One of the long standing professional strengths of educators is their willingness to share ideas and programs that are working with other teachers and principals.  This professional courtesy has helped thousands of other schools and children to benefit from the original school’s hard work and success.  For example, if a school is getting great results in reading the school and teachers invite people in to hear how they constructed their success or present at state and national conferences so they can give that same advantage to others.

One of the best examples in physical education has been work lead by George Velarde and his team at Sierra Vista Middle School in Canyon Country, California.  Over the past several years, they have developed a model program in physical education, and they, too, are willing to share their success with other professionals. Sierra Vista has established 6 Physical Education demonstration days in order to share their outstanding work.  Any school that is interested in improving their program would greatly benefit by visiting George’s school on one of these demonstration days.   One will definitely walk away from the visit with big ideas on how to improve your own physical education curriculum.

Dan Lawler, Ph.D.
Education Consultant

New PE Philosophy- No Child Left On Their Behinds

For most of us, the old-style PE met the needs of a select few.  Everyone else was often left with a lifetime of bad memories and demeaning experiences. What is the “New PE”?  It means teaching fitness over sports skills in physical education classes.  More importantly, it is about objective measurement over subjective grading.   Today, the “New PE” classes at Sierra Vista Jr. High School are about developing a healthy lifestyle and wellness.  The PE staff teaches quality/daily physical education that provides students with a moderate to vigorous activity level.  As part of our effort to encourage physical fitness, our Old Gym has been transformed into a State of the Art Fitness Center.  Thus being our Heart and Soul of our PE program.

State of the Art Fitness Center

  • 50 piece ExerLearning Section:  Dance Dance Revolution pads, Xavix Exercise program, Virtual Reality Bikes, FitnessGram Computer Lab on our Virtual Reality Bikes, and a Rock Climbing Wall.
  • 53 piece Cardiovascular Education Section: water/computer rowing machines, spin bikes, ellipticals, upper body ergometers and stair steppers.
  • Audio/Video Projection system with Surround sound for students to review:  Benchmarks/Quizzes/Tests and Academic Vocabulary

Circuit Training Weight Room

  • Body by Motion resistance machines
  • Power Strength plate machines
  • Endless Rope machine
  • Water Rowing machines
  • Ski Ergometer machine

PE Recognitions

  • Due to the modeling of the “New PE”, Sierra Vista’s Physical Education program has been recognized by the President’s Council on Physical Fitness/Sports as a Demonstration Center for the Nation
  • 25 Coolest Schools In America by Scholastic Parent & Child Magazine
  • 2009 Golden Bell recipient by the California School Board Association of California for the “No Child Left On Their Behind” Physical Education Program
  • 2009 Recipient of the Physical Education Middle School of the Year Award by the California Coaches Association
  • 2008-2009 Recipient of the Carol M. White (PEP Grant)- $260,000- very prestigious award that provides funds for educational agencies to initiate/expand and improve physical education programs

PE Demonstrations

We host PE Demonstrations for educators, principals, superintendents, and community leaders from all around the country to come and see the “New PE” curriculum in action.  The demonstrations are designed to get them excited about the possibilities on how the curriculum is implemented on a daily basis and the variety of equipment that is used.  With the use of technology, we can show the accountability the students have for an objective grade.  We want the demonstrations to inspire creativity and rejuvenate awareness for a lifetime of physical activity.

Here are dates for our PE Demonstrations for the 2012-2013 school year.

Oct. 26, Nov. 16, Dec. 7, Feb. 22, March 15, April 19, May 3

Times for all PE Demonstrations are from 10:00-1:00.


Over the last 8 years, our Fitness Scores have improved in every category of the State Fitness Scores.  But more importantly, our Fitness Scores are higher than the State and National Average for Jr. High Schools.

Improvement from ’03-’04 to ’09-‘10

Aerobic (1 mile run):  18.2%

Body Composition:  2.5 %

Abdominal Strength:  8.9 %

Trunk Extension Strength:  2.7 %

Upper Body Strength:  13.4 %

Flexibility (Shoulder):  17.4%

# of Fitness Standards achieved by students:  22 %

(6 of 6 Standards achieved)

Schools Academic (API) Results

Our Physical Education program has not only demonstrated improved Fitness Scores, but our Schools Academic Scores (API) have also increased every year since the PE Dept. changed their philosophy from the “Old PE” to the “New PE”.

‘03-‘04 Schools Academic Performance Index                   ’10-‘11 Schools Academic

API score:  746                                                                                  API score:  809

An improvement of 63 points over an 8 year span