There is no question that the country is focusing on the childhood obesity epidemic. First Lady Michelle Obama's ambitious "Let's Move" campaign to curb childhood obesity in one generation intends to address the problem from both a physical activity standpoint and a nutritional standpoint inside as well as outside schools. As schools across the nation continue to face pressure over standardized testing in math and reading, many have understandably found it a struggle to include physical activity among their priorities. This campaign highlights the findings of many recent studies that physical fitness is equally important for a student's academic achievement (including recess for elementary school students) and should not be treated as an expendable block of time.
Along these lines, in this issue we look at some forward-thinking school districts that are choosing to offer "sports for life" physical education activities in PE class. In my day gym classes included rope climbing, dodgeball and uniform inspections—the stuff of nightmares at that time of my life. I wish instead that I had been in the Bellmore-Merrick (N.Y.) Central High School District and others across the nation where tennis, spinning, biking and hip-hop dancing have become the norm, allowing something for everyone's interest. Exposing students to lifelong fitness choices in middle and high school raises the possibility of continued participation, something I think the First Lady would approve of as statistically 97 percent of students never play team sports again once they leave high school.
Spreading the News
You tell us that you often pass along copies of DA to your colleagues. While we appreciate this, we believe your colleagues would benefit from receiving District Administration each month as well, in a digital version. What is DA Digital? It's District Administration magazine—the same news, articles and resources that appear each month in print—but with some additional advantages. You can print articles in full color—just as they appear in the print edition—to distribute at meetings. You can share content from articles on social networking sites with the click of a button. All the resources mentioned in articles and in advertisements include live links—and you can download and save the issue to your desktop to read when you're offline. Plus, it's green! And, as with our printed edition, DA Digital is completely free of charge to qualified district personnel.
As a print subscriber, you already have access to DA Digital, but now your colleagues can as well, by going to www.districtadministration.com and clicking the "Subscriptions" link in the upper right-hand corner of the Web page. From there they can sign up for the digital edition, as well as the DA Daily e-newsletter, our new Curriculum Leader e-newsletter, and read news about upcoming Web seminars and more.
Christopher Griffin's first piece for DA "Transition Planning for Students with Disabilities" appeared in February and beginning with this issue, his new column Student Counsel will run on a quarterly basis. He joins us with 12 years of leadership experience in the counseling community and is currently director of guidance at the Katonah-Lewisboro (N.Y.) School District. We are excited to have his insights on topical issues relating to guidance and counseling.
We also warmly welcome our new associate editor, Marion Herbert. Her beat is the Update section, and she has already proved to be a tenacious self-starter. Send her your news at firstname.lastname@example.org