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Report Shows 50 Percent of Glendora Unified Students Achieving Fitness Goals

Glendora Unified students score higher than the state average, where only one in three students meet fitness goals.

Glendora Unified students are posting healthier fitness scores compared to numbers posted from students statewide.

About 50 percent of Glendora students are in the healthy fitness zone in all six fitness areas, department officials say.

The annual FITNESSGRAM  from the California Department of Education measures the level of student fitness in each school and district, focusing on six areas of fitness: aerobic capacity, body composition, abdominal strength, trunk extensor strength, upper body strength and flexibility.

The test was administered to 1.32 million California students in grades five, seven and nine. To be classified within the Healthy Fitness Zone as a ninth grader, for example, the test required the student to be 15 years old, run a mile within nine minutes, perform a minimum of 16 pushups and 24 curl-ups.

Tests showed that about 50 percent of Glendora Unified students scored within the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas.

“I think we have an incredible physical education curriculum that starts at the elementary level,” said Elizabeth Eminhizer, principal at Goddard Middle School. “I think that it also helps that the Glendora community is also very health conscious.”

At Goddard Middle School, students have a diverse physical education curriculum that includes running, dance, obstacle courses and bicycling. Eminhizer credited the school’s new fitness lab completed under Measure G, which provides new exercise bikes and weight equipment for students.

“I think we can be very proud that we’ve improved on our aerobic score to 75.5 percent,” said Eminhizer.

At Glendora High School, 53.3 percent of ninth graders achieved a healthy fitness score for all six areas.

“Our approach to physical education here in Glendora High has always focused on healthy, active living – that includes nutrition and community involvement as well as exercise,” said Assistant Principal Jamie Norell.  “I think our community really helps. Many of our students have been involved in activities since youth, such as little league sports.”

While the numbers are encouraging, Norell said the ultimate goal is to reach 100 percent in all six areas.

However, not all schools enjoyed strong healthy fitness scores across the board. Charter Oak Unified, with three schools located within Glendora, fared less favorably in the fifth and seventh grade level. Only 14.9 percent of fifth graders scored in the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas, while 18.7 percent of seventh graders scored within the Healthy Fitness Zone.

However, in stark contrast, 57.8 percent of ninth graders in Charter Oak Unified scored within the Healthy Fitness Zone in all six areas.

Statewide, overall student fitness is still a work in progress. Only one in three California students are considered healthy, according to test results.

On Thursday, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced a new campaign that would connect schools with community leaders and athletes to encourage students to gain more exercise both at school and at home.

"Nothing is more important than the health of our children, and today's results show that many of them need a helping hand to get fit and stay in shape," Torlakson said in a prepared statement. "The Team California for Healthy Kids campaign will help students adopt the healthy habits that will help them succeed in the classroom today – and help them stay healthy over a lifetime."

Students in Healthy Fitness Zone  - 2009-2010 (State)

Grade 5     28.7 percent
Grade 7     34.6 percent
Grade 9     38.5 percent

Students in Healthy Fitness Zone (6 out of 6 areas)
Glendora Unified School District 2009-2010

Grade 5   47.9 percent
Grade 7    47.0 percent
Grade 9    53.3 percent

Students in Healthy Fitness Zone (6 out of 6 areas)
Charter Oak Unified School District 2009-2010

Grade 5     14.9 percent
Grade 7     18.7 percent
Grade 9     57.8 percent

*Source: California Department of Education, 2009-10 California Physical Fitness Report for the Glendora Unified School District and Charter Oak Unified School District.

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