Teacher of the Year Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Health & Physical Education

Serendipity School is proud to announce that our P.E. Teacher, a 2019 Teacher of the Year, is currently in Washington advocating for Physical Education in our nation’s schools.

Teacher of the Year Heads to Capitol Hill to Advocate for Health & Physical Education

SHAPE America Members Will Ask Congress to Fully Fund Title IV, Part A of ESSA

Serendipity School’s very own Mr. Will was recently honored as Physical Education Teacher of the Year by California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance. Mr. Will has provided unsurpassed Physical Education programming at Serendipity School for the past 13 years, and strives to provide the most positive and comprehensive physical education experience possible for his students. He accomplishes this through creative standards-based instructional design, the use of student portfolios, and an inclusive whole-child approach that encompasses social-emotional as well as physical learning and development. Will believes that the most important thing he can give to his students is a lifetime love of movement.  

Meaghan Carr, Head of School at Serendipity states, “Will’s PE program is engaging, motivating, creative, inspiring, and supports and educates the whole child. He inspires children to lead an active and healthy lifestyle and he possesses an incredible ability to transform curious young children into lifelong learners.”  

Mr. Will shares his passion for physical literacy both locally and nationally; he is a regular presenter at Physical Education conferences and workshops across the country. Now, in an effort to educate new members of Congress about the importance of a well-rounded education within the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), Mr. Will will be on Capitol Hill from March 5th through 6th, advocating for full funding to support professional development for teachers and health and physical education programs in schools. Mr. Will is asking lawmakers to fully fund the federal education program Title IV, Part A, Student Support and Academic Enrichment Grants, under ESSA.

Mr. Will joins more than 150 fellow health and physical educators representing 39 states on Capitol Hill to take part in the SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators 12th annual member advocacy day, SPEAK Out! Day, on March 5-6.

When ESSA was passed in 2015, health and physical education were designated as part of a well-rounded education, making these subjects eligible for federal education funding for the first time. Under a new ESSA program, Title IV, Part A, schools will receive funding to support a well-rounded education, safe and healthy student programs, and effective use of technology. Congress funded Title IV, Part A at $1.1 billion and $1.17 billion in FY18 and FY19 respectively. As Congress reconciles appropriations for FY 2020 and beyond, its critical that the health and physical education community continues its strong advocacy efforts for this important funding stream for schools. “Under this block grant, we are competing with many other subject areas and programs for financial support. We need to make sure that the pot of money is as large as possible to ensure that health and physical education programs will have the chance to access at least a portion of that funding,” says Mr. Potter

During these Capitol Hill meetings, teachers and advocates will offer insight and perspective on the negative impact of marginalizing health and physical education in schools. They will also share success stories and the links that exist between health, physical education, and social emotional learning and academic achievement.

SHAPE America’s Director, Public Policy and Advocacy Carly Wright says it is critical to fund Title IV, Part A at a meaningful level as many state’s ESSA plans address student wellness, physical education, or chronic absenteeism, which is often impacted by a student’s health and physical activity habits.

“This new session of Congress brings many new legislators to Capitol Hill and new committee leadership that will oversee federal education issues. This gives us an important opportunity to develop new champions in Congress for health and physical education,” says Wright. “In turn, we must be laser-focused on cultivating a strong voice in Washington, DC on behalf of the health and physical education community.”

In addition to pushing for full funding for Title IV, Part A, advocates will also ask Congress to support continued funding for Title II, Part A, which supports professional development for all school employees, including for health and physical education programs.

For more event details, visit SPEAK Out! Day. Find updates during the two-day event by following @SHAPE_America and #MoreTitleIV on Twitter.

About SHAPE America

SHAPE America — Society of Health and Physical Educators is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association and the nation’s largest membership organization of health and physical education professionals. Its vision is to have a nation where all children are prepared to lead healthy, physically active lives —and its programs and resources support the teachers who are making a difference every day. Through SHAPE America’s advocacy efforts, groundwork was laid for the inclusion and elevation of health and physical education in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). SHAPE America continues fight for increased funding for these critical K-12 programs.


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