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Physical Education Policies and Practices in California Private Secondary Schools

David Kahan and Thomas L. McKenzie


Physical education (PE) is mandated in most states, but few studies of PE in private schools exist.


We assessed selected PE policies and practices in private secondary schools (grades 6 to 12) in California using a 15-item questionnaire related to school characteristics and their PE programs.


Responding schools (n = 450; response rate, 33.8%) were from 37 counties. Most were coeducational (91.3%) and had a religious affiliation (83%). Secular schools had more PE lessons, weekly PE min, and smaller class sizes. Most schools met guidelines for class size, but few met national recommendations for weekly PE minutes (13.7%), not permitting substitutions for PE (35.6%), and programs being taught entirely by PE specialists (29.3%).


Private schools, which serve about 5 million US children and adolescents, may be falling short in providing quality PE. School stakeholders should encourage adoption and implementation of policies and practices that abide by professional guidelines and state statutes.

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Tracking District and School Physical Education Time Policies After Legal Adjudication: A Case Study in California

David Kahan, Thomas L. McKenzie, Maya Satnick, and Olivia Hansen

strong case study for examining state mandates for PE time, their implementation at the school level, legal intercession for chronic and pervasive noncompliance, and aftermath events. California educational codes mandate that public school students attend PE for not less than 200 min/10 schooldays in

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Physical Activity Within School Contexts: The Bigger Bang Theory

Thomas L. McKenzie

.2%), and for prohibiting exemptions for physical education (35.6%). The schools reported providing an average of about 150 min of physical education per week, nearly 50 min shy of the California state educational code and 75 min short of national recommendations for physical education dosage. We also

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Physical Activity Promotion on Private School Websites: The Case of Maryland

David Kahan, Thomas L. McKenzie, Maya Satnick, and Olivia Hansen

academic subjects. Omission of PE/PA content or its backburner status compared with other content on school websites (e.g.,  Kahan et al., 2019 ) should trouble advocates of school PE/PA, particularly since private schools are generally not legally required to abide by many related educational codes