§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
(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 Louisiana Department of Health,
shall continue use of the physical fitness assessment instrument used for the pilot program
(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
(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 Louisiana Department of Health, 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 Louisiana
Department of Health shall adopt such rules and guidelines as are necessary to implement
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.
Acts 2009, No. 256, §1; Acts 2010, No. 861, §8; Acts 2013, No. 184, §7(A) and (B).