263444 Los Angeles Unified School District Physical Education Policy: Assessment, Implementation & Impact

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Mariah Lafleur, MPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Seth Strongin, MS , The City Project, Los Angeles, CA
Robert Garcia, JD , The City Project, Los Angeles, CA
Sarah Samuels, DrPH , Samuels & Associates, Oakland, CA
Brian Cole, DrPH , Department of Health Services, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA
Sally Bullock, MPH , Gillings School of Global Public Health, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) serves 670,000 students; four-fifths are Latino or African-American and three-quarters qualify for free-/reduced price meals. In 2009, the district passed a policy to enforce existing physical education (PE) requirements for minimum minutes, content, class size, and teacher credentialing. This study assessed policy implementation. A random sample of 34 LAUSD schools and 11 control schools from nearby districts were assessed using the System for Observing Fitness Instruction Time (SOFIT) to determine amount of PE class time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA), class length, content and size. Additionally, interviews with personnel documented PE curriculum, frequency, teacher credentials and policy awareness. LAUSD schools are implementing PE requirements to varying degrees and class quantity and quality is similar to classes in comparison districts. LAUSD secondary schools are generally meeting the required PE minutes and all teachers are credentialed, but the amount of MVPA varies, with students spending less than 50% of classtime in MVPA on average. Elementary schools are not meeting required PE minutes, do not have PE credentialed teachers, and are only spending 30% of their classtime in MVPA, on average. About half of the teachers were aware of the PE policy, and some of these reported they were working to improve PE quantity and quality. Middle and high schools are generally meeting state standards for PE, but quality needs to be improved to encourage MVPA. Elementary schools need support through trainings or resources to meet state standards for PE minutes and content.

Learning Areas:
Public health or related public policy

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the methods for evaluating the impact of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s PE Policy Implementation Plan 2. Discuss evaluation results and the impact of the Implementation Plan. 3. Explain and discuss the benefits and challenges of implementing a district-wide policy to improve physical education and ultimately students’ health and fitness

Keywords: Physical Activity, Policy/Policy Development

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am project manager for multiple federal and foundation funded evaluations and studies to improve obesity in child low-income populations. I work on proposal development, study design, data collection, reports for Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Healthy Eating Research, Salud America! My expertise encompasses chronic disease prevention in Latino populations, improving physical education activity, working with diverse, low income populations. I worked at Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, reducing obesity in low income East Bay children
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.