A Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program Guide

What is CSPAP?
A Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program (CSPAP) is a multi-component approach by which school districts and schools use all opportunities for students to be physically active, meet the nationally-recommended 60 minutes of physical activity each day, and develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence to be physically active for a lifetime. A CSPAP reflects strong coordination and synergy across all of the components: physical education as the foundation; physical activity before, during, and after school; staff involvement; and family and community engagement.

PE is an academic subject and serves as the foundation of a CSPAP. PE provides students with a planned sequential K-12 standards-based program of curricula and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for healthy active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy, and emotional intelligence. The essential components of a PE program include policies and environment, curriculum, appropriate, instruction and student assessment.

Society of Health and Physical Educators. Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. Retrieved from www.shapeamerica.org/cspap/what.cfm.

CSPAP Guide: A Navigation Tool found at SHAPEamerica.org

Purpose: to enable physical education teachers and other physical activity leaders to develop, implement, and evaluate a CSPAP
Components: – Brief introduction – Step-by-step process – Tools and templates

5 components of CSPAP

CSPAP Diagram Physical Education Physical Activity Before And After School Family and Community Engagement Staff Involvement Physical Activity During School PA During School

PA During School

Physical Education: Is a required physical education course taught in each of the following grades in your school?

PA During School: Outside of physical education, do students participate in physical activity breaks in classrooms during the school day?

This includes classroom activity and recess:

Classroom activity (Brain Breaks)

  • Even 5-10 minutes in duration contributes to cognitive health (Castelli et al., 2007)
    • PreK-12


  • Minimum 20 minutes per day/all grades K-12
  • Activity zones, active supervision, equipment, and multiple approaches
  • “Drop-in” physical activity in secondary schools
PA Before and After School

PA Before and After School

School or community-sponsored activities/clubs/programs before and after school

Does your school offer opportunities for students to participate in physical activity before the school day through organized physical activities or access to facilities or equipment for physical activity?

  • Active commuting to school
    • Walk and bike to school
    • Walking school bus
  • Physical activity walking and running clubs
  • Intramurals (voluntary, student-centered, and all students)
  • Joint use agreements with community centers/buildings
Staff Involvement

Staff Involvement

During the past year, did any physical education teachers or specialists at your school receive professional development on physical education or physical activity?

  • Incorporate staff into PA programs
  • Tailor programming to staff requests
  • Service to staff via Employee Wellness Programs
    • Medical screenings
    • Brown bags
    • Walking programs
    • Group fitness
  • PA breaks during meetings
  • Role model for students
Family and Community Engagement

Family and Community Engagement

Does your school, either directly or through the school district, have a joint use agreement for shared use of school or community physical activity facilities?

  • Engaging families and community to be active beyond the school day
  • Social support is critical in youth physical activity choices
  • Parent/guardian-led activities
  • Family events
  • Youth sports

CSPAP Process

cspap Process

Steps to become a part of a CSPAP team in your school district and determine if schools have established a CSPAP

  1. Contact your district wellness coordinator to become an advocate for CSPAP.
  2. Ask the principal at a specific school if they have a wellness coordinator.
  3. Become a part of a wellness committee at a school where you are affiliated.
  4. Help implement a CSPAP plan by being a part of physical activity opportunities within the school.
  5. Has the school conducted the School Health Index?
  6. Does the school have a vision, goals, and objectives?
  7. Has the school identified intended outcomes?
  8. Does the school have a written CSPAP plan?

Create your own CSPAP success story in Nevada!

CSPAP success in Washington State:

Before School Physical Activity

  • Implemented Move-It Monday’s (120 participants for 30 minutes) • Walking School Bus (30 students)
  • Created CREW (Community Recreating & Exercising for Wellness) t-shirts for 27 staff and students involved in Walking School Bus

After School Physical Activity

  • Implemented 4 new programs: Soccer (35 students, 8 schools; Basketball (240 students, 15 schools); Track (2,000 students, 23 schools); Tennis (54 students, 4 schools)
  • Implemented “Retro Active” Recess Program (8 sessions every 2 months). Recess coaches teach new games for recess.

Another School District:

During School Physical Activity

  • Created 7 G.Y.M.B.A.G’s with Brain Breaks and NC Energizers
  • Implemented Mighty Milers at recess (386 students, 16 staff, 5 schools, completed <6,435 miles 1 day/week in first year)
  • Implemented Peaceful Playgrounds

Staff Involvement

  • Convened CSPAP Districtwide Team
  • Coordinated with School Wellness Team
  • Trained 67 PE teachers at PAL Training (potentially reaching 23,144 students)
  • 27 staff participated in Move-It Monday’s
  • 16 staff participated in Moveable Challenge