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Dear Parent/Guardian,

Senate Bill 530 requires that beginning with the 2007-08 school year, the FITNESSGRAM physical fitness assessment be administered to all students in grades 3-12.  FITNESSGRAM is a health-related fitness assessment developed by The Cooper Institute for Aerobic Research and is a research-based criterion referenced test.

ACISD considers FITNESSGRAM a quality assessment for three reasons:

  1. FITNESSGRAM establishes a baseline of a healthy fitness zone from which students can set goals and check their progress (non-competitive) to plan for lifelong physical activity and to maintain and improve their fitness level. Health-related fitness assessment measures students’ aerobic capacity, muscular strength/endurance, flexibility and body composition.
  2. FITNESSGRAM provides recommended activity program options that will help students reach healthy fitness zones in those areas where they need to improve.
  3. FITNESSGRAM does not place an emphasis on skill or sports-related fitness such as speed measured by an individual’s 40 yard dash time.  It does not compare students to other students.

FITNESSGRAM tests all students regardless of age, gender, or ability.  Students are encouraged to be self-aware of health-related fitness and take responsibility by setting personal fitness goals.  When students focus on the process of doing their personal best, a more positive lifelong impact is achieved.

All students must be tested annually.  Your child may be tested at anytime during the current school year.  Testing will take place in a physical education class for elementary grades 3rd – 5th.  Testing for secondary grades 6th – 12th will occur in a physical education class, athletics, health, cheerleading, marching band, or drill/dance team class.

Students in the secondary grades not enrolled in a Physical Education course or any of the above named classes will be tested during designated times specific to each individual campus.  These students should wear the following underneath an appropriate warm-up suit (jacket and pants) or underneath regular school clothes on their designated test day:  (1) athletic shorts (2) T-shirt (3) socks (4) tennis shoes.  Testing in warm-ups is permitted and your child may wear the warm-up suit the entire day.  If your child forgets proper testing attire, he/she will proceed with the fitness test in regular school clothes.  More information is coming from your child’s campus in regards to their fitness testing schedule.

You may request a copy of your child’s physical fitness assessment by submitting a letter to your principal at the end of the school year.  Composite results for ACISD will be sent to the Texas Education Agency as required by law.  

If you have any questions about the FITNESSGRAM Assessment, please contact Melissa Reyes, FITNESSGRAM Coordinator (361-790-2230) or refer to



Joseph Patek
Associate Superintendent
Aransas County ISD

Frequently Asked Questions About FITNESSGRAM

1.  Why is fitness testing important to me?

The FITNESSGRAM physical fitness assessment is based not on athletic ability, but on good health.  No matter what your career path, you will live a happier, more productive live if you are healthy—and physical fitness is vital to overall health.  FITNESSGRAM provides accurate and reliable information about your physical condition and how it can be improved.

2.  Can I “fail” the FITNESSGRAM test?

No.  FITNESSGRAM is a tool to help you determine your fitness needs and guides you in planning a personalized physical activity program. 

3.  Will my scores be posted or be made public?

No.  Where FITNESSGRAM data is collected by the state, the data will have student names removed so that individual scores may not be identified for a particular student.  That data will be used to study trends and not to judge individual students.

4.  Will my results be compared to other students?

No.  FITNESSGRAM uses Healthy Fitness Zones (HFZ) to determine your overall physical fitness.  HFZs are not based on class averages or any other peer comparisons.  The standards are set specifically for boys and girls of different ages using the best available research.  If your score falls within the HFZ, it means you have achieved the recommended level of fitness for your age.  If your score falls below the HFZ, you should engage in activities that will help you improve.

5.  What are the FITNESSGRAM Test items?

There are six test items:

  • Either the Mile Run, or the PACER 20 meter shuttle runs (measures aerobic capacity)
  • Push-ups or Flex Arm Hang (measures upper body muscular strength/endurance)
  • Curl-ups (measures abdominal muscular strength/endurance)
  • Shoulder Stretch (measures flexibility)
  • Trunk Lift (measures trunk extensor strength and flexibility)
  • Body Mass Index (measures body composition: appropriateness of weight relative to height)