12/2023

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