IDEA schools thrive academically while implementing new PE technology

May 23, 2017 – IHT congratulates IDEA Public Schools on attaining high academic achievement while maintaining a commitment to deliver physical education programs that motivate students to improve their health and academic performance.

ideaOn May 5, the Washington Post released its 19th annual list of America’s Most Challenging High Schools. IDEA, a system of public charter schools operating throughout Texas, saw five of its campuses rank among the nation’s top nine most academically challenging schools. The Post ranks schools based on the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and Cambridge tests taken by students and number of graduating seniors in the measured school year.

Frontier College Prep (third), Mission College Prep (fourth), San Juan College Prep (fifth), San Benito College Prep (sixth) and Quest College Prep (ninth) earned high marks for their challenging curriculum. At four of the IDEA campuses, at least 76 percent of the students passed at least one of the AP tests, and both Frontier and San Juan boasted 89 percent passing rates. IDEA’s students found academic success while also participating in a physical education program in they combined to burn 25 million calories while logging 3 million minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity.

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motivated

Study links muscular fitness along with aerobic fitness to academic, cognitive improvement

May 10, 2017 – A recent study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise shows that muscular fitness, in addition to aerobic fitness, positively impacts academic performance in adolescents.

Muscular fitness
Shih-Chun Kao

The study, titled “Muscular and Aerobic Fitness, Working Memory, and Academic Achievement in Children,” details how fitness impacted the accuracy with which a group of 9 to 11-year-old students responded on academic and cognitive function tests. The study, led by Shih-Chun Kao, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, found more evidence that “aerobic fitness was associated with greater response accuracy and … increased mathematical performance in algebraic functions” while also linking muscular fitness to academic performance.

“Less is known regarding whether muscular fitness also relates to cognition, particularly in children,” he said in April, 2017. “Therefore, we conducted this study as a preliminary one to explore whether there is an association among aerobic fitness, muscular fitness, cognitive function, and academic achievement in children.” Read More

SEL

MA State PE Association Measures Student SEL Progress

Feb. 9 – With its Board of Education focusing on Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) across the Commonwealth, Massachusetts physical education teachers now have a way to quantify how students master those essential skills.

SEL
Students enjoy a pleasant conversation during PE class at Indian Springs Elementary (Texas).

IHT and the Massachusetts Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD) have integrated SEL protocols into IHT’s Spirit Assessment Measures software. Teachers at 79 participating schools can now assess how students master SEL skills and report the results of those assessments to state leaders, including MAHPERD Executive Director Maria Melchionda. Read More

academic

P.E. plays key role in academic readiness

Dec. 26, 2016 – Data confirming the direct correlation between active, healthy students and academic achievement continues to mount, further demonstrating the growing importance that physical education plays in schools.

“Physical activity can have both immediate and long-term benefits on academic performance,” a report published by Active Living Research found in 2015. “Almost immediately after engaging in physical activity, children are better able to concentrate on classroom tasks, which can enhance learning.” Read More