ODE gets involved in student physical fitness
Inquirer Correspondent -
Galion City School District director of curriculum Dr. Sandy Powell has presented the Board of Education with information regarding new student assessments requirements coming from the Ohio Department of Education in the wake of approval of Senate Bill 210 (signed into law in June of 2010). Starting in the 2012–2013 school year, school districts in Ohio are required to assure their physical education curriculum aligns with assessment criteria set by the state. Unlike the Ohio Graduation Test results, however, the physical education assessments will be provided by local teachers in the classrooms and gymnasiums. Results of the assessments will be included on each Ohio school district’s report card starting following this next school year. Data will be reported to the state by school, not individual student, and ODE indicates high assessment scores are “not a high-stakes achievement test.”
Responding to recognition of a national trend toward obesity and diabetes in America’s youth, the requirements of Senate Bill 210 seek to change the trend over the next 10 years. Assessments will be performed on students in all grades, from kindergarten through 12th grade, although all students will not be assessed every year. Grades are grouped kindergarten through 2nd grade, 3rd through 5th grade, 6th through 8th grade, and 9th through 12th grade.
The Physical Education Academic Content Standards include four components:
- student success in meeting benchmarks contained in the standards;
- compliance with local wellness policy;
- collection of Body Mass Index data; and
- participation in 30 minutes per day of physical activity through opt-in programs.
Since Galion’s school district has eliminated the school nurse position, some arrangement will have to be made for a qualified person to conduct and collect BMI data. Currently, Crestline schools contract with the Galion Department of Health for school nurse services; perhaps Galion will do something similar. That is yet to be determined.
Powell explained ODE has separated grades into “bands” of grades. Each year, one grade in the band will be assessed against a set of standards appropriate for those grades. ODE has defined six standards to be assessed: motor skills and movement patterns, knowledge of movement concepts, principles, strategies and tactics, health-enhancing level of fitness, personal and social behavior, values physical activity, and finally, participates in physical activity.
In anticipation of these regulations, Powell reported she and the district’s physical education instructors had already begun working to align curriculum with assessment standards. The curriculum will be adjusted as needed in order for students to achieve positive results for cardio-respiratory health, muscular strength and endurance and upper body strength and endurance, abdominal muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.