By Jaime Brown, PEP Grant Coordinator: TSA PE Health Nutrition
MUSD’s Physical Education (PE) program strives to empower ALL students to live healthy futures through the promotion of physical activity, healthy nutritional choices, and positive social development. In order to ensure this vision is maintained, PE staff must participate in ongoing professional development. At the beginning of this school year, Elementary PE Specialists had the opportunity to participate in a Spanish PE lesson provided by Armando Lua, PE Specialist for James Madison Elementary’s Dual Language Immersion program. This training provided PE Specialists with the opportunity to understand what it is like to learn fitness and basketball skills in a language that is not their home language. PE teachers appreciated the importance of utilizing auditory, visual, and kinesthetic instructional strategies while focusing highly on repetition, demonstration, and validation of following cue words and rules in order to achieve learning success. Through this training process, our PE Specialists made a collective commitment to continue the use of multiple instructional strategies in order to support language learners and ALL learners throughout the district.
As students learn in all subject areas, they must be assessed to monitor standards mastery. This includes the subject of PE. All MUSD students in grades one through twelve are currently completing their pre-Physical Fitness Tests (PFTs). Students are challenged to assess the five components of fitness: 1) aerobic capacity, 2) body composition, 3) muscular endurance, 4) muscular strength, 5) and flexibility. Students complete assessments such as the PACER, body mass index, curl-up, trunk lift, push-up, and shoulder stretch. Parents and community members are an important part of our students’ education. Some things parents can do to help students increase their physical fitness and performance include: 1) encourage your child to engage in 60 minutes of physical activity every day, 2) make sure your child gets a good night’s sleep, 3) ensure your child eats a nutritious breakfast, and 4) review fitness goals known as Healthy Fitness Zones — HFZs and review test results together. Celebrating accomplishments and growth is most important! All students will participate in post- PFTs at the end of this school year. PE Standards and PFT information can be found on MUSD’s Athletics and Physical Education webpage at https://www.madera.k12.ca.us/Page/12831.
As our PE Specialists provide meaningful instruction and our students demonstrate enhanced learning via assessments, our schools always search for funding to continue and enhance our efforts to address the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child (WSCC) model developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). We would like to acknowledge the following MUSD schools for being awarded the Kaiser Thriving Schools Action Plan Grant for the 2019-2020 school year: 1) Eastin Arcola Elementary, 2) Lincoln Elementary, 3) La Vina Elementary, 4) Madera High School, 5) Madera South High School, 6) Millview Elementary, and 7) Parkwood Elementary. All seven schools have developed action plans to support a healthy school environment with a unified belief system that healthy kids learn better. The WSCC model has 10 components: 1) physical education and physical activity, 2) nutrition environment and services, 3) health education, 4) social and emotional school climate, 5) physical environment, 6) health services, 7) counseling, psychological, and social services, 8) employee wellness, 9) community involvement, and 10) family engagement. If you would like to learn more about MUSD’s methods to support the WSCC model please become a member of the district wellness committee and / or a local school health council.