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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Five Schools Nationally Honored as 'NASPE STARS Schools' for Exemplary Physical Education Programs
RESTON, VA, March 30, 2011 – The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) has selected Cartoogechaye Elementary School (Franklin, NC), Honeoye Falls-Lima High School, (Honeoye Falls, NY), Lafayette Sunnyside Middle School (Lafayette, IL) Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts (Baltimore, MD), and R.E. Jewell Elementary (Bend, OR) as 2011 STARS schools. They are recognized for their outstanding physical education programs. These five schools are a part of an elite group of only 56 schools in the country to ever receive national acclaim as a NASPE STARS school.
Cartoogechaye teachers Sara Lowell and Anne Wiggin; Honeoye Falls-Lima teacher Megan McGinnis, Lafayette Sunnyside teachers Diane Keith and Stephanie Beck; Patapsco teacher Melanie Nolet and Michelle Proser and R.E. Jewell Principal Bruce Reynolds and teacher Collin Brooks will be honored in San Diego, California at the NASPE Hall of Fame Banquet during the 126th convention of the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). A STARS banner will be presented to the school staff as well as certificates of recognition and product coupons from FlagHouse, the official physical education equipment sponsor of the NASPE STARS program.
The STARS program honors physical education programs that model the essential elements for quality physical education and provide meaningful learning opportunities for all students. In addition, STARS schools exemplify excellence in teaching students the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed for motor development to achieve movement competency, health-related fitness, and promote lifelong physical activity. To earn that distinction, each of the school's physical education staff compiled documentation about its curriculum, best practices, and teaching methods over nearly a year which was then rigorously reviewed by an independent panel of judges from around the country.
Cartoogechaye Elementary School
Cartoogechaye's students are taught physical education five days a week for 45 minutes a day by two full time physical education teachers. The school has made a complete shift in its physical education curriculum to teaching, facilitating, and implementing lifetime activities for all students. Its physical education program has received the Carol M. White PEP grant, among numerous other grants allowing the program to continually provide new equipment and diverse physical activities for students. Some of the activities include hiking, bicycling, tennis, paddle activities, juggling, dance including international, folk, square dancing, modern, hip hop and African dance, as well as HOPsports, modified golf, fishing, cup stacking, disc golf, bouldering, yoga and bowling.
Lafayette Sunnyside Middle School
Lafayette Sunnyside's physical education curriculum is taught by three fulltime physical education teachers and one teacher who is also responsible for health education. Students attend physical education class three times per week all year for 46 minutes each class period. The physical education department prides itself on the availability for students to participate in a variety of activities using state of the art equipment such as video bikes, stationary bikes, treadmills, elliptical, and weight machines. Sunnyside's curriculum includes individual and team sports, adventure education, fitness, and dance. Recent renovations of the physical education facilities, receipt of a PEP grant, and collaboration with Purdue University have enabled major reconstruction of the written curriculum and a variety of professional preparation opportunities. Teachers have received training in four instructional models including sport education, social responsibility, adventure Ed/cooperative learning and fitness. Unit and lesson plans are developed to coincide with these teaching models. With the program's recent facelift, the staff is working to help reduce a 43 percent at risk or overweight student population.
Patapsco High School & Center for the Arts
Patapsco's physical education department consists of five teachers, including one health education teacher. Students attend physical education class for one of two semesters, five days a week for 90 minutes each day. The department focuses time and energy on the development of the whole student by striving to encourage social, cognitive and mental strength. The physical education staff believes in building self-confidence by fostering students that are independent decision-makers, encouraging self assessment, and self management. In addition, all staff members actively pursue their own personal fitness goals throughout the school year including participating in marathons, sports, or weightlifting.
R.E. Jewell Elementary School
R.E. Jewell's students are taught physical education by one physical education teacher twice per week for a total of 60 minutes. Students also receive 20 additional minutes of physical activity once a week during a combination of music and physical education. During this period students dance and learn a variety of rhythmic movements. The combination of a large variety of physical activities, strong classroom management, and high levels of moderate to vigorous physical activity define the school's physical education program. In addition, the program is recognized as being an inclusive environment where modifications of activities are made to meet a variety of student needs.
Honeoye Falls-Lima High School
Honeoye Falls-Lima's students are taught physical education three times per week in one semester and two times per week in the other semester by one part time and four fulltime physical education teachers. All students must pass physical education in order to graduate high school.
The physical education curriculum includes a variety of activities with an emphasis on personal fitness designed to promote growth in skill, knowledge, and appreciation of an active, healthy lifestyle. An emphasis is placed on teaching skills and activities that reflect current trends in fitness and active lifestyles. Examples of these activities include mountain biking, yoga and Pilates, indoor cycling, bowling. Choices in team sports, dual sports, and individual sports are also available. The school's physical education program is an elective program where students can choose the activities they want to participate in. Students take surveys in which they can share their feedback regarding the program. Units are then revised, removed, or added into next year's curriculum based on survey responses.
There is growing evidence showing school-based physical activity programs may help improve academic performance including grades and standardized test scores. According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 200 positive associations were found between physical activity and academic performance. Some of the positive correlations were related to attention and concentration, classroom behavior, and graduation.
A quality school physical education program is the foundation for helping children develop the knowledge, skills, and confidence that promotes lifelong physical activity. By improving the quality of school physical education programs across the country, there will be a direct effect on the health of America's children. In a time of increasing health risks and health care costs in our country, prevention is a key and exemplary physical education programs must be part of the solution.
"NASPE STARS programs are leaders in providing high quality physical education that meet national standards and guidelines," says NASPE President Lynn Couturier of SUNY at Cortland. "They are models for other schools to emulate."
NASPE Executive Director Charlene Burgeson explains, "The criteria for this award are based on the essential elements necessary for a quality physical education program. This includes content based on the national standards for physical education, educationally and developmentally appropriate instructional strategies and teaching skills, adequate facilities, and equipment that are safe and appropriate for the age and abilities of the students with classes taught by certified physical educators, among others."
For more information about quality physical education programs, visit the NASPE web site.
Society of Health and Physical Educators