Winters students take top physical fitness scores in Yolo County schools

Graphic: Winters Express
Graphic: Winters Express

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Last year’s Winters seventh graders took top spots in the 2017/2018 Physical Fitness Test in comparison to schools from neighboring Yolo County cities in a report presented to the Winters Joint Unified School District school board on Thursday, March 7. Sue Bridge, Winters JUSD Physical Education Teacher, said seventh graders who were tested scored better than both the county and California state averages on the test categories. “We have really motivated kids here. The kids in Winters are absolutely fantastic,” said Bridge. “That means you have kids who try really hard. We were better than the county in almost everything. We were better in the state in every category.” The 2017/18 seventh graders took top scores above both Yolo County and state averages in Aerobic Capacity (88.3 percent), Abdominal Strength (90.5 percent), Trunk Extension Strength (99.3 percent), Upper Body Strength (81.8 percent) and Flexibility (97 percent). Their lowest scores was in Body Composition (65 percent) which ranked in below the county average of 69.3 percent but above the state average of 61 percent. Last year’s fifth graders and ninth graders also took part in the physical fitness test. Ninth graders took a top score in Aerobic Capacity (80.5 percent) beating both the county and state averages for the category. They also scored better than state averages in Abdominal Strength and Trunk Extension Strength. The scores for last year’s fifth grade class were far below and Bridge is convinced it is due to how the tests were administered. Bridge said realistically the scores should be much closer to scores in other cities as well as the averages of the county and state. “I don’t believe that is representative on their level of fitness,” said Bridge. “I’m making a commitment to go to Rominger with some middle schoolers to demonstrate.” When questioned on whether Winters Elementary School students were getting enough physical education time Bridge said, “absolutely not.” According to Bridge a lack of PE specialists at the elementary school level is one reason. Bridge said another reason, in her opinion, is that the priority in the district is to get students up to grade level and teachers are choosing to focus more on meeting that over physical education opportunities. Bridge said in the big picture there’s more value to have PE classes at the elementary schools. “You have so much more bang for your buck when you’re addressing them as they are young kids. By high school they have established whatever habits they have,” said Bridge. “We should establish more physical education things at the elementary school.” Trustee Michael Olivas recalled being able to run for about 10 minutes when he was younger and unable to focus. “Physical education is very important and it helps with the young kids especially,” said Olivas. “I like your ideas of focusing on PE at the elementary school. It would help a lot I’m sure. Do it the way we used to do it back then.” Trustee Rudolph Muldong said he likes balance whenever possible and that they’ll work on making a point to do more physical activity for students in Winters JUSD.]]>

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