[KHTS] – A physical fitness push made by Santa Clarita Valley schools as part of a statewide effort is paying dividends, local officials said Wednesday.
The physical fitness test, or PFT, for California students is known as the FITNESSGRAM, according to the California Department of Education.The main goal of the test is to help students in starting life-long habits of regular physical activity.
For its part, the William S. Hart Union High School District exceeded their county and state peers on tests that includes fitness aspects such as a 1-mile run, upper body strength and flexibility.
“We are pleased with the results for Hart district students of the annual California Fitness Test performed on seventh- and ninth-graders each year,” said Gail Pinsker, Hart district spokeswoman.
“The Hart school district encourages good health and nutrition and physical fitness as part of our everyday routine in and out of the classroom,” she added.
Students ages 7-17 and up should be able to complete a minimum of seven pushups, and teenagers age 14-18 should have a Body Mass Index in the 16 to 23 percent range, in order to be considered in the healthy zone.
Here are the test results for each of the six Santa Clarita Valley districts: Acton Agua Dulce; Castaic Union; Hart district;Newhall; Saugus Union; Sulphur Springs.
Here’s a look at the fitness standards that children are measured against by age group, with explanations and training videos for the fitness tests available online.
There are six areas tested in the FITNESSGRAM: aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength and endurance, extensor strength, upper body strength and flexibility.
Overall, about 26 percent of fifth graders, 32 percent of seventh graders and 37 percent of ninth graders scored in the “Healthy Fitness Zone” for all six areas (Table 4). That reflects slight gains for grades five and seven since last year and no change for grade nine.
The program is intended to help students gauge their fitness level, help parents assess their child’s health needs and help teachers design curricula around those needs.
“Saugus is quite pleased with our students’ PFT results this year,” said Christine Hamlin, assistant superintendent of curriculum for the Saugus Union School District, adding that the district encouraged healthy options for its students’ lunches..
“Our students get a minimum of 200 minutes of PE every 10 days, and each teacher has been trained to provide a combination of high participation games where students have the opportunity to develop stamina and exercise all of the most important muscle groups,” she added.
“Our students perform better than the state average in all 6 fitness measures,” she said, “and this year, we saw growth in four out of the six measures.”