17:17.5    Physical fitness assessment;  statewide expansion program


A. (1)(a) It is the intention of the legislature to authorize a framework to collect data to assess the status of an expansion program, based upon a pilot program conducted pursuant to Paragraph (2) of this Subsection, that will utilize a health-related fitness assessment instrument to determine the fitness levels of students as a means to impact childhood obesity in Louisiana whereby positive results can be repeated or replicated in schools throughout the state.


(b) It is the goal of the legislature that positive results of such assessment can be used to implement a statewide health-related physical fitness assessment in each city, parish, and other local public school system that provides personalized feedback and positive reinforcement vital to improved health and wellness, academics, and changing behavior, and serves as a source of communication between teachers, parents, and students.  It is also a goal of the expansion program to focus on school systems with high levels of poverty based upon the federal poverty guidelines published annually by the United States Department of Health and Human Services.


(2) Participants in the pilot program, specified in Subparagraph (1)(a) of this Subsection, consist of the twelve parishes and school districts which are part of the coordinated school health pilot program, conducted through the Cecil J. Picard Center for Child Development and Lifelong Learning at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, in coordination with other universities, including Northwestern State University, Louisiana Tech University, and Southeastern Louisiana University.  As funding is identified from existing budgets, foundations, or other sources, the implementation of the program provided for in this Paragraph shall be expanded to additional school districts.


B. For purposes of the expansion program, the Cecil J. Picard Center, in collaboration with the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Hospitals, shall continue use of the physical fitness assessment instrument used for the pilot program which shall:


(1) Be based on factors relating to student health that have been identified as essential to overall health and function, including the following:


(a) Aerobic capacity.


(b) Body composition.


(c) Muscular strength, endurance, and flexibility.


(2) Include criterion-referenced standards specific to a student's race, age, and gender and based on the physical fitness level required for good health.


C. (1) The results of the physical fitness assessment as provided in this Section shall contain summary or statistical data, aggregated longitudinally from pre-kindergarten to the twelfth grade and include any other category deemed appropriate.  Such summary results shall contain no personally identifiable information of any student or teacher participating in the program.


(2) The physical fitness assessment instrument shall provide baseline measures of fitness and body mass index and subsequent measurement of effectiveness of interventions.


D. (1) Not later than September first of each year, the Cecil J. Picard Center, in collaboration with the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Hospitals, and the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports shall provide an annual report concerning the implementation of the physical fitness assessment which shall include the findings from an analysis of the plan development and implementation results of the assessment obtained during the preceding school year to the governor, the Senate and House committees on education, the Senate and House committees on health and welfare, and the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.


(2) Repealed by Acts 2013, No. 184, § 7(B).


E. The State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Department of Health and Hospitals shall adopt such rules and guidelines as are necessary to implement this Section.


F. No physical fitness assessment conducted pursuant to this Section shall interfere with nor replace any effort, purpose, assessment, or program implemented by the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, including but not limited to the President's Challenge and the elementary fitness meet.


G. The provisions of this Section shall be effective upon the appropriation of funds or from funds made available through other sources for this purpose.


Added by Acts 2009, No. 256, § 1.  Amended by Acts 2010, No. 861, § 8;  Acts 2013, No. 184, § 7(A).