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CLOSER LOOK: Physical education required by law

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- National physical education groups and health professionals recommend at least five half-hour sessions of physical education a week for elementary kids and 225 minutes a week for middle and high school students.

West Virginia falls short. As of 2005, state law requires:

  • Three half-hour sessions a week for elementary children.
  • Thirty minutes a day for one semester for middle school kids, then no more for the rest of the year. Many schools collapse it into 18 weeks, then none.
  • Only one semester in four years for high school students.
  • The state Department of Education urges schools to add more physical activity in addition to formal physical education classes, with a goal of daily exercise for every child.


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