How to Implement a Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program

7 Steps to Develop a CSPAP

For more information on these seven steps visit

Step 1: Establish a CSPAP Team/Committee
  • Should be a subcommittee of an existing school health council or school wellness committee
  • Should represent a diverse group of education and health stakeholders
  • Serves in an advisory and decision-making role for establishing, implementing, and evaluating the CSPAP
  • Must have administrative support
  • Must be willing to meet on a regular basis
  • Designates a Physical Activity Leader (PAL)
Step 2: Conduct a needs assessment
  • Identify existing physical activity policies, programs, and practices in the school
    • School Health Index /Healthy Schools Program Inventory/LMAS Assessment
      • School Physical Activity Assessment
      • Is there any PE policy at all?
      • Are PE and PA policy part of the Local School Wellness Policy?
      • What do you want to know more about from your Local School Wellness Policy?
Step 3: Create vision, goals, and objectives

Vision statement

  • Shared sense of purpose
  • Framework for establishing goals, objectives, and activities for CSPAP


  • Describe the long-term (5+ years) results of CSPAP
  • Establish overall direction for and focus of a program


  • Describe program results to be achieved and how they will be achieved (use SMART objectives)
    • Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-phased
  • Have specific timelines for accomplishment
  • Align with goals

Vision Statement

  • A declaration of a shared sense of purpose & provides a framework for establishing goals, objectives, and activities for your CSPAP
  • Example of a vision statement from CDC:
    “Safer, Healthier People”
  • The vision statement example from a school’s Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program is:
    “Active and Energized Students”
Step 4: Identify intended outcomes

Possible School Level Outcomes:

  • Increased amount of time dedicated to PE for all students
  • Increased opportunities for students to engage in daily recess

Possible School Level Indicators:

  • Number of minutes dedicated to PE during the school day
  • Number of minutes dedicated to recess during the school day
Step 5: Develop your CSPAP plan
  • Identify current resources
  • Select activities currently/potentially offered
  • Identify available activity time
  • Identify activity leaders
  • Develop budget
  • Develop sustainability strategies for your CSPAP
  • Develop communication and marketing strategies
Step 6: Implement your CSPAP
  • Document what will be done, by whom, when, and how
  • Serves as a checklist for the committee
  • Aligns with the goals and objectives
  • Consider implementation approach
  • Pilot: small scale implementation planned as a test or trial
  • Phased: a strategy to initiate a new program so that different parts of the school implement the change at different times and with varying intensity levels
  • Full-scale: employing all resources and implementing each strategy
  • REMEMBER to think about implementation and evaluation from the beginning

Creating a CSPAP implementation plan

  • Identify tasks, activities, or strategies to be accomplished
    • Who will lead the task?
    • Start data
    • Deadline
    • Necessary resources for implementing the task
    • Potential barriers to implementing the task
    • What communication strategies are needed for this task?
Step 7: Evaluate your CSPAP

Purpose of Evaluation

  • Describe, understand, and plan programs
  • Document what has happened in programs
  • Improve programs

Two types of Evaluation

  • Process
  • Outcome

Conducting an Evaluation

  • Part of program planning
  • Using the data

Conducting a Successful Evaluation

  • What is evaluation called at your school? In your state?
  • Focus the evaluation design-be efficient!
  • Gather credible evidence
  • Share lessons learned

Pitch your CSPAP Plan

  • Who (Introduce)
  • What (Describe)
  • Why (Impact)
  • Need (Want/Need)
  • Next (Leave the door open – time to meet)


Society of Health and Physical Educators. Comprehensive School Physical Activity Program. Retrieved from


The recommendation due to the CSPAP findings being evidence based and from the National Association of Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), is to provide at least 150 minutes per week of school-based P.E for elementary students and 225 minutes per week for middle and high school students.