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Physical Education and Physical Activity Policies as Described on California Charter School Websites

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Objectives: Nearly all US schools have a website that enables them to inform about and promote physical activity (PA) and physical education (PE). We performed a cross-sectional content analysis of California (state with the most charters) elementary charter school websites' PA/PE content. Methods: We analyzed data (N = 520 schools) using descriptive statistics and cross tabulations to identify associations among school characteristics and the mentioning of PE, PE curriculum, PE teacher, recess, interscholastic sport, and other extracurricular PA. Results: Over a third (39%) of websites did not mention providing either PA or PE opportunities at all. Only 30.6% of websites mentioned PE (mandated by state education code to be delivered for 200 min/10 days to students in grades 1-6). Websites also infrequently mentioned Fitnessgram scores (36.5%), required by state education code to be reported for 5th graders, as well as recess (30.2%), other extracurricular PA (20.4%), and interscholastic sport (16.5%). Conclusions: Schools did not use the full potential of their websites to inform constituents about PA or to promote it on campus. Deficient schools should expand the PE/PA content information available on their websites and be held accountable for such by their parent school district..
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Keywords: CHARTER SCHOOLS; INTERNET; PHYSICAL EDUCATION; SCHOOL HEALTH PRACTICE; SCHOOL POLICY

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2019

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  • Health Behavior and Policy Review is a rigorously peer-reviewed scholarly bi-monthly publication that seeks manuscripts on health behavior or policy topics that represent original research, including papers that examine the development, advocacy, implementation, or evaluation of policies around specific health issues. The Review especially welcomes papers that tie together health behavior and policy recommendations. Articles are available through subscription or can be ordered individually from the Health Behavior and Policy Review site.
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