Healthier Schools, New Mexico
Physical Education & Activity

Physical Education, taught by a licensed physical education specialist, is the school's instructional program that provides the optimal opportunity for all students to learn and develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to personally decide to participate in a lifetime of healthful physical activity.

The Physical Education and Activity component promotes:

  • Competency in many movement forms and proficiency in a few movement forms;
  • Movement concepts and principles to the learning and development of motor skills;
  • A physically active lifestyle;
  • The achievement and maintenance of a health-enhancing level of physical fitness;
  • Responsible personal and social behavior in physical activity setting; and
  • Opportunities for enjoyment, challenge, self-expression and social interaction.


Advocate for education on the benefits of life-long physical activity, and supportive environment with enjoyable opportunities for students, families, staff, and community to engage in physical activity.

Physical Education Content Standards

The New Mexico Physical Education Content Standards with Benchmarks (Click here to download) were passed by the New Mexico State Board of Education in June, 1997. The passage of the content standards into regulation will aid in the efforts to encourage schools to implement effective Physical Education. The Physical Education Standards developed for New Mexico are in line with the National Standards established for Physical Education. School districts must have their curriculum aligned to the standards and assess student progress at the benchmarks. The School Health Unit can provide technical assistance in curriculum alignment and assessment.

The Emerging Model of Physical Education

The Emerging Model of Physical Education emphasizes life-long physical activity approach. Traditionally physical education in the schools has emphasized learning of games and activity rules, with a focus on large group games, team sports and competition.

The Emerging Model focuses on developing an enjoyment for life-long activities and calls for the emphasis to be placed on being able to set personal fitness goals. In order to accomplish this, physical education should be organized around the following:

  • Individual practice opportunities
  • Focus on individual skill acquisition
  • Sequential curriculum K-12 that allows students to build on previously learned skills

Physical Education curriculum, aligned to the New Mexico Physical Education content Standards with Benchmarks, will provide the means to promote enjoyment of life-long physical activities.

The School Health Unit, State Department of Education partners with the New Mexico Association of Physical Education, Health Education, Recreation and Dance (NMAPHERD) to promote the Emerging Model, the Physical Education Content Standards with Benchmarks, and to provide technical assistance to physical education specialists.

For questions, comments and to send mail:
send email

Interested in becoming a member of the Healthier Schools Coalition (or even just getting on our mailing list)? Click here to go to the online HSC membership form.

Healthy kids make better students.

Better students make healthy communities.

Related Links:

Healthier Schools New Mexico provides links to related sites only as a courtesy to our internet readers. Healthier Schools New Mexico makes no claim as to the accuracy of any information presented on other internet sites and is not responsible for their content.

Return to Homepage

Do you have news or information about school health to share?
Click here to e-mail the HSC webmaster with your announcement or resource. We can help you get the word out!.