Despite having some older buildings, the Delavan-Darien School District has some pretty awesome fitness facilities.
Financed by a federal $1 million Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant in late 2009, the physical education department staff worked with other professional educators and fitness trainers to redesign the physical education curriculum and facilities.
Students still learn core skill sets related to physical activities, such as throwing, catching, swinging baseball bats and serving tennis balls. But in addition to the basics, they develop a deeper understanding of the activities they do — competition, sportsmanship, attitude, strategy, teamwork. We believe if there greater the understanding, there will be greater enjoyment of an activity, which will develop positive and healthy life-long habits.
Our five “curriculum strands” were developed to guide physical and health education instruction in all grade levels. Click each to learn more:
Outdoor, Adventure, Leadership (9th-12th Grade) Standards 2, 3, 4, 5
Students will be provided with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills as they participate in a variety of outdoor adventure activities. This program will involve travel to outdoor/adventure regions within the state. Students will be provided opportunities to interact with younger students while practicing applied leadership skills. These activities focus upon problem solving skills, communication skills, team building skills, decision making, conflict resolution, safety and risk management, social skills, and the value of diversity. Skill development will concentrate on adventure activities that can be pursued for a lifetime. Freshmen will not be required to leave campus. Freshmen will be provided indoor climbing opportunities to use and improve rock climbing skills as well as a means for improving personal physical fitness levels. They will also have opportunities to observe and partake in leadership roles in problem solving activities.
Group Decision Making & Team Belay System (7th-8th Grade)
Standards 2, 3, 4, 5
Through communication and problem solving skills students will be taught responsibility through the application of spotting techniques and group process. Through the application of challenge by choice and the full value contract, students will apply the basic steps of group dynamics utilizing low challenge course elements. Trust and risk taking activities are utilized to provide opportunities for students to practice and rehearse responsible behavior. At this level students will be instructed in the use of a “Team Belay System”
Group Dynamics (6th Grade) Standards 2, 3, 4, 5
Students will understand, express, and practice the trust relationships with themselves and others. Students will engage in a variety of group oriented experiences in various adventure settings. Students will understand the steps of the problem solving practice and apply appropriate communication skills. Students are exposed to and will apply the principles of challenge by choice and full value contracts.
Introduction to Adventure (3rd5th Grade) Standards 2, 3, 4, 5
Students will be introduced to the terminology, skills, and associated philosophy of adventure education. Introductory problem solving skills will continue to be emphasized. At this level students will understand that listening, encouraging others, and safety is central to adventure learning.
Group Problem Solving Process (1st-2nd Grade) Standards 2, 3, 4, 5
Students are exposed to the principles of group process and responsibility. They will be involved in the beginning stages of solving problems and learning appropriate communication skills.
Managing Personal Health & Fitness
At the 11th and 12th grade level the focus of the fitness strand is to expect students to develop a personal fitness management plan that is used to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students will demonstrate the awareness that physical fitness is necessary for good health and that choices need to be made to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Through development of a fitness management plan students will have the skills necessary to responsibly oversee their health. This strand represents the desire of the school district to help students manage their personal health after leaving the public school system. (NASPE 3,4,5,6)
Application of Personal Fitness
At the 9th and 10th grade level the focus of the fitness strand is to use the results from fitness data to develop a personalized plan. Students will be able to integrate the FITT principle, specificity of training, and the five components of fitness into a sensible fitness plan. Students will be able to make personal choices of activity and self-access their progress to meet their personal fitness goals. This strand represents the culmination of the fitness concepts learned in the development of a personal fitness plan. (NASPE 3,4,5,6)
Understanding Personal Fitness
At the 7th-8th grade level the focus of the fitness strand is to introduce students to the idea of specificity in training. Students will use data collected from fitness-gram and e-fitness to analyze personal fitness levels. This data will be used to develop an understanding of the basic components of a basic personal fitness plan. This strand represents creating opportunities for students to understand that the choices they make for participation in fitness or recreational activities will effect the specificity of training needed. (NASPE 3,4,5,6)
Components of Personal Fitness
At the 6th grade level the focus of the fitness strand is to utilize the understanding of the five components of fitness (cardiovascular capacity, muscular strength and endurance, body composition, flexibility) to develop personal fitness goals. Students will participate in grade level fitness goal setting that corresponds with the components of physical fitness. This strand represents understanding the need to construct fitness goals that are specific to the five components of fitness. (NASPE 3,4,5,6)
Effects of Personal Fitness
At the 3rd-5th grade level the focus of the fitness strand is to introduce students to the basic building blocks of fitness. Students will be introduced to the concepts of fitness components; frequency, intensity, and duration; and healthy fitness zone. Students will be introduced to a variety of tools to gather and access fitness data. This strand represents the necessary background information to begin constructing personal fitness goals. (NASPE 3,4,5,6)
At the 1st and 2nd grade level the focus of the fitness strand is to promote student awareness of the effects of exercise on the heart. Students will perform a variety of fitness related activities that demonstrate the idea that greater effort results in increased achievement. This strand represents a continued development in the understanding and effects of exercise on personal health. (NASPE 3,4,5,6)
Introduction to Fitness
At the Kindergarten level the focus of the fitness strand is to expose students to the basic tenets of fitness. Students will be provided the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities. Students will begin to develop the understanding that heart health and exercise results in a better quality of life. This strand represents the first step in developing an awareness of the importance of exercise and health resulting in the development of personalized fitness plans at the senior high level. (NASPE 3,4,5,6)
Game Strategies Strand
Students will be provided the opportunity to understand the many aspects of sport education. Sport Education involves students in all aspects of their selected sport. They learn the concepts and responsibilities of each role in each sport, which may include playing, coaching, officiating and managing. Students will be responsible to work with a variety of sports on a number of levels to understand the significance of sport in our society. Students will be encouraged to discuss appropriate behavior in public venues that take place in the local community. (NASPE 1,2,3,4,5,6)
Students will be given the opportunity to participate in authentic sport experiences through the design of developmentally appropriate competition. Students will be encouraged to develop competency, cultural significance, and skill proficiency that will provide a deeper understanding of each sport. Students will develop techniques in fitness specific to particular sports. (NASPE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Students’ will be taught how to apply previous concepts of basic games to advanced game strategies. Students will be expected to know and understand the specific rules of the activity being practiced and exercise sound strategy while engaged in team play. Students at this level are very concerned with score, winning and/or losing which is an objective of the program to teach proper etiquette and attitude skills. Game situations will be a major agenda including tournament play and team development. (NASPE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
Students will be exposed to a variety of games. Students will take the underlying concepts embedded in games and demonstrate the ability to use the key concepts in similar activities. Students will be introduced to the concept of competition as an explicit part of the curriculum by placing them in live game situations and allowing opportunities to access sportsmanship, attitude, and game strategies. Students will continue to participate in lead-up games while skill development catches up with the dynamics of the specific sport being practiced. An understanding of the game environment of each individual unit of study will be emphasized. (NASPE 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
This component of the physical education program will provide practice and rehearsal of responsible behavior to prepare students for self-directed play that are known as small sided games using two or three official rules and require several motor skills and movement concepts and strategies that are more complex and challenge the student in increasingly complex game situations. This unit will also include lead up games that allow students to participate in pre-sport games, track and field events, invasion games, net/wall games, striking/fielding games and target games in the skill themes. (NASPE 1, 2, 3, 5)
Low Organized Games
At the low organized games level, primary safety and social competence are emphasized. Students need to learn the basic play areas and the expectations of how to treat fellow classmates in physical activity settings. It is the intention of this segment of the Physical Education program to teach entry-level students how to use equipment, proper etiquette while on equipment, game requirements/rules, as well as safe and approved games and activities. The focus of this level will include the concepts: limited or no equipment, perceivable boundaries, limited rules, one or two strategies, single skills, low competitiveness, and able to play with a couple of players and or in small groups. (NASPE 1, 2, 5)
At the introductory level, students will be exposed to the expectations of behavior in the gymnasium. Personal space, respect for fellow classmates, and general rules will be emphasized. Students will be primarily exposed to cooperative activities but at times entry-level competition will be programmed with supervision and instruction related to proper behavior will be emphasized. Winning and losing will not be promoted but rather the love of participation and play in a diverse group that is more structured than the playground norm. (NAPSE 2,3,5,6)
Use of Fitness and Nutrition Software
At the 11th and 12th grade level the focus of the nutrition strand is to provide the opportunity to use software that integrates fitness and nutrition into a personal health management plan. Students will be given access to software that allows them to gather data related to food habits, caloric intake, exercise output and energy use, and the associated gains in increased health. This strand represents the culmination of the nutrition and fitness effort for all students in the Delavan-Darien School District as they depart the public school system.
Pros/ Cons of Performance Nutrition
At the 9th and 10th grade level the focus of the nutrition strand is for students to develop the understanding that food habits affect heart health and overall fitness. Students will understand that nutrition (example: antioxidants fight cancer) and exercise (combats diabetes) can allow them to avoid the early onset of adult diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or other aliments of the aging process. This strand represents the need for students to understand the connection between their health and fitness habits, nutrition, and a personal fitness program.
At the 7th and 8th grade level the focus of the nutrition strand is to introduce students to the idea of label reading and selection of healthy foods. Students will understand how to read a food label, serving size, different types of fats, and recommended daily allowances. This strand represents the opportunity for students to explore commercial food products and develop the understanding of how to navigate around the grocery store to purchase healthy foods.
At the 6th grade level the focus of the nutrition strand is to introduce students to the six essential nutrients and the basic language surrounding nutrition. Students will develop an understanding of how food is classified and its component parts (Carbohydrates, Proteins, Fats, Water, Minerals, and Vitamins). This strand represents providing the fundamental information necessary for students to add a nutrition component to their personal fitness plans.
Experienced Based Nutrition Activities
At the 3rd-5th grade level the focus of the nutrition strand is to expose students to the food pyramid and the “Go, slow and whoa model” (CATCH Program). Students will be able to explain the basic parts of the food pyramid. Students will be able to use the tenets of the CATCH program to discuss foods and basic groups of foods. This strand represents a continued step in understanding the value of different types of foods, which foods are healthier than others, and how nutrition will affect overall health.
At the 1st and 2nd grade level the focus of the nutrition strand is to expose students to the food groups and snacks. Students will be able to identify the differences between healthy and unhealthy snacks. Students will be able to demonstrate the differences between meats, fruit and vegetables, breads, and dairy. This strand represents a continued understanding of nutrition and its connection to health and fitness.
At the Kindergarten level the focus of the nutrition strand is to expose students to the basic tenets of nutrition. Students will be introduced to the importance of breakfast, milk, and water. Students will begin to understand that their bodies are important and what they eat is as beneficial to health as exercise. This strand represents the first step in developing a comprehensive plan that integrates nutrition and fitness and results in the development of a personal fitness management plan at the 11th and 12th grade.
Skills Development Strand
Application of Sport Skills
In the Delavan-Darien School District the underlying philosophy for this strand from seventh to 12th grade is the improvement and refinement of skills in traditional and lifetime sports. The rationale for this approach is twofold: (1) Increasing skill development leads to autonomous and intrinsic participation. Students who are skilled are more likely to be involved in those activities after leaving high school, and (2) Intrinsic motivation connected to skill development creates greater opportunity for students to engage in regular exercise in those skill sets. If greater consistency and involvement are realized then the quality of the personal health management system for individual students has a greater effect on personal health and fitness.
Introduction to Sport Specific Skills
At this level students depart the environment of skilled themes and enter a program of specific sports. Units at the sixth grade level revolve around traditional sports including basketball, baseball, volleyball, soccer and non-traditional sports such as snowshoeing, disc golf, rock climbing and ropes courses. Students are encouraged to understand the relationship between skill development, enjoyment of the activity, and connections to overall health and fitness.
The focus is on mastery of a variety of motor skills and movement concepts that will enable the children to have confidence and enjoy physical activity throughout their lifetime. In the upper primary grades students are allowed the opportunity to develop mature forms of movement. Skilled themes are combined into increasingly complex sets of movement patterns preparing students for specific skill movement associated with general activities such as volleyball, basketball, softball, baseball, etc. Students are placed in increasingly complex and dynamic environments that mirror actual game situations in preparation for intrinsic participation in the upper grades.
Developing Skill Themes
The focus is on the development of children’s competence in a variety of motor skills and movement concepts that will eventually enable the children to acquire confidence and enjoyment of physical activity throughout their lifetime. Games, sports, tumbling, jump rope, and dance typically require children to use a combination of motor skills and movement concepts that are developed only after substantial amounts of practice. Teaching by themes also involves revisiting the same skills or concepts continually throughout the program at different times and in different contexts. Students will be exposed to a combination of movements in preparation for the next level which focuses upon pre-sport and lead-up applications.
Basic Locomotor Movement
In preschool and primary grades, the focus is on learning the vocabulary associated with the movement concepts. Students are taught patterns common to movement, directionality and levels. Once this has been learned, the emphasis shifts to the skill themes. Students are encouraged to experiment with all movement patterns and become proficient while creating a foundation that leads to enjoyment of physical activity.
The physical and curriculum improvements were made possible by the Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) Grant the district received in late 2009. The PE curriculum incorporates new and innovative equipment and technologies purchased through the PEP Grant, and we educate students so they become “hooked for life” on choosing healthy lifestyles and making positive choices.
Fitness doesn’t end when the class bell rings. In addition to in-school fitness class, students are encouraged to pursue physical activities outside of school and make healthy choices. As part of the grant, these activities are tracked by students and their parents so progress continues outside the classroom.
More about PEP Grant
In late 2009, the Delavan-Darien School District was awarded a $1 million Carol M. White Physical Education Program Grant to improve its physical education program and better promote healthy lifestyles.
The U.S. Department of Education grant, given to just 73 schools nation-wide, will ensure district students are more active and encourage them to make healthy choices. The district’s effort, called “Hooked for Life,” also helps students do better in the classroom.
Research shows that kids who are more physically fit do better academically. When we look at the implication that will have on our district, it’s really profound.
The grant helped our district health and fitness educators rewrite curriculum to incorporate best practices, techniques and programming made available by new equipment acquired through the grant.
Upgrades to the district’s physical education program include:
- New state-of-the-art fitness equipment, including weights and cardio machines, at Phoenix Middle School.
- Upgrading the fitness center at Delavan-Darien High School to include more than 25 new cardio machines, free-motion weights and an indoor rock-climbing wall.
- Creation of a high-ropes course, with 40-foot high challenges.
- The purchasing of mountain bikes, kayaks, canoes, snowshoes and portable disc-golf equipment to further strengthen our Outdoor Adventure Education and Leadership components to the curriculum.
- Addition of interactive dance systems and incorporating workouts into physical education classes.
- Staffed fitness areas open to the public after-school.
Teachers in the Delavan-Darien Physical Education and Health Department believe that once someone is hooked on a healthy habit, it will be a healthy habit for life.
About the grant
The Carol M. White Physical Education Program provides grants to local education agencies and community-based organizations to initiate, expand, or enhance physical education programs, including after-school programs, for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Grant recipients must implement programs that help students make progress toward meeting state standards. Funds may be used to provide equipment and support to enable students to participate actively in physical education activities. Funds also may support staff and teacher training and education.
Community partners that have agreed to provide services and help the Hooked for Life project achieve its goals include:
• Delavan Flying Dragon’s Martial Arts Center
• Delbrook Golf Course
• AKF Martial Arts, Delavan
• Four Lakes Athletic Club, Elkhorn
• Wall Crawlers Rock Climbing, Whitewater
• Delavan Parks and Recreation
• Dr. Joel Sperling
• Delavan Lake Yacht Club
• Mercy Health System
• Curves of Delavan
• Delavan Lanes
Interactive Dance System
The Delavan-Darien School District has incorporated new technology into its physical education classes that has students of all ages dancing to the beat. We’re one of just a handful of schools Southeastern Wisconsin incorporate interactive dance systems into physical education classes.
These interactive dance systems that allow users to receive the benefits of aerobic exercise while practicing coordination and rhythm. And, they’re fun! The systems compare to the popular Dance Dance Revolution-type games available in arcades or for home video game systems.
It’s cutting-edge technology that combines interactive gaming, dance, coordination and cardio!
Delavan-Darien High School has the the iDANCE system, which uses 32 interactive wireless dance pads that let students simultaneously compete against one another at various skill levels. The middle and high school systems have fewer electronic pads, but an entire classroom of students can take part using the Cobalt Flux Pro Grade Dance System and the Premier Traveling Dance System.