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(December 9, 2010 Update): While I published this just two days ago, I wanted to provide this short update regarding the wireless pedometers described above.  We just sold another 500 units today to a winning PEP Grant School District. This brings our “Past 30 Days” totals to over 2,000 units! Please call us at (800) 927-0682 for more information about this innovative time-saving device!

Dear 2010 PEP Grant Awardees: The new regulations for the 2010 PEP Grant GPRA (Government Performance Results Act) items have just been released!  There are several major clarifications that everyone needs to understand, including:

  • Grades K-4: Required pedometer data for 4 full days. Not just 3 days that I would have guessed!
  • Grades 5-12: Required pedometer data for 7 full days.
  • Grades 5-12: Having to tally the 3DPAR results by the number of 30-minute time slots each student indicates “light,” “moderate,” “hard,” and  “very hard.”  There are up to 28 slots, so this process can be very time consuming.
  • Grades 9-12: No real surprises here with the YRBS Fruit and Veggie intake.
  • Grades 5-12: 20-meter shuttle run, no real surprises here either.
  • Sample Excel Spreadsheet: They did include a sample Excel spreadsheet with all the required GPRA data in an easy-to-understand format.  Thanks!

Let’s Think About This! The most burdensome aspect of this grant to me is the 4/7 day pedometer readings and the 3DPAR items.  The 4/7 day pedometer readings require that students in grades K-4 to have a parent verify and record the daily pedometer readings using a take home record form.  Students in grades 5-12 “should record their own daily step count” on the 7-day form.

Whew!

Those of us who have taught PE, easily realize what a major problem this can turn out to be. If your 5th grade kids report doing 112 curl-ups in minute, just how many steps do you think they will be able to get in 4 days?  19,000 Gazillion?!

Plus, when I was teaching elementary PE at two inner-city schools, I was lucky to get two parents per class to help with Field Day each year. This requires parents to do this five times this year and four times in Years 2 and 3.

Suggestion #1 Ask for PAT! Here’s my suggestions – try to find a software person/company to build you an online version of 3DPAR and the YRBS surveys.  Should cost less than $8,000 for both of them (i.e., $65/hour for 120 or so hours of software design and graphics work). They should be able to get it done in less than a month.

Or you can call our office at (800) 927-0682 and ask for PAT.

These are our “Paperless Assessment Tools” – a 3DPAR survey with the YRBS questions if needed for your high school students.  The students log-on using the school computer lab, pull-down the school district, enter their grade level, and then pull-down the associated school.  For example, if the student put is “6th Grade,” only the pre-loaded middle schools would show up in the pull-down list.  Average costs are about a $1/student/year – minimum of 2,500 students.

Suggestion #2 Find Out About the MobiPedometer! Here’s a stress-free way of getting all of the required GPRA pedometer data you need.  The MobiPedometer is a “wireless” pedometer that is in a sealed unit (i.e., kids can’t see the data) and automatically offloads 4 or 7 day data instantly!  This technology uses a wireless receiver attached to the PE teacher’s USB port or a stand-alone unit with greater range that does not require a computer.

We had a school district call us today to ask about these wireless school-wide receivers (1 per school site) and 300 MobiPedometers that they will share between the schools as they gather the required GPRA data.  The MobiPedometers are $50/unit.  Wireless receivers are $100/gym size; $600 for a school-wide unit.

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Additional GPRA Guidance:

1. Grantees must use pedometers to collect daily physical activity data from students. Grantees must require students to wear pedometers during each day in the four data-collection windows, as well as during the baseline data-collection window. Students should be instructed to wear the pedometers all day, every day.

2. The number of days a student must wear a pedometer depends on the student’s grade. Students in grades 5-12 are required to wear pedometers for seven consecutive days in each data-collection window. Students in grades K-4 must wear pedometers for four consecutive days in each data-collection window.

3. Use pedometers to count both in-program and out-of-program physical activity. Physical activity can take place at the program site or on the student’s own time. Physical activity outside of the program site must count toward a student’s goal. So, students should wear pedometers all day, not just when at the program site.

4. The number of steps each student takes must be recorded daily. Because GPRA measure 1.1 counts daily activity, the number of steps counted by a pedometer must be recorded every day, for each student wearing a pedometer, during each data-collection window. This recording could occur at home, before the student goes to bed. The use of a log is recommended for recording daily step counts. Attachment 4 contains two sample logs that can be used to record a student’s daily steps. Additional information about recording steps is below.

5. Who records a student’s daily steps depends on a student’s grade. Students in grades 5-12 should record their own daily step count. Students in grades K-4 should have a parent or guardian read the daily steps off the pedometer and record them. Regardless of who records the daily number of steps, students in grades 5-12 should put their names (or some other approved identifier) on the log.

6. When recording pedometer data, a student with 4,550 or more steps in a day is considered as having engaged in at least 60 minutes of physical activity that day. Research has shown that for adolescents, 4,550 steps can be assumed to constitute 60 minutes of physical activity. So, students who have at least that many steps on their pedometers for a given day have met the threshold of 60 minutes of physical activity for that day.  Similarly, we recommend that students not be told this daily step goal.

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