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California Department of Education
Official Letter
California Department of Education
Official Letter
October 17, 2019

Dear County and District Superintendents, Charter School Administrators, and School Principals:

California Physical Fitness Test—BACK TO SCHOOL MESSAGE

Now that you have welcomed students back to school, I encourage you to remind families and school staff about the importance of physical activity and to prepare for the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT). Annually, from February 1 through May 31, all local educational agencies (LEAs) are required to administer the PFT to all students in grades five, seven, and nine.

The California Department of Education (CDE) recognizes the tremendous responsibilities LEAs are tasked with throughout the school year, especially with assessment administrations and reporting. As such, the CDE aims to ease LEAs’ administrative burdens. Instead of submitting PFT results every year, LEAs will now be required to submit PFT results at least once every two years, in accordance with California Education Code Section 60800. Therefore, the CDE will not be collecting PFT results for the 2019–20 PFT administration. Please note, however, LEAs are still responsible for reporting aggregate results of the PFT in their annual school accountability report card.

Although reporting to the state is not required this administration year, please be diligent in preparing students for the PFT and in focusing on the primary goal of assisting students in establishing lifetime habits of regular physical activity. Research has established that regular activity, combined with good nutrition, contributes to healthy outcomes by preventing obesity and reducing chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, and hypertension. Other appropriate uses of PFT results include providing information that can be used by (1) schools to evaluate their physical education programs; and (2) parents and guardians to understand their children’s fitness levels.

I also encourage you to read the June 28, 2019, letter to county and district superintendents, charter school administrators, and school principals, with the subject line “The California Physical Fitness Test—Appropriate Uses and Data Privacy” ( Establishing a process to maintain confidentiality and student data privacy should begin before testing begins.

If you have any questions regarding the PFT, please contact the CDE High School Equivalency and Outreach Office by phone at 916-445-9449 or by email at



Stephanie Gregson, Ed.D., Deputy Superintendent
Instruction and Measurement Branch


cc: PFT Coordinators

Last Reviewed: Thursday, May 13, 2021

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