ECMPS Fitness Assessment – The Atmore Advance
Students at Escambia County Middle School test their fitness in a variety of activities – from push-ups to sit-ups – to see if they measure up to Alabama’s new fitness rating.
Trainers Vangela Franklin, Barry Larkin and Susan Fountain conducted their physical education classes in the required exercises, which are divided into four different categories: Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance, Muscle Strength and Endurance, Abdominal Strength and Endurance, and Flexibility.
Students must meet certain standards for the exercises.
âThe amount is different for boys and girls,â Larkin said.
He cited historical precedent for the test having different gender norms where boys as a whole performed better in push-up exercises, while girls as a whole performed better in flexibility exercises.
With the new test, instructions are provided on an accompanying CD-ROM, allowing instructors to focus more on improving their students.
ECMPS students have so far worked on the partial curl-up, 90-degree push-ups, V sit and reach, and the PACER stroke test.
âYou see some of them are excellent in certain areas,â said coach Susan Fountain. âI think a lot more kids have passed the new test. This one makes it where it is most achievable. It’s still kind of like the old test where you push yourself to certain levels. Nothing is perfect. The old test was not perfect and this one is not perfect. It’s just a little more achievable.
The goal of Alabama’s new fitness assessment is to get more kids in shape, as data collected by the CDC suggests young people in Alabama are not doing a good job of staying in shape. .
The test also takes a little time.
âIt takes a good three weeks to get all the kids tested,â Fountain said.
Fountain said she preferred Alabama’s fitness assessment to the president’s former challenge.
âPersonally, I like the new test better and the kids are really receptive to it,â said Fountain. âI like the new test. That sort of puts you in three categories: whether you need to improve yourself, if you are reaching a certain level, or if you are reaching a high level of fitness. “
Students receive certificates in conjunction with the test. If they compete in all four categories, they receive the Director’s Fitness Award. The Superintendent’s Fitness Award is given to students who rate âgood physical conditionâ in all four categories. The Governor’s Fitness Award is presented only to those who achieve the highest fitness score in all four categories.