We Needed a Change…
During a district wide physical education collaboration, our staff noted that we needed a change and physical education needed to be made a top priority in the Farmington School District. We started doing K-12 PE collaboration every month where we were fortunate enough to meet Sandy Moore who presented Heart Zones to us. As a whole, our department immediately fell in love with the concept and wanted to start using heart rate monitors as soon as possible.
What are the most important features of the Heart Zones Move solution for your program?
Teaching our students accountability. They can self-reflect every single day and see if they are working hard enough or not. It also lets us teachers interact more with the kids rather than sitting back and trying to grade them every hour on their performance.
“The Heart Zones system has literally been a lifesaver for us since the day we started using the equipment. Within the first two weeks of using the Heart Zones system we identified 3 students who had abnormal readings while wearing the heart rate monitors during class.
Each of the students followed up with their Doctor and found out that they each had some type of undiagnosed cardio-pulmonary condition. As a Physical Educator, it is a game changer to have a diagnostic tool like this to help us monitor and maintain the health, safety, and well-being of all of our students.”
– High School PE Teacher Josh Hoehn
What have the kids liked most about having the Heart Zones Move solution?
They make their grade everyday
They can see calories burned
They can compare workouts to see what works best for them
Their data is tracked daily and they can at any time look back on previous workouts or classes.
Some students have realized they have a heart problem/condition and saw a doctor all because of wearing their heart rate monitor in class.
What have the teachers liked most about having the Heart Zones Move solution?
Grading is now based on statistics and not the teacher’s opinion. Parents who disagree with their child’s grade are presented with a chart of how active their child was in class. Students are responsible for watching their MVPA and making sure it stays above what is asked. For me personally, it lets me get out and interact with the kids more. I don’t have to worry about trying to remember to take students’ points off all hour if I feel like they aren’t trying hard. At the end of the hour, I look at the Heart Zones app and it tells me what score they receive. I am a better teacher because of Heart Zones.
How did you get the money to purchase the Heart Zones Move solution? Did you acquire special funding?
Our assistant superintendent, Ashley Krause, was our guardian angel and provided the funds for us to purchase our first set. We started at the High School level. A year later we added them to our 7th and 8th grade middle school, and are now integrating them into our intermediate school of 5th and 6th graders. Dr. Krause used Title IV funds to help us purchase the Heart Zones equipment.
Do you have any advice for schools looking for funding to purchase a system like Heart Zones?
Make a presentation and present it to everyone in administration that will listen. Show them the facts and the statistics of childhood obesity and how important physical education is for them. Bring in someone who uses Heart Zones and let them share how beneficial they are in the classroom. Call Farmington or any other school and ask how they received funding and have that person come in and speak during the presentation so any questions that need to be asked can also be answered correctly. Don’t give up. Keep fighting till you can make your student’s health a top priority.
“Heart rate monitors have been very beneficial to us students. It makes kids work a lot harder in class and keeps us healthier humans. Without the heart rate monitors, kids would blow off gym class and not get the exercise they need everyday.”
– Blane Worley –
Farmington High School Senior
“Heart rate monitors are good for our class because they show our teachers what we are doing and how much we are doing. That way they can give us the grade we deserve. Not only do heart rate monitors help the teachers, they also help the students be more accountable for their grade.”
– Jocelyn Cunningham –
Farmington High School Junior
“In the Farmington School District we began our path toward better health and wellness approximately a year ago. We took a hard look at our current reality in health and wellness and were not satisfied with what we found. We decided at that moment to take action and began a journey toward better health, better wellness, total alignment and better quality of services toward our students, staff, parents and community. We believed in our focus of whole School, whole community, whole child (WSCC) approach.
We set goals and objectives, formed strategies and formulated action plans to raise our performance in all areas. One of our primary goals was to increase the participation of physical activity in our classrooms-including our gymnasiums where PE had a primary role of physical activity. We looked for the spark that could create a fire and passion for physical education and wellness. We found that spark in heart rate monitors.”
– Assistant Superintendent – Dr. Ashley Krause
“Until recently, PE classes at FHS were struggling to accomplish the true purpose of physical education. This elective course was filled with students that were disengaged and not improving their physical health or productivity. Great improvement occurred when we became a Heart Zones school. Our PE instructors were focused and had true data to support their efforts.
Students began tracking their own data and seeing results before their eyes. Activities became more intentional and students were pushing themselves and no longer worried about how they compared to other students. They could strive to beat their own personal best and set reasonable goals. I knew Heart Zones was a success when I was walking through the halls on passing time and I overheard a student grumbling about being too sore to walk up and down the stairs. When someone asked her why she responded with, “PE class is kicking my butt. We work out so hard now!”
– High School Principal – Dr. Jamie LaMonds
Heart rate monitors took away the adult subjectiveness of “being active” to the highest degree of each individual. The heart rate monitor became an accountability measure in which students were able to set self-regulating goals, monitor their own learning and activity as well as perform at higher expected levels through visual encouragement. Heart rate monitors are an invaluable curricular tool for consistency, fidelity, purpose and meaning.
– Dr. Ashley Krause
Heart Zones Highlight:
“Mrs. Haley Baker initiated the talks for need, championed the topic with evidence and research, and educated other professionals on the purpose, use of tools and ongoing benefits of heart rate monitors. The engagement measures heart rate monitors bring to our 5-12 classrooms in Physical Education is powerful. Mrs. Baker continues to lead our heart rate monitor vertical alignment portion and has been the champion behind the purpose.”
– Dr. Ashley Krause
“The use of heart rate monitors has completely altered our physical education department. We saw a need for a change and the heart rate monitors were the key to making that happen. Holding students accountable for their grade everyday not only teaches them responsibility but how to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle when they leave us and move on with the rest of their lives. If we can let students find one activity that makes them enjoy being physically active that also gets their heart rate up we’ve done our job. Heart Zones helps us do that!”
– High School PE Teacher Haley Baker