Health and Fitness

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The Health and Fitness programs offered in the Olympia School District continues to follow a long tradition of excellence. The planned sequential program of student-centered experiences enable all students to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to lead healthy and active lives.

The purpose of Health & Fitness in the Olympia School District is to provide a varied program of instructional activity which allows all students to enter adult life with the skills, knowledge, and attitudes necessary to enjoy a healthy and physically active life, based on a wellness/recreation model rather than the traditional athletic model.

Health and Fitness Matter In The Olympia School District

Regular physical activity can: (1) increase muscular strength and endurance, (2) increase aerobic fitness, (3) increase flexibility, (4) help control weight, (5) decrease stress, and (6) increase feelings of well-being and self-esteem.

The best opportunity to prepare children and adolescents to live physically active and healthy lives through a well-balanced and quality health and fitness program in the schools. The Olympia School District strives to provide such a program through the development and implementation of a standards-based sequential curriculum designed to align with national and state standards and requirements. Using the nationally recognized comprehensive health-related fitness education program, Physical Best, our students receive conceptual knowledge along with skill development activities designed to develop healthy and active lifestyles.

Along with being physically active, students gain health-related knowledge, learn and use life skills, and work to achieve and maintain personal health goals. The health education program offered to students provides a sequential program focusing on ten content areas; injury prevention and safety, environmental health, consumer and community health, communicable and chronic diseases, alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, personal health and safety, growth and development, mental and emotional health and social health.

Washington State Requirements

All students in grades 1 - 8 are required to participate in an average of 100 instructional minutes per week in health-fitness education classes.

High schools are required to offer a one credit class in health-fitness education for each student each year; 2 credits are required for graduation.

High School Programs-- Expanding Horizons

Each high school student is required to take 2 credits of Health and Fitness prior to graduation. In addition, all students have the opportunity to take additional classes throughout their high school experience.

The focus of the high school program is to expand the knowledge and skills necessary to take part in a health and active lifestyle. Freshman students take part in the nationally recognized Fitness For Life program which includes both classroom-based lessons on a variety of health-related topics along with expanding their skills in a variety of leisure activities.

The second required year of Health & Fitness provides a variety of classes designed to enhance individual fitness levels and expand knowledge and skills in leisure/recreational activities. Included are “group fitness” classes such as “Body Shape”, Yoga, Dance, Power Aerobics, and Weight Training. In addition students may enroll in a variety of classes related to recreational activities.

One semester of health education is required at the freshman level. This instructional program is designed to integrate basic knowledge into the development and maintenance of a healthy life-style. In presenting a review of basic health knowledge along with new concepts and information, students are asked to develop practical skills for implementing all knowledge and skills learned into their daily lives.

At the conclusion of the required Freshman course, students will have set personal fitness, nutrition and activity goals, learned to assess and monitor their own progress and developed a completed their state required “Personal Health and Fitness Plan."

For information on waiving the second year of the Health and Fitness requirement, click on the Fitness Requirements FAQ link.

Middle Level Programs: Expanding on the Base

Students at the middle level continue to progress through a pre-planned sequence of age-appropriate activities. At this level, students participate in a variety of challenging activities presented in short units. Activities include racquet sports, individual and partner/team activities, rhythmic movements, and leisure activities such as golf, bowling, archery, and circus arts. In addition, each student learns how to practice a physically-active lifestyle and to understand the relationship between physical activity and health.

Health-related fitness is expanded upon with the development of an initial “Personal Health and Fitness Plan." The plan is designed to set the stage for the development of a “Personal Health and Fitness Plan” at the high school level. These plans meet state requirements and represent the culmination of the comprehensive K-12 program.

Classroom-based health education focuses on prevention of alcohol, tobacco and other drug use, disease prevention, safe living, consumer health, nutrition, body systems, human sexuality and social interaction/self-esteem. Lessons are presented in each of these "strands" in a sequential manner allowing for both review and the introduction of new information and skills.

Elementary Programs--A Successful Foundation

Elementary students in the Olympia School District receive quality instruction in a planned sequential physical education program. Highly qualified specialists provide instruction based on a district approved curriculum that includes a sequence of developmentally appropriate activities for students in kindergarten through fifth grade. All activities are presented in a safe, non-threatening learning environment.

Elementary specialists participate in regular professional development that focus on child-sensitive and positive methods of classroom management, integration of cross-curricular academic skills, teaching strategies that promote physical activity, and precautions necessary for providing a safe environment for student participation.

Classroom-based health education provides a solid foundation of information, knowledge and skills through an age-appropriate curriculum. At the primary level lessons focus on positive health practices, safety, prevention of communicable disease, oral health and nutrition. At the intermediate level students review basic health principles and focus on conflict resolution skills, decision making, alcohol and other drug prevention, personal safety, growth and development and HIV/STI prevention.

Contact Information

Jeff Carpenter: Director
Health, Fitness and Athletic Programs
1113 Legion Way SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: 360-596-8544
Fax: 360-596-8581
jcarpent@osd.wednet.edu