At the Mansfield School District, we believe it is important to educate the “Whole” Child. What this means is that students must be healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged in order to be successful academically and prepared for employment and participation in the community. Regular physical activity improves overall health and quality of life. Improved health also improves attendance and the ability to concentrate and learn. Adding movement into the school curriculum and scattered throughout the school day helps students stay focused.
The National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments (NCSSLE) has released a brief, School-Based Physical Fitness and the Link to Student Academic Outcomes and Improved School Climate, that outlines research suggesting that physical activity offered during the school day is not only essential for healthy development, but also positively linked to academic achievement.
District Progress Data
Goal 1: Increase the percentage of students engaging in 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous daily physical activity.
Progress Notes on Goal 1: We are pleased to be meeting goal 1 with our scheduling efforts. As an extension, we are now hoping to increase student interest and engagement beyond the school day.
Goal 2: Increase the percentage of students meeting the standard of a healthy fitness zone as established by the assessment for the Presidential Youth Fitness Program in at least five of the six fitness areas.
Progress Notes on Goal 2: While we are pleased with the progress toward this goal, we have many students who miss meeting the standard by only one or two areas. We hope to increase the percentage of students who fully meet the standard over the remainder of the grant period.
Goal 3: Increase the percentage of students who consume fruit two or more times per day and vegetables three or more times per day.
Progress Notes on Goal 3: Although we have increased the instructional time devoted to nutrition curriculum, GPRA 3 remains our biggest area for growth. Through school programs such as Fuel Up to Play 60, we will focus on increasing opportunities for both students and families to receive nutrition education in engaging ways.
What are teachers saying?
Teacher responses were mixed when we first received the grant. While most were excited about the increased opportunities, it did require some changes. Some teachers were concerned about how this would impact their current schedule or curriculum. At the end of the first year, teachers have adjusted to the new schedule and are excited about all of the new opportunities for students. All of the teachers had favorable comments and positive reviews on surveys conducted after their physical activity training. They enjoyed learning new things and new ways to use physical activity to teach core concepts.
One teacher commented, “Their enthusiasm is contagious. They get excited about the new games and activities and it makes me want to be more active too!”
Another teacher said, “Before I was always scrambling for resources but now it is easy. The kids didn’t want to get up and move but now it gives them something to be excited about.”
What are students saying?
A second grade student said, “I feel more energized when we have exercise in the morning. I can think better.”
A high school student said, “I’m so glad that my peers and I have been able to participate in the PEP program. Seeing how far our health and fitness has progressed through testing is awesome. I love the new opportunities and equipment we have to use to improve our physical fitness and relieve stress that is built up through our daily routine at school.”
What are parents saying?
”I wish we would have had these things when I was in school.”
“I’m glad to see that our District is trying new ways to help students become successful.”
What are PE teachers saying?
”Having a variety of games and equipment available is a huge self-esteem builder for the non-athletes. They are able to find things they enjoy doing without feeling they can’t compete with student athletes.”
“The training taught me a lot of new ways to increase health education during physical activity. The students are learning more about bones, muscles and food groups now by playing games. They are active the entire time.”