Thursday, October 30, 2008

What? You Have Hit Some Snags in Implementation?

Don't worry -- this happens to every PEP program that has been implemented since the beginning of the program. Regardless of your level of planning, something is bound to come up that will delay the rollout of your program. There are several different challenges that may arise. How long they delay you depends on your attitude and ability to work through challenges. Here are some of the more common delays that we have encountered in our exeprience of working with school districts across the country.
  • Curriculum -- The more successful PEP programs will implement or work with a well established PE curriculum. There are several to choose from, but the best PE curriculums will be research-based. If you have not selected a specific curriculum to work from, examine your Project Goals and search for a curriculum that will meet those needs. If you are totally lost, email me and I will provide you with information on several programs and will guide you through the proccess.

  • Equipment -- If you do not know what type of curriculum you will be using, stop right here. Do not order curriculum before you know what type of equipment the curriculum requires and will support. Work with a company that will support their equipment after the sale via warranties. Don't be afraid to ask for a discount.

  • Staff Development -- Meet with your PE instructors often. Outside of the professional development sessions for your curriculum, talk with your personnel about implementation and involve them in the rollout if you have not done so yet. Make sure you solicit their input and more importantly, USE IT!

  • Evaluation -- If there were four pillars of a successful PEP grant, the evaluation would be the fourth pillar. Work with an outside partner on your evaluation. This component will take the majority of your time. Review your Project Objectives and meet with potential evaluators. Clearly outline your expectations and when you decide who to use, sign a contract with specific measures and deadlines. I find that most projects can be evaluated for under $25,000.00 per year. If you need suggestions in this area, email me and I will put you in contact with some of the better candidates.

Without fail, every year I see districts that for whatever reason are unable to implement the program that they proposed as part of their PEP grant package and they need to change direction. While the ethics of this can be debated ad nauseum, it is reality. Contact me if you would like some help finding a direction and hitting the ground running.

Monday, October 27, 2008

PEP GRPA Requirements

For the last couple of years, the DoEd has required that districts submit the total number of students who are meeting the recommended minimums for suggested minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The recommended weekly levels are 150 minutes per week grades K-6 and 225 minutes per week grades 7-12. Along with all of the other process and product measures that a district has to track, MVPA is one of the more time consuming items to track. Simple classroom observation and guesstimates are not acceptable to the DoEd. Your students are required to track their actual number of MVPA minutes per week on four different occasions during the school year. This measure can consume you and your time unless you plan the data collection correctly.

AFS has developed a program that is designed to help students grades 4-12 to track their minutes of MVPA for four weeks during the school year. Our program is designed to provide students with the structure to track not only their MVPA minutes, but it also helps them do much more.

The program starts with the student recording their results from a fitness pre-test. We suggest you use the Presidential Fitness Test protocol. You then walk your students through a process that helps them set goals for improvement, outline weekly activities to help students make improvements, and track their progress in meeting their goals. Students track all of their data in their Fitness Journal, a book that can be provided by AFS.

Our staff can also train your teachers in the delivery of the curriculum. We can also take the time to align the curriculum to your State Standards in PE. Finally, our staff can tabulate the data provided by your teachers. We will also help you in the preparation of your reports to the DoEd.

PEP Implementation Is Hard

Let's face it, districts that have received the PEP grant will tell you that the grant development process was tough, but the implementation portion is actually more difficult. Between the reporting process required by the Department of Education and the difficulty of working with the many vendors that approach you, it will absolutely consume your time. That is why we are putting this blog together.

Advanced Fitness Solutions (AFS) has worked with districts across the country to develop their grant package, implement the package once it is awarded, and assist in the evaluation of the resulting changes. We have been in business since 2001 and have helped more than 75 districts through the process. Our company has worked with some of the largest and smallest districts around -- our skill set covers any size of district.

We suggest you subscribe to this blog as we will regularly post tips to help you on your path. This blog will feature insight on things like dealing with vendors, scheduling staff devleopment sessions, curriculum and equipment suggestions, and evaluation assistance. This is a free resource and there is no quid pro quo expected. So, enjoy what we present!

If you would like some assistance in any of the areas listed, please email or call us and we will be happy to help you work through some of the challenges.