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Presidential Youth Fitness Program and Texas Immediately Embrace

Bill Sunderland

Fitnessgram 10 (FG10), the latest version of the nation’s most respected and widely used youth health-related fitness assessment, was released early this fall. The new release is already being used by the Presidential Youth Fitness Program (PYFP) and has been adopted by the Texas Education Agency (TEA).

 

New features of FG10 software include a fully hosted solution that eliminates the need for school systems to purchase servers and involve instructional technology staff in installing the program. FG10 is hosted with its founders and developers on servers at The Cooper Institute. A modest annual subscription fee provides complete hosting, full tech support, and all updates and enhancements as they become available.

 

The PYFP adopted Fitnessgram as its assessment tool last year, replacing the President’s Challenge Youth Fitness Test that had long been used by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition. In contrast to that test, which used norm-based standards, Fitnessgram uses the criterion-referenced Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) standards developed by the Fitnessgram Scientific Advisory Board. Extensive research conducted over more than 30 years has shown that the HFZ standards accurately measure the level of physical fitness necessary for good health.

 

Fitnessgram provides accurate health-related fitness assessment reports that are unique to each student according to age and sex. The reports are based on multiple components of health-related fitness rather than jus­t a single measure. The Healthy Fitness Zone standards help to minimize comparisons between children and emphasize personal fitness for health rather than goals based solely on performance.

 

Last spring the PYFP, through a generous grant from the General Mills Foundation, funded more than 400 schools to enable them to purchase the FG10 hosted software, along with professional development and awards. Over the next five years, the PYFP will continue to fund schools through an annual application process. K-12 schools interested in applying for the 2014 funding cycle can do so online (www.pyfp.org/funding) from January 1 through 31, and winners will be announced April 1.

 

In October, Human Kinetics and our partner, The Cooper Institute, signed a two-year agreement with the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to provide FG10 Hosted State Version site license access for up to 9,000 K-12 public schools in Texas.

 

Texas K-12 public schools have been using the Fitnessgram to assess the health-related fitness levels of all students in grades 3 to 12 since the 2007-2008 school year, after the state legislature mandated fitness testing and Fitnessgram was chosen as the assessment tool to be used by districts throughout the state. The new two-year agreement provides schools that are already using an earlier version of the Fitnessgram software an opportunity to upgrade to the new FG10 hosted version at no cost.

 



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