running_behind-sarahszlam by fanzhongqing


									               Running Behind:
The lack of adequate physical education in New
              York Public Schools

               Sarah Szlam
              October 2009
           Legislative Advocacy
    Why does physical education matter?
• Weight control
• Reduces blood pressure
• Raises HDL ("good") cholesterol
• Reduces the risk of diabetes and some kinds of cancer
• Improves psychological well-being, including gaining more
  self-confidence and higher self-esteem
• Strengthens your heart, lungs, bones and muscles and gives
  you more energy
• Helps you handle stress and sleep better
• Physically fit students tend to outscore their peers who are
  less-fit on academic tests
     How do we define obesity?
• Overweight= BMI at or above 85th percentile
• Obese= BMI at or above 95th percentile
            The Obesity Epidemic
• Increases in prevalence overweight youth from 1970s to 2006
   – In 2-5 yo up from 5% to 12.4%
   – In 6-11yo up from 4% to 17%
   – In 12-19 yo up from 6.1% to 17.6%
• Since 1980 alone the percentage of youth considered obese has
• New York City has 1.1 million public school students
• Compared with children nationwide, NYC children are more
  likely to be obese (21% vs. 17%) and overweight (18% vs.
• 43% of NYC public elementary students are overweight or
   – 1 in 5 kindergarteners and 1 in 4 1st graders
Obesity Trends in the US
    How does this affect our youth?
• Annual hospital costs related to obesity for youth
  alone 1997-1999 were 127 million
  – Up from 35 million in 1979-1981
• Increases in diabetes and hypercholesterolemia
• Poor self esteem
• Increased medical problems in adulthood
       How is NY combating obesity?
       Physical Education Regulation
•   Department of the Commissioner
•   Established in 1982, reissued in 1995
•   K-3: daily PE with minimum 120 min/wk
•   4-6: PE ≥3x/wk with minimum 120 min/wk
•   7-12: ≥3x/wk in one and ≥2x/wk in the other
    semester; avg 90min/wk

                                  NYS Dept of the Commissioner
      Are the regulations working?
         New York State Audit
• 20 school districts 7/07-7/08
• 19 of 20 failed to meet requirements
• For K-3: only 48% met the number of required
  classes and 72% met required class time
  – Avg of ~60 min of PE/wk
• For 4-6: 77% met class time
• For 7-12: most schools were in compliance
         New York City Audit
• January 08, 100 elementary and 50 middle
  schools randomly surveyed
• 96% 3rd grade and 88% 4th grade classrooms
  in violation
• 57% of the elementary schools offer PE only
• 69% 6th grade classrooms in violation
   Why schools are failing to comply with
• Lack of time
   – Increasing academic standards and testing
   – No increase in length of school day
• Lack of adequate staffing
   – Unable to hire trained PE teachers
• Lack of facilities
   – Several schools without access to gym
     and/or playground
   – Some facilities small, outdated, unsafe
   – Some schools with facilities fear students
     will get hurt
• Failure to plan PE
   – Lack of daily classroom/gym plans specific
     for phys ed.
          How is NY Responding
• New offices/positions at Dept of Education
  specifically to tackle the epidemic
   – Office of Fitness and Health Education created by Mayor
   – Looking to allocate funding for equipment/resources
   – No current move to adjust guidelines due to classroom time
     restrictions or schools lacking resources
      • Looking to increase physical education requirements, not lower
        them due to barriers
   – No major changes (resources, financial changes, education
     for those lacking space/time on how to make progress)
     provided to target the specific problems found in the audit
Other changes made in NY schools
• Fitnessgram
  – NYC FITNESSGRAM is the citywide fitness assessment
    that is part of physical education
  – Fitnessgram was piloted in 2005 by the DOE
• CHAMPS middle school sports and fitness league
  – Before and after-school fitness/sport activities
• Healthy Kids Healthy Schools
  – Healthier school lunches and vending machine options
  – Prohibition of bake sales
  – Education on healthy eating at home
• Measures aerobic capacity, muscular strength and
  endurance, flexibility, and body composition
• Students and parents receive annual individual reports
  that explain the significance of each measure
• Provides suggestions to help students reach and
  maintain lifelong health-related fitness.

• Provides minimal education about obesity, physical
• What is tested is not necessarily what is practiced in
• May be confusing to parents
 Outside of schools: other ways NY is
 trying to encourage physical activity
• Schoolyards to Playgrounds Program
   – Opening playgrounds after school/on weekends to the
   – Survey showed poorly maintained program/compliance
• TV “turnoff” weeks promotion in all public and
  private schools
• “Eat Well, Play Hard” community projects
   – Local communities working to find ways to increase
     opportunities for physical activity
• Twelve Healthy Eating and Active Living by Design
   – Building more walkable/bikeable neighborhoods
       What We are Already Doing:
     Healthy Schools Healthy Families
• Healthy Schools Healthy Families (HSHF) promotes healthy lifestyles and
  mental well-being through community partnerships, identifies and
  addresses unmet health needs in the entire school community using a
  school-based decision making model

Schools Served:
• East Harlem: PS 102 (350 students) & PS 206 (300 students)
• Central Harlem: PS 180 (580 students)
• Washington Heights: PS 4 (670 students), PS 128 (850 students), PS 132
   (900 students) & PS 152 (960 students)
• ~4,600 current combined census

On-Site Staffing:
   – One Program Coordinator and one Family Care Worker per every 2
   – Two Nutritionists cover all seven schools
   – One Physical Activity Liaison covers all seven schools
   – HSHF school-based staff collaborates with the teachers, school aides
      and school administration in all healthy lifestyles programming
                             Comparison of Physical Activity
                                                                                          PS 132            PS 152
               Breakdown of Weekly Phys ical Activity
                                                                         Available Space -Uses converted    -One large gym
                                                                                          classrooms as a   -One dance studio
              60                                 52.5
                                                                                          gym               -One large and
                                                                                          -Little outdoor   one small outdoor
              40                                         33.1
 Mi n u tes

                                                                                          space             yard.
              30    23.7
              20                     16.3                                Student census   906               881
                             0                                           Staffing         1 FT gym          2 FT gym
                           P S 132                      P S 152
                                                                                          teacher           teachers
                                                                                                            1 FT dance
                   P hysical E ducation Recess In-class P rograms                                           teacher
                                                                         Students in      52.6%             100%
                                                                         gym* 1X/week
                                                                         Classes with     5%                54.8%
*PS 152 has a full time dance teacher                                    45+ minutes
on staff. Some students have dance                                       outside gym
either instead of, or in addition to gym,
at least once a week. (FT = Full time)
                 How we can help
• Ask about resources patients have
   – At school
   – At home
• Ask about barriers
   – Lack of school PE
   – Lack of education about physical education
   – Lack of resources and lack of knowing what resources may
     be available
• Provide education, encouragement and resources
              Resources for Us
  – Great information on local parks
  – Broken down by age, location, type of activity
  – Lots of information on guidelines, statistics,
  – Information about current guidelines, resources for
    providers and parents

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