Teachers, administrators, and coaches have used multiple funding sources to bring IHT’s heart rate technology to their students.
Whether teachers need a few IHT ZONE heart rate monitors for a pilot program, a set for their classroom that can be shared throughout the school day or enough to provide every student with their own in a 1:1 setting similar to the way Chromebooks are deployed, funding can be obtained. Teachers have utilized:
- Local school budgets
- Principal or Superintendent’s Budget
- Local grants including area health departments or government offices
- Federal Grants including ESSA and CARES funding
Local Teachers Work Together to Increase Funding
In addition to using their allocation, department leaders have been resourceful to find additional money from the local school budget. One PE leader outlined his strategy to work with colleagues to identify departments that may not spend their entire allocation.
“I talk with other teacher leaders who control budgets that might be a little more robust than mine,” he said. “And if they have funds they’re not going to need or if they’ve already taken care of all of their needs and still have, say, $1,000 left, well, that’s a lot of money for me.”
Through that networking with colleagues, he’s been able to find funding to grow his inventory of IHT ZONE monitors, increasing the number of students who can benefit over the course of a day, week or semester. How do the administrators feel about inter-departmental collaboration?
“When teachers who control separate budget lines come to them and say ‘we’d like to do this,’ they are amenable,” he said. “It just takes everyone working together. I’ve been fortunate that I’ve been able to work with other leaders who have sent me money out of their budget.”
Superintendent Supports Data-Driven Program with Discretionary Grant
Along with each department’s allocation, many budgets include discretionary funds for campus principals and the district superintendent. If departmental budgets have been spent, requesting access to the leader’s funding has also proven beneficial.
Tasha Polly and Vicki Black, PE teachers at Maury River Middle School (Virginia), combined a federal grant (21st Century Community Learning Center) and funds from the local Rockbridge County Education Foundation to get their first set of monitors to become the first school in Virginia using the monitors. They expanded their ZONE inventory after receiving funds from the superintendent’s discretionary budget.
“We have a new superintendent and some new administrators, and they like data a lot,” Black said. “Once everyone saw what we could do with the data, money started being handed to us to get them.”
Local Officials See Benefits Students, Children Get Using IHT ZONE HRMs
With student health a primary concern, teachers have found success turning to local health departments and city officials for funding.
When he worked at Port Jervis (N.Y.) High School, teacher Jon Foley sought and received a grant from the Orange County Health Department to purchase a set of IHT ZONE wrist heart rate monitors for his PE classes.
“It was relatively easy to do,” Foley said. “They gave me the outline and I filled in what needed to be filled in. Our request was justifiable. They got back to me within a month or two that we received the grant.”
A grant from Northern Colorado Health Alliance enabled Lindsay Yost to get ZONE monitors for her health students at Fort Lupton Middle School. Though she lacked dedicated space for her students to exercise, she still found ways to increase student activity levels.
“Via these heart rate monitors, I’m able to implement physical activity again, even if it’s a small little piece, into my classroom since I don’t have access to teach physical activity on a regular basis,” Yost said.
In Union City, New Jersey, youth coach Juan Cajina approached Mayor Brian Stack about technology to help children stay active outside of school.
“I approached the mayor and said we needed a program to promote health and fitness, and running will do that for the kids,” Cajina said.
Stack agreed. The mayor authorized the purchase of a set of IHT ZONE heart rate monitors. Then he recruited Cajina to form -- and coach -- the Union City Running Eagles, the first recreational running club in one of the most densely populated cities in the U.S.
“They can learn about their fitness level,” Cajina said of his young athletes. “They are getting a better understanding of what they are doing and how it helps them. They understand how to read the heart rate chart and they are learning to work out.”
Federal Grants offer Increased Opportunities for District-Wide Implementation
In 2016, the PE world transitioned from the Carol White Pep Grant and began focusing on new funding made available through the Every Student Succeeds Act. Numerous schools have found success adding IHT heart rate technology through ESSA and particularly Title IV, Part A. ESSA Title IV, Part A provides funding for programs that support the effective use of technology, provide safe and healthy schools, and provide students with a well-rounded education.
“I went to the key stakeholder in my district and I sat with that person to discuss how I could get some of that money,” McAllen (Texas) Independent School District PE Coordinator Mario Reyna said. “Once that person knew that I knew what I was talking about and why deserved some of that money, they were very willing to listen. You have to speak out for your program.”
Reyna’s won multiple ESSA grants to purchase IHT heart rate monitors for the schools across his district. Irving (Texas) ISD Health and PE Coordinator Sandi Cravens also won multiple ESSA grants to purchase IHT heart rate monitors. At first, she had to overcome the mindset that school districts simply won’t invest money in health and physical education.
“We are trained in physical education and health to believe that we don’t deserve it,” she said. “It’s not on purpose. That’s just the way it usually works. So, we don’t ask for things and we assume, like I did, that we wouldn’t be eligible.”
Once she knew her department could access the funding, she went for it. Now, she applies for ESSA funding every year.
“Reach out to the decision-makers and let them know you have ideas for how we can spend the money and talk to them about programs that impact the children,” she said. “Health is the key foundation for what you will do for the rest of your life. We just need to measure how a positive impact on a student’s health impacts the rest of the world at school: academics, attendance, etc.”
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