8 Ways Federal Funding Can Assist With Your PE Program

By now you’re likely familiar with the federal relief funding that was passed help schools reopen safely. The funding can be used to purchase PPE, sanitation products, and other items to keep students and faculty safe. In addition to safety items, the funding can also be used to support your Health and Physical Education program through addressing learning loss and using equipment that keeps students physically distant. 

Continue reading to learn how federal relief funding can be used to support your PE program!

Keep Students Safe

Keep Students Distant

Address Learning Loss

Keep Students and Faculty Safe

Physical Education offers unique challenges for keeping students safe. In order to provide effective PE, equipment must be used to teach skills and keep students engaged. The CDC recommends cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and prohibits sharing “gym or physical education equipment”. 

1. PPE and Sanitation Supplies:

Many districts have used federal relief funding to provide teachers with 
sanitation sprayers and wipes to sanitize equipment between classes. Teachers have purchased large bins (or kiddie pools) for students to place used
equipment in. After class, they sanitize the equipment in the bucket or pool, allow it to dry, then move it over to the clean bucket for the next class period
to use. Other teachers may have students sanitize their own equipment or wait to sanitize equipment at the end of the day.

Sanitation stations can also be set up near the entrance and exit of the gym to make it easy for students to apply sanitizer before and after PE. 

It is also very important that you advocate for your own safety. Face masks and shieldseye protection, and gloves can all be purchased with federal relief funding.

2. Personal Equipment Packs:

The most effective way to limit equipment sharing is to provide students with personal equipment packs. My PE Packs include a personal drawstring bag that students can take with them. This is a great way for students to continue to develop skills and participate in a safe way.

Students can also bring equipment packs anywhere. Whether they are participating in PE at home, in a classroom/gym, or outside. Instruction can remain consistent and you can ensure quality PE everywhere. 

My PE Packs are available in 8 different pack options, but many districts have customized their own packs designed specifically for their program.

If your district has not provided you with the tools needed to keep yourself and students safe in PE, it’s important that you develop a plan and reach out to your PE leader or administrator for support.

Keep Students Physically Distant

The CDC recommends students stay 6-feet apart when feasible or having sneeze guards or partitions between students at all times. Many activities in PE require students to be active and work together, keeping them 6-feet apart at all times during PE is nearly impossible. Here are a few ways to help!

3. Equipment to Keep Students Distant:

Cones, floor tape, and barriers can be used to develop one-way routes and safe movement areas. Teachers can also use hula hoops, poly spots and floor tape to create individual activity areas that students must stay in throughout the class period.

Within these individual areas, students can work on a variety of activities including cardio drumming, dance, hand-eye coordination, speed and agility, and fitness. Sport skills including soccer, basketball, racket sports, floor hockey, and volleyball can also be practiced individually.

g 85843 GopherBoundaryMarkers 03
Boundary Markers
g 93195 DirectionalSpots 176 1
Directional Spots
g 93240 HealthyHabits 01
Healthy Habits Poly Spots
g 93305 numberedSpots 1364
Numbered 9" Vinyl Spots
G93139 VinylFloorTape 2
Deluxe Vinyl Floor Tape

4. Reinforcing Expectations with Signs and Posters: 

Establishing guidelines and expectations early on is crucial. We also recommend reinforcing those expectations with messaging around your learning area to remind students of safe practices.

There are many creative solutions for Physical Education including banners, spot markers, decals, and signs to encourage safe practices. The PE Healthy Habits banner shares 8 top tips for staying healthy during PE. Below you’ll find a few more examples of messaging that can help keep students safe.

g 81090 PESocialDistancingBanner 01
PE Social Distancing Banner
g 23435 PEHealthyHabitsBanner 01
PE Healthy Habits Banner
g 93237 BeSmartStay6ftApart 01
Be Smart, Stay 6 ft Apart Poly Spots
g 40051 ForYourSafety SocialDistancingMulti sign A FrameSign
For Your Safety Social Distancing A-Frame Sign
m 59265 covidfloorstickers
COVID-19 Floor Stickers

Address Learning Loss

In 2015, when the United States passed ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act), it was the intention of our government officials to provide students with a well-rounded education, with the “purpose of providing all students access to an enriched curriculum and educational experience.”

Nearly six years later, after students have been practicing distance learning for a full year, the government passed funding to open schools and address learning loss. This includes Physical Education. There is no greater and important loss that can take place than the loss of health and wellness. Students are spending more time on screens during distance learning and less time being active. Many are not getting 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day recommended by the CDC. Quality Physical Education in our schools is more important now than ever.

When students return to school, it is crucial to address this learning loss by providing quality PE and measuring its effectiveness, and ESSER I, II, and III funding can help.

5. Equipment to Maximize Activity Time in PE

In order to mitigate learning loss, it is important to ensure the time spent in physical education is productive and active. We encourage implementing instant activities, fitness stations, and following a credible evidence-based curriculum.

Here is a list of equipment that can be used to get students moving instantly with little instruction:

Topple Tubes
Jump Ropes 
FitRoll Dice
Sport Stacking Cup Relays
Speed/Agility Equipment

G 41454 MeasureUp 03 jumprope
MeasureUp Jump Rope Rack Packs
G 58259 ToppleTubes 1 white
ACTION! ToppleTubes Set
g 49750 FitRollDice FitRollSet 90
ACTIVE! FitRoll Dice
g 58226 rainbow quickcups sportscup sets stacking
Rainbow QuickCups Sportscup Sets

6. Track, Record, Measure, and Share Activity and MVPA Time

For years, Physical Educators have had success measuring Moderate to Vigorous Physical Activity (MVPA) with pedometers. The FITstep Pro and FITstep Stream pedometers can measure steps, activity time and MVPA. They also allow you to upload your data, analyze it, and create reporting, which can be used for assessments and grading. Develop a plan to maximize your time in PE and use pedometers to track, record, evaluate, and share your success. If you’re interested in learning more about the FITstep Pedometers, visit our FITstep training page to see them in action!

7. Evidence-Based Programming

To ensure students are getting the most out of Physical Education, we strongly encourage following an evidence-based program such as SPARK – the world’s most researched Physical Education and Physical Activity Programs. The most recent federal relief bill, the American Rescue Plan Act, specifically states that funding can be used towards “Evidence-Based Activities”.
The focus of SPARK is to develop healthy lifestyles, motor skills, movement knowledge, and social & personal skills. Healthy kids are better learners, and this is now more important than ever.
SPARK Supports Student Academic Achievement 
SPARK has a variety of programs available. They also offer digital and hard copy versions of each. Professional development can also be purchased to get the most out of your SPARK programming.

8. Increase Activity in the Classroom

Over the past year, students have had the flexibility to learn on their own time. As students return to school, it will be difficult for them to adjust to a more structured schedule. Classroom activity breaks are a great way to refresh, clear the mind, and get ready for the next lesson. Address learning loss and ease the transition to traditional learning by supporting teachers with classroom activity breaks.

Also, encouraging classroom activity breaks will bring students one step closer to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity each day.
g 21869 SPARK ABCsClassroomActivityRecess Set 32
SPARKabc’s Classroom Activity & Recess Curriculum
m58461 fitnspin 1 th
g 02422 limited space Pack Shot
Limited Space My PE Pack
g 49750 FitRollDice FitRollSet 90
ACTIVE! FitRoll Dice

If you’re looking for more ideas or need guidance, we’re here to help!

Physical activity is more important now than ever before. Due to COVID-19, teaching Physical Education has been challenging. We want to help you make PE safe, fun, and active! Connect with us to learn how to advocate for federal funding to help assist your program needs. If you’re looking to further develop your PE plan, but need some additional support, we want to help!

This article is for informational purposes only. We encourage you to develop a plan and start a conversation with your PE leader or administration to find ways federal funding can help address the needs of your PE program.

© 2021 Gopher Sport. All Rights Reserved.


Sign up to receive the latest physical education resources, activities, and more from educational professionals like you straight to your inbox!