Students not passing fitness program
Fewer than one in every four Colusa County students tested in the state's physical fitness program met the "healthy zone" standard in all six test areas during the 2011-12 school year.
Perhaps more importantly, fewer than half of all fifth- and seventh-graders, and just 55 percent of ninth-graders tested recorded healthy scores in what that state is calling the most critical category: body composition.
"Body composition is perhaps the most important indicator of who will develop future health problems," the California School Kids' Physical Fitness report states.
The test shows 30 percent of all students in grades five, seven and nine are in the high-risk category for body composition statewide.
"When we can call fewer than one out of three of our kids physically fit, we know we have a tremendous public health challenge on our hands," state Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said in a statement released with the report.
"It affects more than their health. Study after study has demonstrated the very clear link between physical fitness and academic achievement. While I am glad their fitness levels improve as they make their way through school, we owe it to California's kids to give them more opportunities for exercise, along with better access to healthy foods and clean, fresh water."
In Colusa County, where 320 fifth-graders, 325 seventh-graders and 311 ninth-graders were tested, the total of high-risk students were reported at 37.8 percent, 34.2 percent and 26 percent, respectively, in the body composition category.
That fitness area targets the various factors that contribute to an individual's total weight, namely the percent of muscle, bone, organ and fat content. It assesses the level of body fat or the appropriateness of student's weight relative to height.
The other categories tested are aerobic capacity, abdominal strength, trunk extension strength, upper body strength and flexibility. The results are broken down by district as well, and inside that, by school.
Only 13.6 percent of students in the Colusa Unified School District met the healthy zone standard in all six categories, while 43.3 percent of fifth-graders, 51.5 percent of seventh-graders and 20.2 percent of ninth-graders were considered high risk in the body composition category.
Maxwell High results showed 24.3 percent of all students, but only 9.5 percent of fifth-graders, reached healthy scores in all six categories, and high-risk results registered at 28.5 percent for fifth-graders, 14.8 percent in seventh-graders, and 29 percent in ninth-graders in the body composition category.
The test results showed that 32.7 percent of all Pierce High students, none in fifth-grade, met the healthy zone rating in all six categories. The body composition scores showed the high-risk percentages at 31.5 percent of fifth-graders, 27.7 percent of seventh-graders and 20 percent of ninth-graders.
At Williams Unified, 25.7 percent of all students met the healthy standards in all six categories, while high-risk ratings in body composition were recorded at 40.4 percent of fifth-graders, 26.8 percent of seventh-graders and 33.7 percent of ninth graders.
Princeton Joint Unified, which actually falls under Glenn County testing results, showed 24.8 percent of all students, but only 7.7 percent of seventh-graders, reached healthy zone scores in all six categories. The high-risk ratings for body composition were 41.6 percent of fifth-graders, 38.5 percent of seventh-graders and 10 percent of ninth-graders.
The test was administered to approximately 1.3 million students representing more than 93 percent of the total number of students enrolled in those grades in public schools.