Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Clairton City Schools Report

I just finished my training at Clairton City Schools. Clairton is in Year III of their implementation and is doing a good job at making sure they meet the goals they set through the Objectives that were originally proposed to the DoEd. Through a significant amount of support at the administrative level and leadership from within the PE Department, the district is well on its way to meet their stated expected outcomes.

This district is in a high poverty area. Perhaps when I say high poverty, you think that a lot of their students come from low income households. Outside of Chicago Public Schools, Clairton may have the highest percentage of students who come from this type of household. Student motivation is a challenge within this district. Motivating students to collect their MVPA data is a challenge here more than anywhere else I work with.

But the PE instructors may be near experts in student motivation. The district administration is committed to supporting the efforts of the PE instructors not only financially, but with the time and energy they require. Clairton rewards all students who submit their MVPA data during the scheduled weeks by hosting a huge pizza party at the end of the term.

Now I know, Coordinated School Health states you should not use food as a reward or punishment. In this case, this strategy may be the most cost efficient and effective way to get their students to submit their data on time. All students who attend the party are also provided with an entry into a drawing. For the drawing the district provides enough gift cards to local merchants that about half of the students walk away from the party with something in their hands.

Many of the ideas we use and strategies we recommend come from Clairton. We appreciate their efforts in making sure that their students are able to walk away from their program with an understanding of how to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of fitness.