Most schools administer some form of fitness assessment as part of their program. Although scores are reported to students, the overwhelming majority of schools do not report fitness scores on report cards to parents or share the information with school boards.
Fitness assessment should be used as part of the ongoing process of helping students understand, enjoy, improve and/or maintain their physical fitness and well-being (e.g., students set fitness goals for improvement that are revisited during the school year). Educators should make every effort to create testing situations that are nonthreatening,educational and encouraging (e.g., they explain what the test is designed to measure). Students should be encouraged to avoid comparisons with others and, instead, to use the results as a catalyst for personal improvement. Regular reports of student progress should be provided to students and parents.
- Standardized fitness testing is not a state requirement; however 66% of schools administer some form of standardized assessment.
- The majority of schools who implement standardized testing utilize the President’s Fitness Challenge (72%) or the Fitnessgram (20%). Implementation of test is balanced across grade levels 3-12.
- Only 54% implement a standardized fitness test district-wide.
- The overwhelming majority of schools do not report (provide) fitness results on student report card, to parents, or school board.
Figure 7.1a Percentage of Schools who Administer a Standardized Fitness Test
Table 7.1 Percentage of Schools who Administer a Standardized Fitness Test
Table 7.2 Standardized Tests Utilized to Assess Student Fitness Levels
Note: The total valid number of responses equal 1498. Since it is a multiple selection question, the total percentage is more than 100.
Figure 7.3a Grade Level Clusters at which the Fitness Test is Administered to Students
Table 7.3 Grade Level Clusters at which the Fitness Test is Administered to Students
Note: The total number of schools does not reflect the total numbers of schools who participated in the survey. This number reflects the numbers of schools who offer the given grade level clusters. The number is inflated due to this matter.
Table 7.4 Fitness Scores Reports
Note: The total valid number of responses equal 1501. Since it is a multiple selection question, the total percentage is more than 100.
Table 7.5 District-Wide Implementation of Standardized Fitness Test
THE CALL TO ACTION
NJAHPERD has developed a comprehensive action plan to provide assistance to professionals to encourage their students to be more fit and healthy. NJAHPERD has endorsed FITNESSGRAM as the preferred fitness assessment tool and will continue to provide professional development opportunities and training. We have already provided training for approximately 200 professionals in collaboration with the NJDOE Coordinated School Health Demonstration Project. Fitness education and assessment will continue to be the focus of NJAHPERD Regional Workshops for the upcoming school year.
NJAHPERD has also provided a selection process and recommended 20 schools to the Giants and Jets organizations for Play60 Fitnessgram grants and we will be providing regional onsite training and resources to the grantees.
We are engaged as a leader in the statewide partnership, ShapingNJ, to prevent childhood obesity through environmental and policy change. A commitment to collect baseline fitness data has been made to support our efforts in grant funding, advocacy and program improvement.