PASS—Promoting Achievement in School through Sport ®

Pass is a model for total school reform (PDF) —McREL

Promoting Achievement in School through Sport (PASS) is a project-based, year-long, daily course for middle and high school students that is informed by the positive aspects of sport culture.  Using an interdisciplinary academic approach to learning, PASS students identify the fundamentals that lead to mastery in athletics or Fundamentals of Athletic Mastery (FAMs) and apply the FAMs to a project in which they set two major goals—one to improve their physical performance in a particular way and another to improve their overall academic performance.

During the first semester, the students identify the FAMs and develop an action plan to apply them to their two goals.  For the second semester, the students carry out their plan, monitor their progress, study the results, and conduct a thorough evaluation of why they did or did not reach their goals.

PASS is based upon fundamental principles that inform all aspects of the curriculum. These principles include:

  • Sport is not an extracurricular activity. Sport is an academic discipline.
  • For grades to go up for sports-oriented students, there must be an increased— not a decreased—emphasis on the appropriate study and practice of sport.
  • The positive aspects of sport culture and the fundamentals that lead to mastery in sport can be brought into the classroom to create an environment that is as engaging, spirited, and fulfilling as that which takes place on the fields and courts.

With this perspective and in this environment, PASS improves students’ grades, behavior, and self-esteem. However, these positive results are not the essence of PASS. Rather, they are the manifestation of something else. At its core, PASS is a journey of self-discovery through the study and practice of sport.

PASS has been presented to 4,000 students in 59 secondary schools in five states—California, Oregon, Illinois, North Carolina, and South Carolina—and has been called “a model for total school reform … that addresses the needs of the whole learner—intellectual needs, motivational needs, and other needs such as students’ physical and social needs,” by researchers at a division of the U.S. Department of Education (see pg. 5 of McREL Report pdf).

Here’s a comprehensive overview of the PASS program:


Click here to make a secure, online donation in support of the PASS program. This will take you to the Donation page. Once there, select ‘PASS’ in the drop-down menu for ‘My donation is in support of.’  Thank You.