Speaking Out On Student Fitness

In the latest installment of Speaking Out, Patty Cote encourages principals to be champions of fitness. Too many children are leading unhealthy lives, and need adults to ensure they are staying fit and active.

A recent report by the Institute of Medicine recommends states adopt physical education as a core subject. Cote agrees with this recommendation, but goes on to suggest further ways to improve student health, including:

  • Providing free breakfast and lunch programs that provide healthy snacks, and have the added benefit of increasing attendance and attentiveness.
  • Working creatively with physical education teachers to take leadership outside of the classroom and provide extracurricular fitness opportunites.
  • Monitoring physical education programs, to ensure that students have enough exercise every week, and that they are having fun doing it.

Cote also suggests that principals set good examples by trying to lead healthy and active lives. Additionally, principals should take a "whole school" approach that includes ideas like family wellness nights, nutrition classes, and fitness trails for parents and students.

Cote ultimately argues that a whole school approach where everyone is involved in fitness is crucial for students. Do you agree that principals need to take a more active role in ensuring student health and fitness? Respond in the comment section below.