Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

Youth

April 4, 2014

Active students perform better academically

Batesville Community School Corp. teachers “are working hard to promote the health and well-being of our students and staff at every level,” reports Shelly Prickel, Batesville Middle School seventh-grade physical education and health teacher.

One of the most notable examples of this is the regular physical education classes offered to students by licensed physical educators. Students have physical education between one to three times weekly during the entire school year in grades K-8, every day in grade 9 and during the first semester of grade 10.

She points out, “Research supports a direct correlation between improved academic performance and increased exercise opportunities within the school day. This schedule also models the importance of consistent exercise to achieve and maintain lifetime fitness. Classes are designed to gradually increase in intensity as the year progresses. This approach instills confidence as students work toward reaching personal goals. Our corporation is mindful that energetic students are more likely to be active adults when the decision to exercise or not will become their own.”

This past year, three of the four schools – Batesville Intermediate School, Batesville Middle School and Batesville High School – were designated as gold, the highest rating, for the Healthy Hoosier School Award. Batesville Primary School was also recognized with a very commendable silver status.

In addition, students’ heights, weights and body mass indexes are calculated for all physical education students and physical fitness testing is administered in grades 1-10. Results of these tests measuring cardiovascular endurance, muscular strength, flexibility and muscular endurance are communicated to parents.

Students will either participate in Presidential Physical Fitness Testing in the younger grades or FitnessGram Testing in upper elementary, middle and high school. The Cooper Institute developed the FitnessGram program in partnership with NFL PLAY 60 with intentions to promote lifelong physical activity among youth. While the presidential physical fitness testing has been phased out for older students, it serves as a very reliable measurement for early primary student fitness. Students are encouraged to continuously improve their fitness levels with goal setting and remediation.

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