Guideline 9: Employ qualified persons and provide professional development opportunities for physical education, health education, nutrition services, and health, mental health, and social services staff members, as well as staff members who supervise recess, cafeteria time, and out-of-school-time programs.
Professional development allows staff to improve current skills, knowledge, and competencies.
Physical education teachers, health education teachers, and nutrition services staff should be certified in their discipline.
Require the hiring of physical education teachers, health education teachers, and nutrition services staff members who are certified and appropriately prepared to deliver quality instruction, programs, and practices.
Provide school staff with annual professional development opportunities to deliver quality physical education, health education, and nutrition services.
Provide annual professional development opportunities for school health, mental health, and social services staff members, and staff members who lead or supervise out-of-school time programs, recess, and cafeteria time.
Q: Why should physical education teachers be certified?
A: This ensures students receive quality instruction. Research shows that certified physical education teachers teach longer lessons; spend more time developing students’ motor and movement skills; provide more knowledge; and provide more moderate and vigorous physical activity than do other classroom teachers with little or no specialized training in physical education.
Q: Who should receive professional development?
A: Professional development opportunities should be provided to improve the school environment. Positions that should receive professional development include:
Health, mental health, and social services staff members
Staff members who lead or supervise out-of-school-time programs, recess, and cafeteria time
Physical education and health education teachers
Nutrition services staff members
Q: How can professional development improve the school nutrition environment?
A: Professional development can improve the school nutrition environment by training staff on activities such as implementing new federal nutrition standards, making school meals more appealing, increasing student participation in the school meal programs; planning menus for healthy meals; preparing fresh fruits and vegetables; ensuring food safety; and using the cafeteria for nutrition education.