A program toward a healthier child and student –
supported by Hamilton Southeastern Schools
Southeastern School District is taking a progressive
initiative in educating and training our student
population in the necessary areas of health and fitness
by implementing the FITNESSGRAM testing program.
The FITNESSGRAM testing program is supported by solid
physical education, health and wellness curriculum.
FITNESSGRAM is a physical fitness/body composition
testing program that reports individual fitness levels.
It is not based on athleticism, but on “good health”.
FITNESSFRAM was designed by the Cooper Institute
to help physical educators report fitness levels
specifically to parents. FITNESSGRAM uses health-related
criteria called Healthy Fitness Zones (HFZ) to determine
students’ overall physical fitness levels and suggests
areas for improvement when appropriate. Healthy Fitness
Zones are not based on class averages; they are “criterion-referenced”
standards that are based on how much fitness is needed
for good health. Healthy Fitness Zones were established
by the FITNESSGRAM Advisory Board which includes
some of the foremost scientists and practitioners
in fitness and physical activity. Students are tested
in the areas of cardio-vascular fitness, muscular
strength, muscular endurance, flexibility, and body
composition (BMI and % body fat scores). Students
are not graded by their fitness scores. Scores will
place them either in the HFZ or Needs Improvement
Tens of thousands of schools
nationwide already use the FITNESSGRAM assessment.
These include individual school settings as well
as large district implementations in cities like
New York City, Baltimore County (MD) Public School
District, and Miami-Dade County (FL) Public Schools
– and even statewide implementation, as in Delaware,
Texas, and California.
activity and Physical fitness is not the same thing.
Participation in regular physical activity leads
to improvements in physical fitness and provides
many important health benefits. “Physical activity
reduces the risk of premature mortality in general,
and of coronary artery disease, hypertension, colon
cancer, and Type II diabetes mellitus. Physical
activity also improves mental health (student academic
success), emotional health (stress reduction and
self confidence) and is important for the health
of muscles, bones, and joints” – The Surgeon General’s
Physical fitness (an outcome associated with
physical activity) also has been shown to be important
for health and quality of life. Assessments of physical
fitness provide an effective way to evaluate the
overall physical condition and potential risk of
negative health outcomes.
testing will take place a minimum of twice a school
year and a maximum of four times a school year. Fitness
testing will start in 4th grade and continue through
the 8th grade. Test scores are confidential between
student, teacher and parent unless the student or
parent chooses to share results. A personal report
will be sent home at the end of a testing period.
Suggestions are given for any areas that are outside
the Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ). Body composition
testing will take place in intermediate and junior
high levels. Student height and weight are used to
determine BMI and % Body Fat scores (bioelectrical
impedance device). Sensitivity is given to weight
scores and continual emphasis is placed on the fact
that weight is just a number and alone is not indicative
of positive or negative levels of fitness. Students
are not at any time graded on FITNESSGRAM test
scores. Test scores along with Health/Physical
Education curriculum will be used to set goals
and work toward changing behaviors that will lead
to Healthy Fitness Zones.
Long term studies
show a relationship between adult obesity and childhood
obesity especially as children become adolescents.
Together these studies indicate that excessive fat
tissue in children and youth increase the likelihood
of obesity-related adult diseases including coronary
heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and
type II diabetes. In general, children who score
in the Needs Improvement range (taking into consideration
% muscle weight vs. % fat weight) will be encouraged
to work toward the HFZ by increasing activity levels
and changing dietary habits. Special attention is
also given to students that score in the Very Lean
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE FITNESSGRAM TESTING
PROGRAM VISIT THE WEBSITE WWW.FITNESSGRAM.NET OR
BY VIEWING THIS VIDEO SERIES ON YOUTUBE