Adapted Physical Education

What's Required

The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires that physical education services must be made available to every student with a disability to ensure students receive a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

What We Do

Adapted Physical Education (APE) is an instructional service provided to support TSD's comprehensive physical education program. Its purpose is to provide an individualized physical education program in which the activities and instructional strategies or procedures are adapted to the specific strengths and deficits of students with disabilities. APE is designed to address the individual needs of a student as indicated in the student's annual goals and objectives included in his/her individual education program (IEP).

TSD's physical education curriculum focuses on the development of fitness for life. The district's instructional curriculum supports developing a knowledge of fitness and psychomotor skills through a variety of activities based on the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) for Physical Education Section 28.002.  Emphasis is placed on age appropriate activities for achievement of physical, social, and cognitive development toward a wholesome lifestyle. Each student must be afforded the opportunity to participate in the general physical education program unless the student has significant deficiencies in the psychomotor areas that require specially designed physical education, as identified in the student's individual education program (IEP).

Referral for Adapted PE

  • The PE teacher or staff initiating a referral for Adapted Physical Education must contact the evaluator assigned to the student's department.

  • The evaluator will complete the Request for Technical Assistance/Consultation form, indicating the possible need for Adapted PE including the areas of concern.

  • The completed form will be sent to the Physical Education Supervisor and the District Physical Therapist. 

  • Staff may also share their concerns in MTSS/SST meetings. 
  • The Physical Education Supervisor and/or physical therapist will observe the student and prepare a summary of the observations, which will include suggested strategies and/or accommodations for supporting the educational concern in the Physical Education setting.

  • If the Request for Technical Assistance summary indicates that no further evaluation is warranted, the student will remain in his/her current setting. The campus staff should implement the strategies and/or accommodations recommended by the staff  to ensure that the student with disabilities is provided with the same opportunities for success as his/her non-disabled peers.

  • If the Request for Technical Assistance report indicates that an evaluation is warranted, see Referral for Evaluation.

Request for Evaluation

  • If an Adapted Physical Education evaluation needs to be requested, the department evaluator will schedule an ARD/IEP Committee meeting to discuss the request for APE evaluation, areas of concern, and strategies already tried.

  • If the ARD/IEP Committee determines that an APE evaluation is needed, parent consent will be obtained and the due date will be indicated in the ARD. A REED will be opened at this time.

  • The completed consent form should be given to the designated APE Evaluator for their files.

Evaluation Procedures

  • Evaluation procedures are used to interpret the data collected from screening and evaluation instruments, observations, and review of records to assist the ARD/IEP Committee in determining a student's eligibility for APE services.

  • An evaluation is completed within 60 days of obtaining the parent's written consent to evaluate or other agreed upon timeline.

  • The APE assessment team will evaluate the student to determine his/her current level of gross motor development.

  • Based on the review of the evaluation data, the APE Evaluator will write the Adapted Physical Education Evaluation Report. This report will include recommendations to the ARD/IEP Committee regarding the student's eligibility for APE services and service delivery options. The APE Evaluator will enter this data in the district's special education software and forward a copy of the report to the department evaluator.

  • If the student meets eligibility requirements, the APE staff will use the evaluation results to develop draft goals and objectives.

  • Original copies of all evaluation documents will be placed in the student's special education eligibility folder in admissions/records and archived in the district special education software. 

ARD/IEP Committee Meeting Procedures

  • An ARD/IEP meeting will be held within 30 days of the evaluation.

  • The Adapted PE Evaluator will provide the department evaluator with a copy of the student's APE evaluation, eligibility  and, if appropriate, draft IEP goals and objectives, to include in the Notice of Admission, Review, and Dismissal/Individualized Education Program(ARD/IEP) Committee Meeting.

  • The ARD/IEP Committee will determine eligibility for APE services based on recommendations in the student's evaluation report and input from ARD/IEP committee members.

  • If the student meets eligibility criteria to receive APE services, the ARD/IEP Committee will determine the service delivery model, the location, frequency, and duration of needed services.

  • If the student does not meet eligibility criteria to receive APE services, the student will remain in their current setting.

The ARD/IEP Committee may make recommendations to support the student in general physical education classes.


  • Re-evaluations are conducted every three years to determine continued eligibility for APE services.

  • If a need for further evaluation is identified during the Review of Existing Evaluation Data (REED)/ARD/IEP Committee meeting, parental consent for evaluation will be obtained.

  • The APE teacher will review previous evaluation results, goals and objectives, and current data from teachers.

Criteria for Dismissal

  • The student may be dismissed from APE services by the ARD/IEP Committee according to one of the following criteria:

    • The ARD/IEP Committee determines the student no longer requires modifications or accommodations to benefit educationally from APE services.

    • Results of an Adapted Physical Education evaluation indicate that the student no longer has a gross motor deficit requiring APE services.

    • The ARD/IEP Committee determines physical education is inappropriate for the student due to a physical or medical condition defined by a licensed physician.

    • The student meets annual goals and objectives as stated in the ARD/IEP, which may include graduation requirements for high school physical education.

    • The student no longer meets age eligibility criteria as defined by TEA.