FAIRFIELD — Fitness scores for students in the Travis School District, already above the state average, climbed higher still from last year.
Figures released by the California Department of Education show the Travis district exceeding the state percentage for fifth-, seventh- and ninth-grade students in the healthy fitness zone in categories including aerobic capacity, abdominal strength and body composition.
Jim Bryan, assistant superintendent at the Fairfield-based district, said the success reflects a focus on physical fitness along with academics.
“There’s been a commitment,” he said, “to take part and take it seriously.”
Students in the Fairfield-Suisun School District trailed the state average in almost all categories.
California students overall made slight gains this year in aerobic capacity and body composition, two of the six areas assessed annually and considered among the most important gauges of health, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said Tuesday in a prepared release. About 1.3 million youths in the fifth, seventh, and ninth grades took the tests.
“The simple fact is that healthy kids learn better,” Torlakson said.
Torlakson, who taught school and coached cross country, launched the Team California for Healthy Kids initiative after taking office, to further fitness goals.
Jay Speck, Solano County superintendent of schools, said fitness reaches beyond classrooms.
“We all need to be concerned in the greater community – not just the schools,” he said, “about the physical fitness of our children.”
All students needs access to physical activity, Speck said, “and that’s a much larger issue that just what schools can provide.”
The county office of education provides programs that include instruction for 512 special education students, providing professional development to teachers and operating a community school for 90 at-risk children.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or email@example.com.