Physical Fitness Assessment Program

By Doris Pierce,2014-10-17 14:13
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Physical Fitness Assessment Program

    Physical Fitness Assessment Program

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Q. What is the FITNESSGRAM test and what components will be administered to my child?

    A. FITNESSGRAM is a physical fitness assessment selected by the Texas Education Agency to increase parental awareness of children’s fitness levels.

    The assessment will be given during the spring semester, and it measures e

    components of health-related physical fitness that have been identified as

    important to overall health and function.

    ; aerobic capacity

    ; body composition

    ; muscular strength

    ; muscular endurance

    ; flexibility

    Q. What specific exercises will be administered to Pflugerville Middle

    School students as part of the FITNESSGRAM Assessment?

    Aerobic Capacity:

    PACER Assessment The objective is to run as many laps as possible back

    and forth across a 20 meter space at a specified pace that gets faster each


    Body Composition:

    Body Mass Index Height and Weight

    Muscular Endurance:

    Curl-Up Exercise

Muscular Strength:

    Push-up Exercise

    Flexibility (2 assessments):

    #1-Shoulder Stretch Exercise

    #2-Trunk Lift Exercise

    Q. Who currently uses FITNESSGRAM?

    A. Tens of thousands of schools nationwide use the FITNESSGRAM

    assessment. These include individual school settings as well as large district implementations in cities like New York City (NY), Baltimore County (MD) Public School District, and Miami-Dade County (FL) and even statewide implementation, as in Delaware, California, and as of 2007-2008 TEXAS!

Q. Why are physical activity and fitness important?

    A. Physical activity and physical fitness are not the same thing. Participation

    in regular physical activity leads to improvements in physical fitness and

    provides many important health benefits.

    Physical activity may reduce the risk of premature mortality, coronary

    artery disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and diabetes mellitus. Physical

    activity also improves mental health and is important for the health of

    muscles, bones, and joints. These are only a few health benefits that may

    result from participating in physical activity.

    Physical fitness also has been shown to be important for health and quality

    of life. Assessments of physical fitness provide an effective way to evaluate

    overall physical condition and potential risk for negative health outcomes.

    Physical fitness is also more easily assessed than physical activity since

    it doesn’t vary on a day-to-day basis. It is important to note that physical

    fitness is also influenced by factors that are out of a person’s control. One

    example would be a person’s genetics. While not everyone can be an elite

    athlete, most people can achieve healthy levels of fitness by performing the

    recommended amounts of physical activity.

    Q. Why are fitness tests important for students who are not athletes?

    A. The FITNESSGRAM physical fitness assessment is based not on athletic

    ability, but on good health. No matter what your children grow up to become,

    they will live happier, more productive lives if they are healthy.

    FITNESSGRAM provides accurate and reliable information about your

    child’s level of physical fitness. The FITNESSGRAM test and report include

    a number of different assessments because fitness has multiple components.

    Some students may have good muscular fitness, but need improvement on

    aerobic fitness. By having a complete report, you and your child will

    learn more about their overall level of physical fitness and what you can do

    to improve it.

    Q. Who will take the FITNESSGRAM assessment?

    A. All students enrolled at Pflugerville ISD in grades 3 -12 must take the FITNESSGRAM Assessment unless they have a physical disability.

Q. Does my child have the option of not participating in the

    FITNESSGRAM Assessment?

    A. Yes, the Texas Education Agency will allow districts to excuse a student

    from testing if they are unable to complete the exercises because of a

    physical disability.

    Q. Will my child’s FITNESSGRAM scores be posted or made public?

    A. FITNESSGRAM results are meant to be individualized and personal. The

    scores will not be made public but PMS will send the results of your

    student’s physical fitness assessment to the Parents/Guardians with the

    final report card of the year.

    The FITNESSGRAM data will be collected by the state. However, the

    students’ name and other information that may identify a student will be

    removed to ensure confidentiality. That data will be used to study trends

    and not to judge individual students.

    Q. Will my child be compared to other children?

    A. No. FITNESSGRAM uses health-related criteria called the Healthy

    Fitness Zone to determine a student’s overall physical fitness and suggest

    areas for improvement when appropriate. Healthy Fitness Zones (HFZ) are

    not based on the performance of your child’s peers. The standards are set

    specifically for boys and girls of different ages using the best available


    The FITNESSGRAM report defines the recommended range of fitness for

    each test measure and calls this range the Healthy Fitness Zone. If your

    child’s score falls within the Healthy Fitness Zone it means they have

    achieved the recommended level of fitness for their age.

    Q. Will my child be made to feel that he or she is overweight or


    A. No. FITNESSGRAM recognizes that physically fit and less-fit people come in all shapes and sizes. The beginning level of the FITNESSGRAM Healthy Fitness Zone for body composition is based on research that links these levels to an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. The

    FITNESSGRAM parent and student reports use carefully worded

    terminology to help parents and youth understand possible risks associated with higher levels of body fatness. Language that could be used to describe

    physical appearance is not used in the FITNESSGRAM reports.

    The person responsible for administering the test may tell the child their

    height and weight, but will not know if the student is considered to be in the

    Healthy Fitness Zone since it varies for every


    Q. Can my child fail the FITNESSGRAM test?

    A. There is no pass or fail on the FITNESSGRAM test. There are three

    categories listed below that may appear on your child’s FITNESSGRAM


    Needs Improvement It indicates dimensions of fitness that may require

    special attention. While the effect of low fitness may not influence health

    until later in adulthood, it is important to identify potential risks early on so

    that you and your child have the opportunity

    to make adjustments as you see fit.

    Above the Healthy Fitness Zone It should be noted that it is also

    possible for some students to score above the HFZ. FITNESSGRAM

    acknowledges performances above the HFZ but does not recommend this

    level of performance as an appropriate goal level for all students.

    Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) The standards in the FITNESSGRAM test

    reflect reasonable

    levels of fitness that can be attained by most children who participate

    regularly in various types of physical activity. It is common for children to

    achieve the HFZ for some dimensions of fitness but not for others. Most

    children usually have areas that they excel in more than others. The

    categories used are to help you determine what goals, if any, you may want

    to set at home for your child.

    Q. Why is body composition testing important?

    A. Research has shown that excessive fatness is associated with increased

    blood pressure, elevated blood lipids and type II diabetes. Long-term studies show a relationship between adult obesity and childhood obesity, especially as children become adolescents. Together these studies indicate that excessive fatness in children and youth increases the likelihood of obesity-related adult diseases including coronary heart disease, hypertension, high cholesterol and type II diabetes.

    Q. What is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

    A. BMI stands for body mass index. BMI is a ratio of weight over height.

    Recent charts have been published by the Center for Disease Control and

    Prevention (CDC) for quickly determining body mass index (BMI) in boys and

    girls, ages 2 to 20 years. These charts are used to identify children who may

    be overweight. While your child may appear to be overweight according to

    the chart, he or she may be within normal limits because muscle weight has

    more mass than body fat weight.

    Q. How are body composition test results described in the

    FITNESSGRAM student and

    parent reports?

    A. Body composition scores are reported as Healthy Fitness Zone (HFZ) or

    Needs Improvement. Height and weight measurements are taken so the

    report will include the Body Mass Index score. Body composition testing

    (like any fitness assessment) is a personal matter. Because body composition

    is a particularly sensitive issue, additional care will be taken to ensure that it

    is conducted in a setting in which the child feels safe and the results can be

    kept confidential.

    Q. Are the FITNESSGRAM parent reports available in English and


    A. Yes, all student reports are available to parents in English and Spanish.

    Q. Who should I contact if I have questions regarding the

    FITNESSGRAM assessment?

    A. If you have any questions regarding FITNESSGRAM at Pflugerville

    Middle School, please contact Tiffany Commerford 512-594-2052.

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