PHE Canada emphasizes the importance of safe Health and Physical Education (HPE) programs during the reopening of schools, as physical education provides “a critical learning opportunity for Canada’s young people as they heal, re-socialize, and adapt in this new learning environment. Specifically, it assists with decision-making and implementation of HPE and health-promoting opportunities during class time and physical activity before, throughout, and after the school day” (PHE Canada, COVID-19 Pandemic: Return to School Canadian Physical and Health Education Guidelines, p. 3).
Establishing and maintaining safe remote physical education programs requires clear and ongoing communication regarding the policies and practices related to physical education remote learning and COVID-19. School board staff and school administrators should establish processes to disseminate information, seek input and concerns, and, where appropriate, provide the necessary support for individuals responsible for safety (for example, teachers, occasional teachers, parents, students).
Remote learning for Health and Physical Education is a relatively new process for teachers, students, and parents/guardians and will require careful planning and new processes and procedures to establish and maintain a safe learning environment. A safe return to remote physical education should include:
- a planning process for remote physical education that focuses on increasing awareness, developing processes and procedures and emphasizes ongoing communication (consult Planning Safe Remote Physical Education Programs for more information); and
- safety considerations that should occur before, during, at the end, and after a remote physical education lesson (consult Implementing Safe Remote Physical Education Programs for more information).