Health & Physical Education
Physical education is the planned sequential instruction created to develop motor skills, physical fitness, and sports’ skills. Through movement, students will experience opportunities to utilize decision making and problem solving skills as well as to enhance mental, social, and emotional abilities. In order for physical education to be effective, it must include a variety of engaging activities, an ongoing assessment, and use of technology. The ultimate goal of physical education is for all students to embrace the challenge of a physically active lifestyle.
Physical Fitness Assessment
As required by state law, the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness assessment will be administered to all students in grades 3-12 who are enrolled in a class receiving physical education credit. Parents may obtain a copy of their child’s physical fitness assessment by submitting a letter to their principal at the end of the school year.
The goal of Mesquite Independent School District's Physical Education Program is to provide a variety of physical activities and instruction that nurtures a desire in each student for a lifetime of health and fitness. Below are program features that are designed to motivate students to develop a positive attitude toward good health practices.
School Health Advisory Council
The MISD School Health Advisory Council (SHAC) is made up of 24 parents, community members, teachers and administrators. The purpose of the SHAC is to be an advocate for healthy students by making recommendations to the School Board pertaining to the coordinated school health program. SHAC members provide input to ensure community values are reflected through regularly scheduled meetings. The SHAC meets at least four times each year at the Professional Development Center. All SHAC meetings are open to the public. Click on the link below for more information and dates of upcoming meetings. Please contact Council Co-Chair Wendi Hatley at 972-882-7413 if you would like to attend a meeting.
Indoor Rock Climbing Walls
All MISD elementary schools are equipped with 48' X 8' traverse climbing walls. A.C. New Middle School, Terry Middle School and Horn High School are equipped with 48' X 10' traverse walls. Climbing attracts a wide variety of students, including those who do not normally enjoy traditional physical education offerings. Cooperation, teamwork, problem solving, strength, cardiovascular endurance and perseverance are just a few benefits these walls bring to our physical education curriculum.
Each of our elementary schools has a set of digital pedometers called Digiwalkers. A Digiwalker is a small "pillbox" type device that clips to a students waistband and records and displays the number of steps each student takes during PE class. Pedometers allow students to set personal goals for physical activity and monitor their own progress.
Heart Rate Monitoring
Monitoring heart rate gives students immediate feedback on individual performance during exercise. MISD physical educators show students how to manually check heart rate as well as offer technology for students to monitor heart rate. Some schools use the group heart rate monitoring system where students wear a chest belt transmitter and individual student heart rates are projected in a grid on the wall. As students’ heart rates increase, their individual grid changes color so teachers and students can monitor exercise levels.
Marathon Kids/Feet Across Mesquite
Elementary students participate in MISD’s districtwide walking/running program called Feet Across Mesquite. Students and teachers log walking/running mileage during PE class. The school with the most mileage at the end of the year (calculated on a percentage basis of the total school’s population) receives the FEET ACROSS MESQUITE trophy to be displayed and “bragged about” until the next year’s competition.
Fitnessgram is a method of measuring physical fitness levels of students. Students fitness levels are measured in several areas: aerobic capacity; body composition; and muscular strength, endurance and flexibility. The Fitnessgram software program was developed by The Cooper Institute and compiles individual results for each student so he/she can compare their fitness levels from year to year. Fitnessgram is administered to all PE credit students in grades 3-12 annually. The test is a criterion-referenced test that assesses health-related fitness. Fitnessgram tells students if they are in “healthy fitness zones” for each area of fitness so they can set individual goals and strive to maintain or improve. Parents may obtain a copy of their child's physical fitness assessment by submitting a letter to their principal at the end of the school year.
Coordinated Approach to Child Health (CATCH)
All Texas school districts are required to implement a Coordinated School Health Plan. MISD recognizes that a healthy student is a better learner and adopted the CATCH program to aid in achieving coordinated school health. The goal of CATCH is to help schools, children and families adopt healthy eating and physical activity habits. The CATCH Program has four components: a classroom health component, a physical education component, a food service component and family/home component. Each K-8 campus has its own CATCH Committee that plans yearly goals for coordinated school health and evaluates progress. Contact your schools physical education teacher if you would like to serve.
Family Fitness Nights
Schools offer family fitness nights to bring together students and families in the school setting to explore healthy living concepts focused on fitness and nutrition in a fun, social way.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL SPECIAL EVENTS
The Elementary Physical Education Programs at MISD allow students and teachers opportunities to participate in several special events outside of our regular program offerings. Each campus has a choice of which activities best fit their campus goals.
Kids Heart Challenge
This event is sponsored by the American Heart Association and is an educational fundraising event for medical research that helps prevent heart disease and stroke. Not only does KHC teach our elementary students the benefits of physical activity and ways to keep their heart healthy, but it also engages them in community service. Many of our schools choose to conduct this event during the month of February to coincide with Valentine's Day! Mesquite ISD received a Distinguished Service Award in 2010 for its outstanding participation in Kids Heart Challenge and AHA's Go Red Campaign. The award helped fund a research project at the UT Southwestern Medical Center.
Annual NASP Archery Tournament
Each year, several of our Elementary, Middle School, and High Schools choose to participate in our annual NASP (National Archery in Schools Program) Archery Tournament which is held in January. This tournament is open to MISD students, as well as neighboring districts. Students sign up for a "flight time" on either Friday evening or Saturday. Qualifying individuals and/or teams can move on to the state tournament in Austin, which is held later in the Spring.
End of Year Play Days
Each elementary school conducts a day full of fun activities for the entire student population sometime during the month of May. Play Days are always a highlight of each school year and offer students a chance to “kick up their heels” and celebrate the beginning of summer.
Many of our elementary schools contract with these skating companies to actually deliver skates to the school and teach students the basics of in-line and quad skating. This two-week emphasis proves to be a favorite among students who can skate to music, learn new skating activities, and just socialize with friends while participating in a worthwhile physical activity.
Elks Hoop Shoot
Each year many schools choose to participate in the basketball free throw contest sponsored by the Mesquite Elks Lodge. Students are divided into age groups and by gender to compete in a best of 25 free throws. Local school winners advance to the lodge competition held in January at Agnew Middle School.
Physical Education/Health Coordinator