Health/Phys Ed Clarification, M-STEP Science Sample Items's picture

The MDE put out a memo this week providing clarification on the requirements for health and physical education for students K-12. Additionally, the MDE's Spotlight on Student Assessment and Accountability publication highlighted the availability of the Spring 2018 M-STEP Science sample item set. The memo and the article from Spotlight are reproduced in their entirety below.

MDE Memo #031-18: Health and Physical Education Guidance

The Michigan Department of Education has received several questions from the field regarding requirements for health and physical education for students, K-12. This serves to clarify Section 1502 of the Revised School Code which states:

"health and physical education for pupils of both sexes shall be established and provided in all public schools of this state. Subject to subsection (2), [allowing credit for a pupil’s participation in extracurricular athletics or other extracurricular activities involving physical activity as meeting the physical education requirement] each pupil attending public school in this state who is physically fit and capable of doing so shall take the course in physical education."

Therefore, health and physical education must be provided at the elementary level, the middle school level, and at the high school level as part of graduation requirements.

How much and how often health and physical education is provided is a local district decision that should be based on data regarding student needs, research and best practice, as well as aligned to the Michigan K-12 health and physical education standards. The physical education standards can be found at For a copy of the current health education standards email a request to

Questions regarding the content of this memo may be directed to the Health and Physical Education Consultant, Mary Teachout at 517-335-1730 or

New Annotated Sample Items Book for M-STEP Science

The Spring 2018 M-STEP Science Annotated Sample Item Set is now available on the M-STEP web page under What's New and Content Specific Information.

The M-STEP Science Assessment Annotated Sample Item Set offers details about the item clusters, student response types, correct responses, and related scoring considerations for the included sample item set. These items have been selected to show some of the new approaches being used to measure the Michigan K-12 Science Standards (MSS) adopted in 2015. All current item types included in the field test are represented, and additional samples will be provided over time. The sample item set covers:

  • one item cluster and one mini item cluster in grade 5
  • one item cluster in grade 8
  • one item cluster in grade 11

The various item types are not limited to a particular grade level and could appear for any grade.

This is not a comprehensive sample test and does not represent all the standards that will be assessed on the Science M-STEP. Additionally, the examples have been taken from the Online Tools Tutorial (OTT), which is openly available to the public.

The OTTs can be accessed by using the Chrome browser and going to eDIRECT. From there, select the M-STEP Online Tools Training. The science sample item sets can be found in grades 5, 8, and 11. The username and password information are given on the login screen.