Bay Shore Middle School
Teacher: Ted Nagengast
About Ted: Ted is a P.E. teacher at Bay Shore Middle School. He’s been teaching for 16 years total, and has been using Polar technology in his lessons all 16 years! He’s a member of NY AAHPERD, National AAHPERD, and AFCA (American Football Coaches Association). In 2005, he received the Educator of the Month Award, sponsored by News 12 and Dowling College. In 2007, Ted was awarded the “Suffolk Zone Professional of the Year” by Suffolk Zone chapter of New York AAHPERD.About Bay Shore Middle School: Bay Shore Middle School is part of the Bay Shore School District in Bay Shore, New York. In this suburban area about 45 miles east of Manhattan, the typical P.E. class size is between 25-35 students. Students are in grade levels 6-8 and have been using Polar heart rate monitors (HRMs) for the last 16 years as well as the TriFit620. They recently started using PEManager and Companions. Bay Shore Middle School was awarded the AAHPERD "School--Community Recognition" award in the spring of 2005. Additionally, in 2005, Bay Shore School District was awarded the National School Board Journal MA GNA Award based on the development of the Wellness Alliance. They received a PEP Grant to increase the amount of HRM’s used in the district at various levels and add more E600’s at the middle school. Core Activities: Ted and his co-workers use a variety of sports to teach P.E. as well as traditional lifelong activities such as rollerblading, walking wellness, yoga, and project adventure. He also uses the Wellness Center, which is similar to an exercise physiology class/lab. Using Polar: Ongoing fundraisers and donations provided and continue to provide the funding to get Polar technology in school. After starting at Bay Shore, Ted's Athletic Director placed the Polar HRMs on his desk and said "you are new-- figure out how to use these things." Ted had used them during his exercise physiology course in college and was very excited. Ted varies his usage of HRMs depending on what he's teaching. According to Ted, the most important reason to use Polar in P.E is because it "reinforces proper exercise characteristics, it tracks your progress, and it gives validity to what we do!" Ted says that HRMs and TriFit have had a positive change on the students' attitudes towards P.E. and exercise. The Buzz: Ted likes that Polar "provides students with realistic and immediate feedback. They also learn to exercise correctly." Students enjoy "showing up early so they can see who spends the most time in their target heart rate zone." Administration likes "that we are use technology and that we utilize interdisciplinary instruction. (cross-curriculums) Personal Highlight: "The combination of the validity of HR monitors, the value of physical activity, and the technology into our P.E. program makes the job multidimensional. The HR monitors' validity helped to convince a local cardiologist, Dr. William Caracci (Chief of Cardiology at Good Samaritan Hospital at the time) to work with our P.E. program. Soon after, the Wellness Alliance was born as well as the Wellness Center facility. The Wellness Alliance is a group of people who are dedicated to promoting healthy lifestyles to the students and community. Members include local doctors, county health officials, teachers, administrators, and parents along with numerous other organizations."The overall push into wellness over the past decade as increased the districts beliefs to support the notion of providing kids with opportunity to achieve healthy lifestyles. In 2002 the community passed a bond referendum that enabled the High School and Middle School to receive new gymnasiums along with a 5000sq ft wellness center at the high school. The facilities were completed during the 2005-2006 school year."
Chagrin Falls Middle/High School
Teacher: Pamela Malone
Pamela has been the Health and Physical Education Department Chairperson at Chagrin Falls Middle/High School for 24 years. Three years ago, Pamela was introduced to Polar, and has been using Polar ever since. Pamela holds a Master's Degree in Exercise Physiology and is a member of various affiliations such as the AAHPERD, OAHPERD, NASPE and NSCAA. She was honored with awards such as Ohio High School Coach of the Year, and being a recipient of the Sports, Ethics, and Integrity Award.
About Chagrin Falls:
The Chagrin Falls Exempted Village School District is located within the suburban area of Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Chagrin Falls Middle/High School holds grades 7-12. The average physical education class is about 28 kids. Chagrin Falls School District is involved in a wellness imitative called "SmartKidsMove" which promotes physical activity during the school day and encourages healthy behaviors for life. This program has been funded through private donations and community fundraisers and also used to buy Polar.
The Chagrin Falls Middle/High School prides itself on being innovative and challenging to the students. The school researched numerous fitness products with the goal of implementing technology into our classes; Polar fit their needs on numerous levels. Chagrin used Polar products such as E 600 series Heart Rate Monitors, Tri-Fit Assessment Program, P.E. Manager, and the Team 2 Training System.
Chagrin Falls emphasizes cardio/fitness and lifelong activities (jogging, biking, functional training, small-sided games sports games, etc.) The five day week consists of various exercise activities. This includes, "Move & Groove" Mondays, sports day with instruction, team building, Cardio HRM, and Fun Fitness Fridays.
Chagrin Falls like Polars' simplicity, the immediate feedback, the many possibilities of student and /or group reporting, the objective grading component, and the individualized programming. For years physical education has been subjective with grading, the Polar tools allow physical education teachers to be objective in their assessments. There is not a "one size fits all" in any aspect of teaching, yet that's how physical education is taught in most schools. Polar products allow the school to have individualized programming and personalized attention to a student's needs. Polar products give credibility to the physical education teacher and programs.
Cobb Virtual Academy
Teacher: Denise Fountain
Denise is the Cobb Virtual Academy Online Instructor for the Cobb Virtual Academy. Denise has been teaching for 39 years and 11 of those years, she has been teaching with Polar Technology.
About Cobb Virtual Academy:
Cobb Virtual Academy is located in the suburban area of Marietta, GA. Cobb Virtual Academy is in Cobb County. The academy ranges from grades 9-12 and the average physical education class size contains about 25 students.
Local school system funding has helped the Cobb Virtual Academy buy Polar Technology. The academy started using Polar Technology by developing an online course to record individual student workouts. This course used the E600 and also uploaded student workouts to the Healthy School Website. Other Polar products that the academy uses include: Polar E600 and the Polar Loop.
Polar HRMs are incorporated weekly into Denise’s lesson plans. Denise thinks that it’s important that students understand their own body and how it respond to movement. Even those students who are active do not always understand the difference between aerobic and non-aerobic workouts and this type of knowledge will be invaluable to them as they age, As Lord Kelvin famously said, “If you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it” – The Polar Loop gives students the opportunity to measure their activity in order to improve their outcomes. Students are motivated to design and complete their own workout programs and continue in those past their time in the required course. Core activities include: required cardio & strength workouts.
Denise likes the ability of students to individualize their workouts and monitor them with personalized technology. The administration thinks that the Polar equipment provides integrity to the program while at the same time allowing students to incorporate the activities in which they already participate into their personal fitness course. Additionally, because the H7 provides multiple pathways in which to upload the data and the Polar Loop provides a rich assortment of activity data, Cobb Virtual Academy has future-proofed the program for years to come. Specifically with the Loop, the academy has had VERY positive feedback from the students, especially with the multiple pathways to upload the data – loop, smartphone, computer, etc. The updated technology keeps the students engaged and helps lessen the complexity of the process while allowing them to focus on the topic.
Driftwood Middle School
Teacher: Linda Gancitano and Jennifer Hoover
Linda Gancitano is a health and wellness magnet teacher at Driftwood Middle School. She is an AAHPERD, FAHPERD and BACHPERD Member. She is a Certified Personal Trainer, ROPES Course Instructor, Certified Heart Math Trainer and Physical Education teacher. Linda was Broward County Physical Education Teacher of the Year several times in the last ten years. Most recently Linda was named a White House Champion of Change and was recognized at a special ceremony at the White House on February 9th, 2015.
Jennifer Hoover is a certified personal trainer, certified life coach and certified adolescent/young adult nutrition councilor. She uses heart rate technology with her clients as well as herself. Her wish is to have technology showing students their active heart rates in real time. Bringing up to date technology to a "technology savvy" generation is imperative in fighting our nation’s obesity epidemic.
About Driftwood Middle School:
About Driftwood Middle School: Driftwood Middle School Academy of Health and Wellness is part of the Broward County School District in Hollywood, Florida. It is located in an urban area and a typical physical education class is approximately 30-35 students. Driftwood Middle School is a Title 1 school and 75 % of the students are on free and reduced lunch. Students at all grade levels use Polar E600, E200 and E30 heart rate monitors (HRMs) every week. This has been an integral part of the health and wellness teachers’ curriculums for the past ten years. In 1997 Driftwood Middle School was awarded the FAHPERD EZ-Tech Award, which demonstrates outstanding use of technology in their Physical Education Program. Additionally, Driftwood was awarded the 2000-01 Tri-County Model Co-Middle School Physical Education Program, 2001-02 State of Florida Model Middle School Physical Education Program, as well as the National Magnet School of Distinction five times. Driftwood was selected as a finalist for the NASPE Polar Technology Challenge. Driftwood has recently implemented the use of the new Polar Gofit app with H7 Bluetooth heart rate sensors.
2012-2014: Latest Awards and Grants
- Driftwood Middle School won the National Green Ribbon Award. *Florida Green School Award
- Awarded the Fuel Up to Play 60 Grant for $3600.00
- Applied for the Presidential Youth Fitness Program Fitnessgram
Driftwood Middle Schools Physical Education Department engages students in a variety of team/individual sports, strength training programs and cardiovascular/fitness related activities. Driftwoods physical education teachers go beyond students by brining each other's health and fitness knowledge to the staff. This allows Driftwood to showcase their use of heart rate monitors and technology in the Driftwood community.
Driftwood Middle School was awarded two federal grants which were used to fund Polar technology at the school. As part of the grant, Driftwood was required to implement a school-wide magnet for Health and Wellness. The grant was written to bring technology into the newly created program. Teachers quickly found that the use of HRMs quickly caught the attention of students. Polar technology provided teachers at Driftwood with a means of demonstrating in real-time the relationship between heart rate and activity. According to Linda, the most important reason to use Polar in P.E. is because "Physical Education must move into the future in order to help our children become and stay healthy. Nationwide our students are becoming less and less active. Technology grabs the attention of students, which is why they spend so much time with their electronic games instead of being active. Polar technology is an important aid, to us as physical educators, in getting the point across to our students of the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for now and in their future."
The teachers like that "the technology really catches the students' attention."
Students "enjoy class so much more using the technology."
Administration likes "the enthusiasm students show towards Physical Education."
Winning the National Green Ribbon Award. The National Green Ribbon Award recognizes Health and Wellness as being an important educational component. Pillar II is all about Health and Wellness. At Driftwood we are able to demonstrate the use of technology in our physical education classes and stress management program (HeartMath).
Early College Academy
Teacher: Linda Tippeconnie
Linda is a grade 9 Physical Education teacher at Early College Academy. She has been teaching for 12 years and of those 12 years she has been using Polar technology for 7 years. She is a member of NMAHPERD and AAHPERD, has received the 2007 NASPE National Southwest District Teacher of the Year award and is a National Board Certified Physical Education instructor.
About Early College Academy:
Early College Academy is part of Albuquerque Public School District in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In this urban area, the typical PE class size is approximately 20 students.
Students in grade 9 use Polar Heart Rate Monitors during daily PE activities. Teachers enjoy using the heart rate monitors because they can receive specific results, giving teachers time to work individually with students as they don’t have to constantly monitor activity levels, and the students like the instant feedback.
Early College Academy uses a combination of the Polar PE Manager, Polar TriFit700 and different models from the Polar E-Series of heart rate monitors within their current curriculum.
The Core Activities used to deliver the curriculum at Early College Academy include fitness, biking, archery and cooperative games.
Since using Polar technology, Linda sees her students now have a vested interest in their workouts because they are able to check their own status and are given the tools to help them maintain or improve their fitness levels.
Part of a PEP grant provided funding for the school to obtain their polar products and initial training back in 2001. Since the initial purchase, they have received additional PEP grants to continue using Polar products in their curriculum.
On students using heart rate monitors in class:
Grade 9 Physical Education teacher Linda Tippeconnie says her students "…love the technology and the instant feedback"
On why to use Polar in your PE program:
Linda shares "The students have an important tool that helps them maintain or improve their fitness levels."
What visible improvements have you seen in your students since using Polar products:
Linda states, "I can see the students are constantly checking their status especially with the heart rate monitors; they have a vested interest in their workouts."
Hononegah Community High School
Teacher: Dan Phelps
Dan is the Physical Education Teacher and PEP Grant Coordinator for Hononegah Community High School. Dan has been teaching for 9 years and 6 years he has been teaching with Polar Technology. He is affiliated with SHAPE America, IAHPERD, ACSM, NSCA, and ASCD.
About Hononegah Community High School:
Hononegah Community High School is located in the rural area of St.Rockston, IL. Hononegah Community High School is in District 207 and ranges from grades 9-12. The average physical education class size is 40. Hononegah Community High School received the 2013 Carol M. White Physical Edcuation Program Grant.
The Hononegah Community High School used District Technology Funds and PEP Grant Funds to buy Polar Technology. They started using Polar technology by an initiative by a former principal. At Hononegah, some teachers use Polar HRMs daily, while others use them 2-3 times per week. The Hononegah Community High School uses Polar products including: FT4 , E200, Polar GoFit & H7, Polar Actives, and Polar Loops. Dan says the more they use HRM technology as a teaching tool, the more sense the emphasis on fitness means to their students. The students like that they can see their heart rate in real-time, and like using it to gauge their exercise status. Polar allows teachers to individualize instruction to meet the needs of every student.
Core activities include: cardio & strength programs, target heart rate training through the various training zones, recovery training, dynamic mobility, and small sided games. Hononegah students are learning how to work in the appropriate training zones, which has not only increased student effort, but also elevated student curiosity surrounding personal fitness. Intrinsic motivation has also increased as students can set personal goals, and understand the purpose of exercise prescription.
Dan likes the real-time feedback for both the students and the teacher. The color-coded training zones make heart-rate education very easy, and student understanding is evident as a result. The ease of looking at past data is great for tracking progress and evaluating curriculum and individual lessons. The Hononegah administration is most pleased with how this technology allows our physical education teachers to direct their instruction to the fitness needs of individual students. It also allows students to self-assess and track their own progress toward their established fitness goals. The ability for students to see real time data has a direct impact on student engagement as well.
Hortonville Middle School
Teacher: Crystal Gorwitz
Crystal is a P.E. and Health teacher at Hortonville Middle School. She's been teaching for 18 years total, and has been using Polar technology in her lessons for the last 14 years! She's a member of both AAHPERD and WAHPERD. Among many honors and awards she's received are the 2004 NASPE Midwest Teacher of the Year, 2004 NASPE National Middle School Teacher of the Year, and 2005 Wal-Mart Teacher of the Year.
About Hortonville Middle School:
Hortonville Middle School is part of the Hortonville Area School District in Hortonville, Wisconsin. In this rural area the typical P.E. class size is 25 students. Students are in grade levels 5-8 and currently use Polar E200s and E600s along with the TriFit620 system. In 2005, Hortonville Middle School was awarded the NASPE STARS Level 2 Award.
Crystal uses the 5 components of fitness, state physical education standards, and physical best to teach P.E. at Hortonville.
Hortonville's P.E. budget, as well as a 2001 PEP Grant provided the funding to get Polar technology in school. After hearing Beth Kirkpatrick speak as well as attending the technology workshops in Fargo, North Dakota for three years, Crystal was able to implement Polar products in her school. Crystal uses Polar heart rate monitors in her lesson plans twice a week. According to Crystal, the most important reason to use Polar in P.E is the feedback that the students receive and the hard data that it provides.
Crystal likes "the feedback that my students and I receive about working out in their target heart zones. The students gain knowledge of their fitness levels and know if they are in the healthy fitness zone."
Students enjoy "using the technology to get feedback on their fitness levels."
Administration likes "the hard data that Crystal can provide about students and their fitness levels."
Illinois State University
Teacher: Dale D. Brown
Dale is a Professor of Exercise Physiology at Illinois State University. In Dales' 24 years of teaching, he has taught 10 years using Polar. He is affiliated with various memberships such as the National Strength and Conditioning Association and American College of Sports Medicine. Throughout his career he has received awards such as the Outstanding Teaching Award at Illinois State University and the Central Illinois American Heart Association Heart Saver and Hero Award.
About Illinois State University:
The School of Kinesiology and Recreation is located in the university right outside of Normal, Illinois. Illinois State University offers many undergraduate and graduate PE programs. The School of Kinesiology and Recreation provides various programs to enable students to choose from a diverse range of careers. These academic options include: athletic training, exercise science, physical education teacher education, recreation management, and therapeutic recreation.
The University started using Polar technology in conjunction with grant programs accompanying collaboration in area schools. As the university worked to enhance physical education programs (K-12), Polar technology/products became incorporated into primary, secondary and university classes as well as in our Exercise Physiology laboratory. As a result, Polar technology has become integrated into teaching, research and service programs at Illinois State University.
Polar has made an impact on Illinois State University. They have been using various types of Polar systems. These systems including the Polar TriFIT 600 and 700 system, Heart Rate monitors E200's, E600's, FT60's, Team 2 Heart Rate Monitoring System, and handheld PDA devices.
This technology has enhanced the curriculum at the University by allowing students to experience the application of concepts taught in classes. Through the measurement, recording and summary of their personal data, students better connect concepts to everyday life. Students not only realize ways to better their own wellbeing but also learn how the technology can be utilized in the real world as they progress into professional settings. The summary reports that Polar TriFIT creates allows for the students who have no Exercise Physiology background to understand why the five components of fitness are important, where they currently rank among population specific norms and standards, and it also gives students an idea of WHY it is important to either maintain or improve these numbers. The reliability, versatility and the applicability of the Polar technology makes the equipment very attractive and useful.
Marion High School
Teacher: Steve Fish
Steve has been a High School Physical Education Teacher for 28 years at Marion High School. In his 28 years of teaching, Steve has been using Polar for the past 8 years. He is also a PEP Grant Project Director while also being affiliated with AAPHERD and IAPHERD. Steve has received the Ignite Education Speaker and PE4life Speaker awards in 2010.
About Marion High School:
Marion High School is located in the suburban Marion Independent School District. Marion High School ranges from grades 9-12 with an average class size of 22. Polar Technology provides Marion High School students, parents, staff, administration and community with first class products. These products have certainly enabled them to move their mission of being “focused on fitness” to the front. Steve believes his students are being provided excellent wellness information that will follow them for life.
Marion High School started slowly with limited technology and PE budget money. Teachers throughout the district promoted the use of HRM’s and other Polar Technology. When awarded their first Carol White PEP Grant in 2008, Marion was able enhance their program tremendously. Marion High School has two TRIFIT Systems since 2008, each teacher in the district also has a separate PE Computer with TRIFIT and PE Manager software. They are anxiously awaiting the revised software that will enable the use of IPADS and a seamless sharing of data. Marion High School also has HRM’s 260, Activity Watches in all buildings throughout the district. They hope to introduce Polar Loops to their online class options where they also will use Polar Technology. Marion High School PE teachers try and use HRM’s at the minimum twice per week.
Marion High School piloted a Read and Ride program that was going to use HRM’s but the core teacher was reassigned. They hope to get that program going again next year. Marion has a mini version in the Middle School but has not used HRM’s with the class to date.
Marion High School administration enjoys the data they are able to provide and share. They also enjoy the personalization PE teachers can provide to each student. Marion High School students enjoy the immediate feedback. It certainly helps PE teachers promote all sorts of wellness initiatives. Marion High School has an excellent Fitness Center and the HRM’s obviously enhance the experience of training in that environment.
Millis Middle/High School
Teacher: Scott Kendrick
Scott is a Physical Education teacher at Millis Middle/High School. He has been teaching for twelve years and has been using Polar technology for eight years. He is currently a member of affiliations such as MAHPERD and AAHPERD. Scott has been featured in various articles including: "Sparking the Brain” Commonwealth Magazine, the Metrowest Community Health Care Foundation’s report on childhood obesity, and in the Boston Globe’s "It’s Weight on Their Minds” article. He was recognized and visited by Dr. John Ratey (author of SPARK).
About Millis Middle/High School:
Millis Middle/High School is located in the suburban area of Millis, Massachusetts in the Millis Public School District. The typical size of physical education class in the middle school is 25 students; in the high school there are 18 students. Students are in grade levels 5-12. Millis Public School District was recognized as a "Distinguished Apple School." Millis High School was named one of the top 1000 public high schools in the United States by Newsweek Magazine.
In fifth/sixth grade core activities include: skill development, game strategies and tactics. Then they have to apply those skills in high intensity cardiovascular fitness activities.
In seventh/eighth grade the primary focus is fitness based education. Everything revolves around fitness, target heart rate, intensities that promote brain growth and academic promotion, and personal improvement. The goal of the program is to help students understand what they need to know and be able to do to improve their own personal fitness.
In tenth, eleventh and twelfth grade (Fit 1 and Fit 2 Classes), the focus revolves around personalized fitness. The students learn the main 5 components of fitness and how to design personalized weight training and cardiovascular fitness programs. Fit 2 classes are a continuation of Fit 1 and go into more depth and are more specific in personalizing fitness (and nutrition).
Leadership and Outdoor Pursuits class, which consist of eleventh and twelfth graders, the core activities include: outdoor adventure class that promotes leadership development, cooperative and teambuilding skills, which allows students to experience alternative outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, rock-climbing, and white water rafting.
The Metrowest Community Health Care Foundation (2006-2009) helped for the start up of the Foundations of Health and Fitness Course in the seventh and eighth grade classes. The Millis Public School District bought their first 30 Polar heart rate monitors with the money, which was the foundation for the start of the program. Originally, Scott designed a fitness course for 7th and 8th graders (that was in addition to regular Physical Education classes) that ran for 90 days straight (for each grade) that was funded by the Metrowest Community Health Care Foundation. Scott uses heart rate monitors every day in the 7/8 grade program. They use them every other day in the high school program (because they alternate weight training and cardiovascular fitness activities). Polar heart rate monitors allowed Scott to measure students objectively, equally, and helped motivate students to achieve success. The school originally started out using the E40 heart rate monitors (for about 4 years). Then they upgraded to the E200 heart rate monitors (and have been using them for about 4 years). Now, they have upgraded again to the H7 sensors (with using the iPad).
Scott likes how Polar technology allows him to differentiation instruction and personalizes the class for each student. Scott also likes how it levels the playing field for all students and allows him to objectively assess each student based on their personal needs and fitness level. Polar technology provides Scott formative and summative feedback for students and gives concrete data on student progress and achievement. Polar technology also provides an analysis that can be used as a source of communication to students, parents, and administrators.
Administration likes that Scott can objectively assess students and prove how hard students are working, using reliable and specific data. They also like that he is using technology to engage and motivate students toward achieving success.
Students: like using the new H7 sensors because it is more motivating for them (in comparison to just using the E200s). They can see their progress and see how hard they are working. They also like the summative analysis that provides them specific feedback about their performance.
"The unique thing about Polar is that it has truly validated what our program provides for students in our schools. More importantly, it validates the students and how hard they working in class. If we can provide a sense of purpose and empowerment to our students, we know that they will be more likely to take these lessons and experiences and use them for a lifetime."
Naperville Central High School
Teacher: Paul Zientarski
Paul is the department chair for Physical Education, Health, and Driver Education. He's been teaching for 36 years total, and has been teaching with Polar technology for the last 12 years. He's a member of National AAHPERD, Assistant Director PE4LIFE Naperville Academy, and also part of the Illinois High School Coaches Association. In addition to that he is a consultant for X2 Youth Fitness Centers and a part of the Organizing Committee for DuPage County PE Institute.
About Naperville Central High School:
Naperville is part of Naperville Community Unit School District in Naperville, Illinois. In this suburban area the typical P.E. class size is 36 students. Students are in grade levels 9-12. For the last 12 years at Naperville teachers have been using Polar heart rate monitors (HRMs) in class, and have also been using the TriFIT system for the last ten years. Naperville is also a PE4Life Academy.
Paul uses team sports, teambuilding, individual sports and fitness activities to teach physical education at his school
The 2005 PEP grant, 2004 Congresswoman Judy Biggart Community grant, and 2000 & 2001 Naperville Education Foundation grants provided the funding for Naperville Central High to use Polar technology. Paul incorporates Polar in his lesson plans at least once a week and sometimes more often than that. Naperville started using Polar when various school officials heard Beth Kirkpatrick speak. At first, Paul ordered 5 E200s and an XL to try teaching with heart rate. After the first year he knew he wanted to have a classroom set to be able to track each student individually. He was able to get parents and the community involved, and they raised enough money to buy another ten HRMs. The school PTA matched the money for another ten and successfully lobbied the Board of Education to match the ten as well. For Paul, the most important reasons to use Polar are, "helping students know the level of effort needed to be fit cardio wise, the longitudinal study of student fitness levels, and discovering problems at an early age stage to set up intervention."
Paul likes Polar's "ease of use, data collection capabilities, and student accountability."
Administration likes "data collection and student accountability."
Personal Highlight: Paul says, "Based on the TriFIT data, our students are far ahead of the norm for fitness levels when compared nation wide."
Neenah High School
Teacher: Vicki Dohr and Steve Mentzel
About Vicki and Steve:
Vicki and Steve are the K-12 P.E. instructors and Department Chairs at Neenah High School. They have been teaching for 30 years and have been using Polar for 10 years. Vicki and Steve are members of AAHPERD and WHPE.
About Neenah High School:
Neenah High School is part of the Neenah Joint School District in Neenah, Wisconsin. In this urban area, the typical P.E. class size is 28 students. Students in grade levels 6-12 currently use Polar E600 Heart Rate Monitors (HRMs) along with the TriFit700 system and students in grade levels K-5 use TriFIT software on their laptops.
K-12 students in the Neenah Joint School District are educated on the 5 health-related fitness components and use TriFIT to receive feedback on their physical fitness assessments. At Neenah High School, students develop their own personal programs based on their fitness assessments, health risk appraisals and meal planning. TriFIT data is tracked from kindergarten to 12th grade. TriFIT is used in a lab setting for the high school students.
A PEP Grant as well as matching funds from the district provided the resources for Polar technology. District funds provide sustainability. P.E. teachers at Neenah High School started using Polar Technology because they wanted to provide students, parents, PE staff, and administration a comprehensive tool that would complement the curriculum, provide feedback on students’ progress, and meet state physical education standards. Physical education teachers in grades 6-12 use HRMs in their P.E. classes at least three times a week. For Eileen, the most important reason to use Polar in P.E. is because “the technology provides the tools for students to lead healthier lifestyles.
Vicki and Steve like how "the HRMs provide constant feedback to both the student and the teacher. The TriFIT systems allow for flexibility in using different assessments to better meet the needs of all students. Furthermore, we can match personal profile components to be level specific, again reflecting to the state standards and sequentially building on the student personal profiles. The personal profile reports provide valuable on-going information for the students, parents, teachers, and administration to continually meet the needs for all students."
Students love "the technology's instant feedback; it has assisted them with the intrinsic motivation needed to improve their health-related fitness scores and to become responsible for their overall personal wellness."
Administration likes that "Polar Technology helps in the effort to change the direction of our entire K-12 physical education curriculum. The focus is now on an individually based program leading each student to his or her personal fitness zone. All course activities have now become a means to that end."
Since implementing Polar in Neenah's P.E. program, PE teachers have witnessed an increase in activity time, time on task, and an increase in student knowledge for health-related fitness components and nutrition.
Niles North and Niles West High Schools
Teacher: Paul Swanson
About the Teacher:
Paul Swanson is the Director of Physical Welfare at Niles North and Niles West High Schools. Affiliated with AAHPERD, IAHPERD, Illinois Track Coaches Association and ASCD, he brings his 22-years of teaching experience (15 of them using Polar) to the Niles Township High School District 219. He has also been honored as a Blue Ribbon Award Winner for IAHPERD.
About Niles North and Niles West:
Niles North and Niles West High Schools are located in Skokie, Illinois and are part of the Niles Township High School District 219. These suburban high schools, teaching grades 9-12, have an average class size of 40 students. High schools in this district have been utilizing Polar since the early 90s.
Using E600, E200 and E40 heart rate monitors, teachers incorporate Polar technology into their classes several times a week. In the 2011-2012 school year, Niles North and Niles West are starting a program where every incoming freshman in the class of 2015 will wear a heart rate monitor every day. Teachers utilize the data collection and immediate feedback to fodder conversations with students and parents about fitness levels. As students are seeing their efforts in real time, Niles North and Niles West PE teachers have seen their students put in greater efforts in annual fitness testing, and they seem to show a greater understanding of the importance of health related fitness concepts.
The Niles Township High School District 219 has created two state-of-the-art cardio laboratories in both high school buildings. Each facility has 44 pieces of cardio equipment and audiovisual equipment, and heart rate technology is used as often as possible.
The Administration: "The administration likes the data produced the most. They demand that our classes have a fitness component in them regardless of the activity. The watches allow us to produce data that supports our claims that fitness occurs not only in our cardio labs but in other sports and activities as well."
The Students: "Educationally our students are informed about heart rate, target heart rate maximum heart rate and an appropriate target heart rate zone. It also reinforces concepts for FITT for our students in a very visual and tangible manner." We have also utilized the technology to implement a Learning Readiness program for students struggling in reading. Based on the John Ratey research highlighted in the book "Spark," we have placed high energy PE class right before the students reading class. We have seen small sample results that indicate a correlation between exercise and learning.
Oxford Middle School
Teacher: Jean Drennan
Jean is a Physical Education and District PE Resource Teacher at Oxford Middle School and taught at Blue Valley Northwest High School prior to 2013. She has been teaching for 28 years and has been teaching with Polar technology for 22 years. She is a member of KAHPERD and AAHPERD and has received the 1999 and 2010 BVNWHS Teacher of the Year Kansas and Central District Secondary PE teacher of the year 1999 awards. In addition to her teaching job, she also teaches junior PE majors at the University of Kansas how to use the Polar TriFit700 and companions and allows those students to assist her with all of the TriFit fitness assessments.
About Blue Valley Northwest High School:
Oxford Middle School is part of Blue Valley School District in Overland Park, Kansas. In this suburban area, the typical PE class size is approximately 30 students.
Oxford Middle School uses Polar Gofit along with the Polar TriFit system. Students use Polar Gofit with almost every activity done in the PE class. Students, teachers and administrators enjoy using Polar Gofit because there is no guess work. Students get immediate feedback and results and are able to work at the level that is best for them – not their classmates. Students and teachers like the easy-to-read reports and students feel empowered to make their own wellness choices after seeing their improvement.
When using Polar technology, Jean feels her students work harder. Seeing their heart rate and knowing their personal fitness data from the Polar TriFit system is extremely motivating for them to work their best.
Polar technology was introduced to the school 20 years ago and from then on, the school has done what they can to obtain funds to purchase Polar technology. Since their initial experience, Oxford Middle School has worked with administrators and used Building Technology money and District Bond money to buy Polar products.
Oxford Middle School feels every activity offered in their program can be done with a heart rate monitor.
On why her students like using Polar technology:
Middle School teacher Jean Drennan says "They appreciate it for the same reasons I like it – because they are not compared to anyone else"
What do you like most about teaching students using Polar technology?
Jean explains "Students work at a level that is best for them, not the person next to them. They get reports that are easy to read and justify what has been accomplished. The knowledge from fitness assessment data is the power students need to make their own wellness choices."
Teacher: Chris Warren
Chris is the Director of Kinesiology and the Program Director for Certified Personal Trainer program at Parkland College. He has been teaching with Polar technology for the entirety of his 17-year career. He is a member of AAHPERD, IAHPERD, NSCA-CPT and USA-W. Throughout his career he has received the Makino Foundation Award and an IAHPERD Grant.
About Parkland College:
Parkland College is a community college in Champaign, Illinois that serves approximately 13,000 students. From 1996-2003 it offered a traditional teaching/coaching physical education curriculum. In 2003 they expanded that offering to include 4 transfer pathways in kinesiology: Physical Education teaching/coaching, Exercise Physiology, Athletic Training and Sports Management.
In 2007 they added a Certified Personal Training program that consists of 35 credit hours and culminates in the NSCA-Certified Personal Trainer certification exam. During the spring semester students enrolled in this program and spent 5 lab hours per week training clientele in private, semi-private and group training sessions from the following populations: faculty and staff, students, intercollegiate student-athletes and members of the community.
Parkland College uses a mixture of Polar heart rate monitors, a Polar BodyAge system, the Polar Team system, Polar Cardio GX and polarpersonaltrainer.com throughout their curriculum.
Parkland College was designed with technology in mind. The new facility includes a 7,500 square feet fitness center floor with state of the art strength & cardio equipment, two group exercise rooms, kinesiology classrooms and labs, and an assessment/personal training/massage therapy room. Polar technologies highlight the facility and we provide live telemetry in both group exercise rooms and the fitness center via Cardio GX/Team2 and large LCD's with projection screens. Personal training program uses Cardio GX to track training intensity during personal training sessions in both the personal training studio and main fitness center area. They also use the Team2 system with the women's basketball program. Cardio GX is also used in group exercise classes such as aerobics and spin class. Our BodyAge machines are in our assessment room and used for pre and post assessment, and we have a counter on the fitness center floor that will have three additional machines networked to BodyAge for clients to complete their HRA's and access their accounts. Parkland College was really excited to have the opportunity to design their facility in a way that will optimize the use of Polar technologies.
Polar technology is used for various labs in the following classes: Introduction to Kinesiology, Introduction to Human Movement, Exercise Physiology, Theories & Principles of Coaching, Personal Fitness Training I and Personal Fitness Training II.
Chris' students have been hired for premium positions because employers know they are well-versed in both theory and real-life hands-on experiences. Parkland College provides its students with Polar technology as freshmen, ensuring they graduate with a solid understanding of theory, as well as providing them with real life technology experiences they will use in the field daily.
On using Polar technology:
Director of Kinesiology and the Certified Personal Trainer program at Parkland College, Chris Warren says "Polar technology provides immediate, accurate feedback on intensity"
"The most valuable feature of the software is the ability to track and compare data for both an individual and a group over time"
"For a faculty/staff member we can examine trends for several years. The data enables us to substantiate what we are accomplishing in our curriculum and with individual students/clients"
How has being exposed to Polar technology benefited your students?
"Our students have been hired from premium positions because employers know that they are well versed in both theory and real-life hands-on experiences."
Parkview Middle School
Teacher: Scott Ehlinger & Shari Vermeer
About the Teachers:
Scott and Shari work together at Parkview Middle School. Both AAHPERD members, Scott has been teaching PE for 15 years, 4 of which using Polar, and Shari has spent her 6 years teaching with Polar technology. By incorporating Polar technology into their daily curriculum, Scott and Shari find they are able to maximize the time students are engaged in activity, and keep track of their class’ improvements with ease.
About Parkview Middle School:
Parkview Middle School is located in Ankeny, Iowa. With a typical class of 25 students, 6th and 7th graders utilize E600 and E40 heart rate monitors, while teachers track data with PE Manager – they will be implementing TriFIT assessment software soon. This is a PE4Life Model Site.
After PE Teachers and Parkview Middle School's Principal attended a training at a PE4Life and Polar showcase school, funds for Polar technology were set aside in the general school budget. Across the board, students, parents and administrators are enjoying the benefits of implementing PE technology in their curriculum. Since using Polar products during classes, they have seen students getting more quality engagement time during class and seen a significant decrease in disciplinary problems.
Scott and Shari use heart rate technology and data collection for fitness-based activities as well as during team games.
The Teachers: Like having data to share with the students and parents. This data helps them plot out their curriculum and make instructional decisions.
The Administration: Fond of the "real life" applications students can take from their experiences and seeing/understanding the data, providing them with the tools to lead healthy lives. Being able to generate historical fitness data on each student also allows for more funding and grant opportunities.
The Students: Students like the immediate feedback. Knowing their limits, they have an attainable daily goal to focus on, giving their PE class a purpose.
Seeger Jr/Sr High School
Teacher: Diane Hearn
About Diane: Diane is the Health/Physical Education Department Chair at Seeger Jr. / Sr. High School. She has been teaching for 28 years total, and has been using Polar technology in her lessons for the last 7 years. Diane implemented Polar technology into her lessons after receiving the advice from other PEP grant recipients. Diane is also a member of IAHPERD, AAHPERD, the Indiana State Teachers Association and the National Education Association. As a member of the Indian Association of Health, Physical Education, Recreating, and Dance, she serves the role as Technology Council Vice President. She has presented at the IAHPERD State and Regional Conferences.
About Seeger Jr. / Sr. High School:Seeger Jr. / Sr. School is part of the Metropolitan School District of Warren County located in Indiana. The school hosts students in grades 7-9 all in one building. In this rural area, the typical P.E. class size is between 60-70 students in P.E. and 30 students in elective health. Students in grade levels 7-9 have been using Polar E600 heart rate monitors, PE Manager Software, TriFIT, and the Companion for four years.
Core Activities:Diane uses use the 5 components of fitness, fitness activities, state physical education standards, HRMs daily and other activities to teach physical education at Seeger. Polar technology has given us validation and attention from the administration and the staff. In addition to our Polar training, we have attended many clinics and seminars about brain breaks in the classroom and activity based learning. There is evidence that increasing a student’s heart rate for 20 minutes before reading, math and test taking will "wake up the brain" and make learning easier. We have helped teachers incorporate active learning into their classrooms.
Using Polar:A PEP grant was awarded to Seeger Jr. / Sr. School to fund Polar technology in P.E. classes. According to Diane, she incorporates heart rate monitors every day in class. "Some days, it may be to show our students that a slower heart rate (HR) will help them in an activity like archery. However, our students wear their watches for every activity. Diane reports that the physical education system will be upgrading to Polar GoFit for the 2014-2015 school year. This is due to the success they have had with the E600 series. Diane says that Polar GoFit will allow her to have immediate feedback with student’s heart rates while also giving her the opportunity to share this information with their parents. Diane has used PE Manager, TriFit along with FITNESSGRAM Compatible, E600 watches and monitors while upgrading to Polar GoFit, Polar Companion pocket PC, and Polar GoFit with the Polar H7 heart rate monitor.
The Buzz: Diane likes that "PE Manager and the heart rate monitors make grading a snap. The HRMs take all the guess work out of which students are working hard and who are not."Students like that "they have their grade books right on their wrist, so they know exactly what their HR grade is for the day. It motivates them to stay active. The printouts we can give them for any of their testing by using TriFIT gives them a hands-on written document to take home and share. They also enjoy the PE Report Card because it contains all the detail about their grade so there are few questions."Administration "is very data driven and the information we can gather using Polar is exactly the data our administration loves." Now that Seeger Jr/Sr High School is upgrading to Polar GoFit, the information will be accessible to share with parents who will open doors to communicating easily with their children about their performance. We were asked by our administration to lead activity time before ISTEP testing to our entire junior high. We were allotted 30 minutes to get our students up and moving and our goal was to make sure they were having fun. Here are some things our students had to say: "ISTEP was so fun this year. I really enjoyed it. Instead of ISTEP being boring you changed it up for us. You gave us activities to do which help me wake up and get moving around." Another student wrote, "When it comes to the end of course assessments, I think we should go to the PAC (our activity center) so we can concentrate and get more focus.
Personal Highlight: "Our students are on the move constantly. We do not have students trying to hide in the background. They are accountable for their own activity level daily. We have also seen several students lose 20-30 pounds within a school year and they tell us they have done nothing different than just participating in their zone during P.E."
Sierra Vista Jr. High School
Teacher: George Velarde
George is currently a Physical Education Department Chair at Sierra Vista Jr. High School in Canyon Country, California. He has been teaching for a total of 14 years, and has been using Polar technology for 20 years. George is a member of both CAHPERD and NASPE and was named 2006-2007 Teacher of the Year at his school in addition to receiving the "Who's Who Among America's Teachers Award" five times! In 2009, George was awarded the California Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. He was also named Physical Education Teacher of the Year by the California Coach's Association.
About Sierra Vista Jr. High School:
Sierra Vista Jr. High School is part of the William S. Hart School District in Canyon Country, CA. In this suburban area the typical P.E. class size is 45-50 students. Students are in grade levels 7 and 8, and currently use Polar E Series heart rate monitors (HRMs) in addition to the TriFIT 700 system. Teachers at Sierra Vista additionally use TriFIT software, PE Manager Software, and the Companion Pocket PC. Sierra Vista Jr. High School is recognized by the President's Council as a Physical Activity/Fitness Demonstration Center (PE Program). In 2009, the school won the Golden Bell Award by the California School Board Association for the "No Child Left on their Behind" Physical Education Program. Sierra Vista was also named the Physical Education Middle School of the Year by the California Coach's Association in 2009.
George uses V-Cycling Virtual Reality Bikes, Dance Dance Revolution (DDR), Xavix, Climbing walls, Trikke's, Tritons, Fitness Conditioning, Survivor, Body Blades, T-Bows, Frisbee Golf, Basketball, Soccer, Over the Line, Racquetball, Tennis, Elliptical training, Spin bike training, Rowing, Stair climbing, Jump rope, Walking with pedometers, Cross country, track and field training, and a weight training circuit to teach Physical Education at his school.
George's school received an Santa Clarita Valley Education Foundation Grant for the 2006-2007 school year, which funded the initial purchase of Polar technology in his school, but in 2007-2008 was awarded a PEP grant, which has also helped purchase technology. Teachers at Sierra Vista Jr. High use Polar in lessons 3 times a week. For George, the most important reason to use Polar is, "to teach students through the important curriculum of the New PE. If we are successful, no child will be left on their behinds."
George likes "objective measurement over subjective grading. Teachers are able to individualize PE according to each student's health and fitness levels, thus being able to create a total health portfolio."
Students "have fully embraced Polar technology. It keeps them on task at a moderate to vigorous activity level. They are constantly looking forward to receiving their heart rate comparison reports for the PE portfolios. This helps them measure individual performance and progress throughout the year."
Administration and Parents like "the first hand program results of a student's grade, heart rate data, and daily class performance. Most importantly, they like to see the accountability and objectivity the technology brings to the PE program."
Since using Polar technology, George has observed his students taking pride in their fitness levels.
Teacher: Ms. Judy LoBianco
Judy is the Supervisor of Health, Physical Education and Nursing Services in the South Orange-Maplewood School District. She has been supervising for 5 years and the district has been using Polar Technology for the past 6 months. She is a member of ASCD, AAHPERD, NJAHPERD and NJCAHPE and received the 2010 NJ State Physical Education Supervisor of the Year.
In the South Orange-Maplewood School District in New Jersey, Polar technology is used in grades 4-12. Polar heart rate monitors are utilized in grades 4-12, the Polar TriFIT system in grades 9-12 and the Polar PE Manager software 6-12. In this suburban area, the typical PE class for K-5 is 25 students and 6-12 is 30 students.
Teachers and administrators in South Orange-Maplewood School district like using Polar technology because it represents the physical education of a new generation of children in physical education.
The South Orange-Maplewood School District use Polar E-Series heart rate monitors, Polar PE Manager and the Polar TriFIT to help deliver the curriculum at the schools in fitness and adventure programs.
Since using Polar technology in her curriculum, Judy has seen more motivated students and teachers. Her students have an observable interest in checking the heart rate monitor for their progress and the staff is interested in learning new ways to teach heart rate and grade students based on individual assessment and improvement.
A PEP grand provided funding for the school district to obtain their Polar products and initial training in November 2009.
What do you like most about using Polar technology?
Health, Physical Education and Nursing Services supervisor Judy LoBianco says "It represents the physical education of a new generation of children in physical education"
How do your students like using Polar technology?
Judy shares, "Our students have embraced these technologies and have been motivated by their use"
What visible improvements have you seen in your students in your experience using Polar products?
Judy has seen "An observable interest in checking the heart rate monitor watch for their progress and adjusting their activity to achieve their target heart rate. In addition, a motivated staff that is interested in learning new ways to teach heart rate and assess effort in their grading. A motivated teacher means motivated classes"
University of Central Oklahoma
Teacher: Trey Cone
Trey has been a Professor for 11 years at the University of Central Oklahoma. In his 11 years of being a professor, Trey has been using Polar for the past 6 years. He has been a member of different affiliations such as the American Alliance, National Association, and Oklahoma Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. Trey received the OAHPERD Virginia Peters Higher Education Professional Award.
About The University of Central Oklahoma:
The University of Central Oklahoma is located in Edmond Oklahoma on University Drive. The Department of Kinesiology and Health Studies' mission focuses on the preparation of professionals in the fields of exercise fitness management, outdoor and community recreation, physical education, and community health. The faculty and staff (currently 20 full-time professors, 29 adjuncts, and 2 full time support staff) are actively involved in the health, physical education, recreation, fitness, and athletic professions through membership in and service to appropriate professional organizations at the state, district, and national levels. The University offers different programs such as the Bachelor of Science in community/public health, science in education in physical education/health, science in kinesiology, and Master of Science in athletic training and science in wellness management. The Physical Education/Health's educational program provides students with entry level competencies to teach physical education and health in schools, grades K-12. The curriculum develops and enhances the students' psychomotor, cognitive, and affective learning domains.
The University began teaching heart rate monitor technology to students (future physical educators) after hearing Polar presentations at national professional conferences. Since initial integration into teacher education courses, exercise physiologists have incorporated heart rate monitors and TriFIT testing technology into classes, labs, and research. More recently the university has begun to use the TriFIT to fitness test our Physical Education majors and meet NCATE standards. After being awarded a UCO faculty innovation grant, Polar accelerometers were purchased and are being used in physical education classes while working with area K-12 public schools. The newest technology that has been implemented is the Polar GoFit Heart Rate Module. The combination of H7 sensors and our iPad mobile lab for activity courses and research purposes.
Currently they are using: Polar TriFIT 600 System – (currently used to fitness test PE majors and satisfy NCATE standards (they currently test students using the Tanita Bioimpedance, Blood Pressure Measurement, Bicep Curl Strength, Sit and Reach, and in-put field measures for cardiorespiratory endurance), and by Exercise Physiologists for research purposes,Heart rate monitors (E200’s, E600’s), Polar Accelerometers :Used to teach future teachers and used when working with local public schools, PE Manager: is taught to future physical educators to keep them up with current trends in exercise technology and FT7 watches and polarpersonaltrainer.com are currently being implemented to evaluate personal fitness levels of pre-professionals in PE and Health.
The current uses of Polar technology provide students with many benefits that they did not have prior to its integration. Heart rate monitors allow students to quantify time spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity. This allows faculty to create accountability in activity based classes and provides a teaching tool for future educators who will be required, if teaching in the state of Oklahoma, to ensure that at least 50 percent of PE class time is spent in moderate to vigorous physical activity. Additionally, students are able to monitor their personal progress in the area of fitness.
Vernon Middle School
Teacher: Alan Read, Elli Wieneke, Tom Hauck, and Corey Meth
Teachers at Vernon:
Alan Read: Alan is the Wellness/Health teacher for grades 5-8 and PEP Grant Project Coordinator for the Marion Independent School District. Alan has been teaching for 24 years and 15 of those years, he has used Polar. He holds a Master’s Degree in Exercise Science and is a member of AAPHERD and IAPHERD. Alan has received the PE4life Speaker Award.
Elli Wieneke: Elli is a P.E. teacher at Vernon Middle School. She's been teaching for 4 years in the Marion District and has been using Polar technology in her lessons since she began teaching. She's a member of both AAHPERD and IAHPERD.
Tom Hauck: Tom Hauck graduated from Coe College with a B.A. in Physical Education in 2005. He has been teaching physical education for 7 years and 6 of those years have been in the Marion Independent School District. Tom has been using Polar technology all of those years. He is also the baseball and basketball coach for the district and also a member of SHAPE (AAPHERD) and IAPHERD.
Corey Meth: Corey Meth graduated from Wartburg College with a BA in Physical Education. Cory is in his 18th year of teaching in the Marion Independent School District, 19th overall. He has been coaching for many years the sports of football, basketball, baseball, and track. Cory is a member of IAPHERD.
About Vernon Middle School:
Vernon Middle School is located in the suburban Marion Independent School District. Vernon Middle School ranges from grade 5-8. The average physical education class size is 25. Polar Technology provides Vernon Middle School students, parents, staff, administration and community with first class products. These products have certainly enabled them to move their mission of being “focused on fitness” to the front.
Vernon Middle School started slowly integrating Polar Technology including the HRM, PE Computer with TRIFIT and PE Manager software. Their schools PE budget was limited until they were awarded with grants. They used some of the grant money to purchase Polar items. Other federal assistance Vernon Middle School received was the Carol White PEP Grant in 2008 and 2012, and the PE4life Grant. Other Polar products Vernon Middle School uses include: S610 HRM, A3 HRM, E600 HRM, PE Manager, TRIFIT, Palm Pilot, Polar H7 Bluetooth Smart and the Polar Go-Fit web service.
Vernon Middle School engages students in a variety of activities such as cardio/fitness, lifelong activities and a variety of team/individual games. Students work harder when using the Polar products. By using this technology Vernon Middle School has affected students, teachers, parents and the community in a positive way.
Alan likes the immediate feedback, the attention to the students needs individually, how all of the Polar products help promote and improve our physical education program. By using the Polar Products students understand their fitness level and know if they are in their fitness zone. He also likes that parents are able to access the workouts of the children to see how hard they are working in class. Mr. Cochran (principal) likes the really time data and as a father likes seeing his children get healthier. The students like using the polar technology during class. The student’s focuses on their own workout and are always checking to see if they are in the zone.