Indiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance

What Indiana's ESSA Plan Means to

Health and Physical Education


Happy Independence Day!
If I'm sending a message on July 4th, you know it's important. Last Friday night, the Indiana Department of Education (IDOE) unveiled their first draft of Indiana's Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) plan. The Indiana plan is an explanation of how Indiana will implement the federal law.

ESSA may be the most influential piece of legislation for Indiana schools for the next decade or longer.

ESSA is the replacement to No Child Left Behind (NCLB), a federal law in place since 2002. ESSA offers states more flexibility and autonomy in decision-making. For example, while Indiana is still required to have a school accountability system, we have the flexibility to add a new, non-academic indicator of student success.

The next few weeks represent a great opportunity to speak out for quality health/physical education.

Public comment period ends July 20, 2017

Every teacher is an advocate:   OK, I know it's summer but this is very important to the future of our student's health and well-being not to mention the professions of health and physical education. Here is where you fit into the picture.

  1. Learn:   Understand what Indiana ESSA Plan means for the future of Indiana education.
  2. Speak out:   Share your thoughts during the public comment period.
  3. Be a local champion:   If you don't speak up for health and physical education, who will?

We are still going through the draft plan in hopes to construct an AHPERD position statement. In the meantime, I've summarized highlights from the 131-page plan. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read the summary below which includes many positive statements about the importance of health and physical education.

P.S. Don't forget to order your Indianapolis Indians tickets (deadline: July 7th for the July 25th game). I hope to see you in Indy!
Heidi Stan,
INAHPERD President

Indiana ESSA Draft Plan: Review the following summary for highlights.

  1. Goals:   Indiana has defined the following goals:
    • Indiana will close its student achievement gap in English/language arts and mathematics by 50% by 2023.
    • Indiana will close its graduation rate gap for all sub-groups by 50% by 2023.
    • Indiana's goal is for 63% of English learners to attain English language proficiency within six (6) years.
  2. Accountability Systems   ESSA requires Indiana to establish academic and non-academic accountability, support and improvement systems. Indiana has identified the following indicators:
    • Academic achievement:   ISTEP+ for grades 3-8 & 10. New assessments begin for school year 2019.
    • Academic progress:   utilize growth to proficiency tables in English/language arts as well as Mathematics.
    • Graduation rate:   Four-year adjusted cohort measures.
    • ELL proficiency:   Utilize WIDA ACCESS 2.0 results starting with school year 2018.
    • College or career readiness:   Achievement of postsecondary and workforce readiness and indicators
    • Student attendance:   Percent of students at the school that meet one of two definitions of a "model attendee" - persistent attendee or improved attendee.
    • School culture:   To be defined.
  3. The school grade system (A - F) remains in place and is determined by scoring the accountability systems.
  4. Supporting excellent educators:   The Indiana Department of Education strives to build teacher and leader capacity and effectiveness to promote equitable access to excellent educators and positively impact student achievement and growth by:
    • Providing technical assistance and resources for implementing induction programs, evaluation and support systems, and career pathways;
    • Guiding local education agencies (LEAs) in utilizing evaluation and support system data to drive professional learning and bolster recruitment and retention efforts;
    • Coordinating recognition programs to honor and reward excellent educators; and
    • Establishing and implementing high-quality, rigorous preparation and licensure programs.
  5. Supporting all students:   below are select statements included in the Indiana ESSA draft plan that directly or indirectly impact health and physical education:
    • Vision Statement: Working Together for the Success of the Whole Student.   Indiana will purposefully meet the unique needs of the whole student through effective partnerships in order to provide a flexible, equitable, and culturally responsive learning environment.
    • All students deserve the opportunity to be healthy and successful. Providing access to health services, health and wellness programming, healthy foods and physical activity plays an important role in the academic achievement of students.
    • Academic success in school is dependent upon multiple stakeholders utilizing an array of strategies and resources to support the academic, social and emotional, health and wellness, and environmental needs of the whole child.
    • Research and scientific reviews have documented that the academic success of America's youth is strongly linked with their overall health. Many students experience tremendous adversity in their lives - including poverty, physical and mental health challenges, community violence, and family circumstances - that make it difficult for them to take advantage of the opportunity to learn at school.
    • According to SHAPE America, evidence supports a direct correlation between physical and mental health and learning, which is essential to academic success, school completion, and the development of healthy, resilient, and productive citizens.
    • Schools are uniquely positioned to promote student engagement and help them acquire life-long knowledge and skills through comprehensive health education, physical education/physical activity, nutrition, comprehensive school mental and behavioral health services, counseling and integration among all education and health programs.
    • Schools are well positioned to serve as a hub for communities to address the needs of the whole student due to their direct access to children and families plus the existing resources already located within the school buildings.
    • Positive effects on educational outcomes, as well as health-risk behaviors and health outcomes, are impacted by school health programs. Similarly, programs that are primarily designed to improve academic performance are increasingly recognized as important public health interventions that impacts overall and lifelong health and wellness.
    • The percentage of children and adolescents in the United States with chronic health conditions (CHC) increased from 1.8% in the 1960s to more than 25% in 2007.
    • Schools play a critical role in promoting the health and safety of young people and helping them establish lifelong healthy behavior patterns Strong evidence demonstrates the need for students to have access to programs that meet their comprehensive needs, including their mental and physical health and safety, and provide a challenging learning environment.
    • The Indiana Department of Education strives to achieve its vision of fostering healthy, safe, and supportive environments that support student physical, social, and emotional development as well as student achievement and attendance.
    • Schools can impact the health and wellbeing of students by advocating for quality health services, having a positive influence on student's eating and physical activity behaviors, and providing comprehensive health and wellness programming.
    • Continued encouragement and technical assistance will be provided by the IDOE to schools in an effort to support these important and necessary instructional elements that contribute to a well-rounded and healthy student.
    • The IDOE encourages, and will continue to encourage, the use of evidence based and research driven instruction and interventions that impact health and wellness, and best fit the needs of each school/corporation.
    • The flexibility and expanded uses of certain funds in ESSA should be broadly communicated with corporation and program leaders so that decisions are uniquely aligned with their needs and supported by data.
    • Research shows that the health of students is linked to their academic achievement. By working together, the various sectors can ensure that every Hoosier student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged.
    • Indiana's vision for a Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is to provide academic, behavioral, and social/emotional support, grounded in culturally responsive practices, to all students. MTSS is not a program or an initiative, rather, an overarching framework for academic, behavioral, and social-emotional instruction and intervention.

Leading the Way to 50 Million Strong!

Indiana Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance: A professional education association for teachers, administrators, researchers, coaches, college students and other professionals who are engaged in and dedicated to the promotion of quality health, physical education, recreation, dance, sport in public and private schools, colleges and universities, and community agencies throughout Indiana.

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