SUHSD's Physical Education Department is committed to providing a well-rounded physical education curriculum. Physical education provides cognitive content and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviors for healthy active living, physical fitness, sportsmanship, self-efficacy, and emotional intelligence. In addition to encouraging students to participate in a variety of activities and sports, the department also offers nutrition and safety education.
Effective since the 2012-2013 school year, all 9th graders in the district receive the American Heart Association's Family and Friends CPR training.
Most recently, with funding from the Dignity Health Foundation, SUHSD has started ImPACT testing of student athletes and Brainbook, a concussion curriculum in 9th grade PE.
Physical Fitness Testing (PFT) & Body Mass Index (BMI)title
The state mandates that students in 5th, 7th, and 9th grades take the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) that measures six areas of fitness. These include Aerobic Capacity, Body Composition, Abdominal Strength, Trunk Extension Strength, Upper Body Strength, and Flexibility. Meeting the PFT performance standard is known as the Healthy Fitness Zone, which represents a level of fitness that may offer some protection against the diseases related to physical inactivity.
Our district assesses Body Composition by calculating Body Mass Index (BMI). Your child’s weight and height are measured to calculate their BMI. The results of the screening compare your child’s weight and height to those of other children of the same age and sex. If your child is not in the healthy BMI range, they may be considered at risk for weight related health conditions. You may have talked about your child’s weight with your doctor before, but you can use these results to talk with the doctor again if you have concerns.
As you know, height and weight will continue to vary for your child as they go through the normal growth and hormonal changes that occur during teen and young adult development. Every person is different, and genetics have a lot to do with body composition. In addition, BMI cannot tell the difference between muscle and fat, so an athletic person with a lot of muscle can have a high BMI.
Healthy bodies come in many shapes and sizes and it is important to not compare or judge individual health or fitness by appearance, or by measurements such as weight, height, or BMI.
A 2020 article suggests a potential pause or end to the Physical Fitness Test in California.