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Mission Statement

At Fresno Unified we believe that all students should experience a quality physical education program that meets each student’s individual needs. It is our mission to utilize diverse teaching strategies to implement a standards based education program for students with disabilities. The goal of the Adapted Physical Education Specialist is to promote the benefits of a lifelong commitment to recreation, physical fitness and sport.

What is Adapted Physical Education?

Adapted Physical Education (APE) is the art and science of developing, implementing, and monitoring a carefully designed physical education instructional program for a learner with a disability, based on a comprehensive assessment, to give the learner the skills necessary for a lifetime of rich leisure, recreation, and sport experiences to enhance physical fitness and wellness.

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Specially Designed Physical Education

This physical education program is for a special education class with minimal or limited adaptations, accommodations, or modifications and is provided for the children and taught by the person who normally teaches physical education for this population. 5 CCR sec. 3051.5(a).

Child holding several different sports' equipment

Role of APE Specialist

  • Instruct students in the development of skills and knowledge that enables them to participate independently to the highest degree possible, based on assessment needs.
  • Provide consultation and support services to regular & special education teachers, school personnel and peers concerning Adapted Physical Education needs and appropriate methods of adaptation for the student that will foster maximum independence and safety.
  • Work with members of the IEP team (i.e. parents, classroom teachers, speech providers, occupational & physical therapists) to provide a functional and meaningful program.
  • Create a program geared to the assessed needs, goal & objectives, functional levels and motivational levels of the student.
  • Prepare and utilize equipment and materials for the development of skill as it is related to Adapted Physical Education (i.e. beeper balls, MOVE equipment, batting tees, etc.).
Cartoon children from various sports
Be excited about the possibilities!

APE Service Delivery Models

Direct Service

The APE teacher has direct contact with the student, one on one or small group instruction. The student has goal/s and minutes attached to the IEP. An average service for FUSD is 90 minutes per month.


APE teacher has indirect contact with the student. The service has a goal and minutes. The consultation is between APE teacher and Special Ed./General Physical Education teachers. An average consult service time is 15 – 30 minutes per month.


APE teacher has indirect contact with the student. The service has no goal or minutes. The collaboration is between the APE teacher and Special Ed./General Physical Education teachers.

Adapted PE cartoon illustration

Eligibility Criteria

Once the child has qualified for special education and the results of the gross motor assessments indicate that performance in physical education is adversely affected. (APE is not a stand- alone service)

  • Significantly reduced performance levels of two or more years or 1 ½ or more standard deviations below the mean as appropriate to the assessment used in two or more of the following areas:                          
  • Perceptual Motor Function (vision, balance)
  • Object Control (throwing, catching, kicking)
  • Locomotor Achievement (running, jumping)
  • Adapted Behaviors (concept, social)
  • Physical Fitness (agility, strength, endurance)

Exit Criteria

When a student demonstrates that s/he can successfully participate in the general physical education program with appropriate accommodations or modifications, the IEP team typically comes to a decision that the student no longer requires Adapted Physical Education services and exits the student from Adapted Physical Education. Exit criteria from Adapted Physical Education may include:

  • Student no longer demonstrates a developmental delay in comparison to age group peers as measured by standardized test procedures.
  • Student scores less than 1.5 standard deviations below the mean as measured by standardized tests in the gross motor domain.
  • Student meets district and/or state requirements for physical fitness and motor skills at their grade level.
  • Student’s behavior no longer interferes with his/her ability to participate, learn and be safe in a general education P.E. setting.


1301 M. Street
Fresno CA. 93721
Phone: (559) 457-3226
Fax: (559) 457-3299

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