Pennsylvania school adds Spirit System to PE program

Originally published Jan. 6, 2017 in the Lancer Life Blog at James W. Parker Middle School in Edinboro, Penn.

JWPMS adds new PE technology to improve student fitness

Basketball, double dutch, dodgeball, sledding and … technology?

Introducing the 21st century physical education classroom.

James W. Parker Middle School (JWPMS) is engaging students through interactive technology to improve students’ cardiovascular fitness.

fitnessThrough the IHT Spirit System, students now have the opportunity to manage their individual health and fitness. The technology includes heart monitor watches, docking stations, PC’s to run the IHT Spirit system software and the software itself. The watches are intended to motivate students by instantly sending them an email with their heart rates throughout the period ensuring that they challenge themselves and hit specific heart zones.

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When one student finally reaches goal, the rest of class follows suit

Tue, 24 May 2016

Students tap their IHT Spirit System heart rate monitors in before use in a PE class.

As his school year ground toward its inevitable end, John Kruse, a physical education teacher at Nobel Charter Middle School in the Los Angeles Unified School District, scratched his head as he watched his students play pickleball, a cross between tennis, badminton and table tennis.

The scene playing out before him – and on the IHT Spirit System software that tracked the heart rate levels of the 12 students wearing monitors that day — was one he’d seen before, one he had grown tired of. Kruse, the 2016 California Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance Teacher of the Year, had hoped that his students would be exercising in their optimal heart rate zone for at least half of the PE period.

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Students’ editorial emphasizes need for PE teachers to change with the times

Thu, 19 May 2016 – editorialTwo New York high school students recently won an editorial writing contest by issuing their own PE challenge.
Students Norah Berry and Chase Moriarity, both 17, won an editorial writing contest by The Learning Network, an educational arm of the New York Times. Their editorial shared their thoughts on challenges they, and other students, face in PE. The article, titled “Gym Class Villains,” discusses how some PE curricula haven’t transformed with the times.“…physical education hasn’t changed in generations,” they write. “…an unimaginative curriculum of forced laps and overly aggressive games fails to accomplish much beyond boredom and exclusion.”

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Maize South teacher finds bullish solution to funding challenge

Maize South Middle School (Wichita, Ks.) students compete in the Bull Run 5K.
Maize South Middle School (Wichita, Ks.) students compete in the Bull Rush 5K.

Two years of hard work and harder thinking have finally paid off for Maize South Middle School (Wichita, Ks.) physical education teacher Brandon Wolff.

Thanks to a successful grant application and a unique community event, Wolff finally raised enough money to purchase and implement the newest technology for his physical education students. Maize South students will monitor their PE performance on the Interactive Health Technologies Spirit System next year.

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Looking for votes, Spirit Challenge entrant turns to local media

Sylvia School photo from
Sylvia School photo from

You won’t catch Falls River, Mass., physical education teacher Terry Mahjoory talking about the demise of newspaper.

The Sylvia School teacher let the local paper, the Herald News, know about her elementary school class’ entry into the Interactive Health Technologies “Raising the Bar” PE Video Challenge sponsored by Adidas.

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