Brown students playing during recess

Being physically fit and healthy has a direct effect on the social, emotional and mental well-being of a child. The Health and Physical Education Department provides students with 21st century Health and Physical Education that encompasses contemporary concepts and rich experiences in a collaborative environment. We have expanded enrichment opportunities for healthy lifestyles through a Physical Education Program Grant. Please read more on the PEP Grant webpage to find local activities, resources and workshops.

Supervisor of Health & Physical Education: Steve Simolaris. Follow the Health Department on Twitter @SPSHealth_PE

Curriculum

K - 8 Curriculum

Somerville Public Schools offer 40 minutes of physical education in Grades K-8 weekly. Instruction is aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Standards and Federal Curriculum Standards for physical health and includes SPARK, a research-based physical activity curriculum. 

  • K-2 physical education is focused on large muscle development and movement, orientation in general and personal space, body management, spatial awareness, movement concepts and group cooperation. Units address catching, throwing, balance, stunts and tumbling, dance, manipulatives, jumping, dribbling, volley and striking, kicking and trapping, and games.

  • 2 pedestrian safety training.

  • 3-6 physical education is focused on skill development and fitness through practice games. Units include fitness activities, aerobic games, chasing and fleeing, jump rope, basketball, dance, cooperatives, flying disc, football, hockey, soccer, softball, volleyball. Skills are developed through practice and games. Learning develops through teamwork and cooperation.

  • 3 district swim program. Every 3rd grade student in the district will receive free swim instruction during the school day for several weeks. The district provides transporation to the Kennedy School and the student's teacher will communicate with parents and guardians about scheduling and packing a swim bag (Permission slip and swim bag information). Visit the Kennedy Swimming Pool webpage to learn about low-cost swimming lessons available on Saturdays and weekdays.

  • 5 Bicycle Lessons are offered to all students in grade 5. The focus is on bicycle riding, safety, and rules of the road.

  • 7-8 physical education focuses on fitness, team, and individual activity. Units include basketball, cooperatives, dance, flying disc, football, golf, handball, hockey, jump rope racquets and paddles, soccer, softball, track and field, volleyball and world games.  Greater emphasis is placed on the non-competitive activities, problem solving trust, cooperation, and teamwork.

  • K-8 Nutrition Education taught in partnership with UMass Extension Family Nutrition Program at all schools except the Brown and Kennedy.

  • 4-5 Health classes learn substance abuse prevention and personal health through Health Smart.

  • 6-8 Health classes follow Get Real for sexual health education and Life Skills for substance abuse prevention.

High School Curriculum

Somerville High School offers a comprehensive health and physical education program. Freshmen and Juniors are required to take Course Offerings in Health, while Sophomores and Seniors are required to take Physical Education Courses. Each high school course lasts one semester and meets 4 times per week for 55 minute periods.

  • Freshmen and Juniors take Health 1, Health 2, Fashion, Child Study, and Shape Up Nutrition.

  • Sophomores and Seniors take Team Sports, Competitive Sports, Introduction to Dance, Introduction to Weight Training, Lifetime Activities, Non-Competitive Activities, Fitness Education and Sports Medicine.

  • High School students also have the option to join the Dance Club or Badminton / Ping Pong Club.

  • High School students are encouraged to take advantage of the fitness room open hours every day before and after school.

Social Competency

Teaching socio-emotional skills promotes good development, a peaceful classroom, increases academic acheivement and improves future success. All PreKindergarten to 8 classrooms are adopting the Second Step program, with classroom teachers providing direct instruction in socio-emotional skills. Additionally, some schools like the Winter Hill Community Innovation School supplement with the Responsive Classroom program.

Healthy Choices: Alcohol, Drug and Violence Prevention

The Somerville Public Schools are committed to maintaining a safe and secure learning environment in order to maximize student learning. We support students effectively communicating their needs, interests, and opinions, making healthy choices and respecting the needs, interests, and opinions of others