It takes confidence and innovation for an entire school district to equip their Physical Education departments in all schools with cutting-edge technology. That’s just what the Sauk Praire, Wisconsin school district decided was best for their students and their programs. Once they took the leap, success abounded.
Funding requirements to purchase the hardware, software, and teach training support was provided by district budgets, parent groups, local hospitals and foundations, community grants, and Wisconsin Health and Physical Education Grants. We encourage other schools and districts who are researching funding opportunities to check out these resources & how Sauk Prairie went about it.
We asked students and teachers in this district what their experience with it has been like so far. Read their responses below!
Question & Answer
Q: Why did you choose the Heart Zones System?
A: We were introduced to the system by a parent who was using it in another district and we loved the ease of use, automatically stored data, and communication with parents. Plus there are no recurring costs.
Q: What are the most important features of the Heart Zones System for your program?
A: The manageable cost, versatility, and way the data is displayed for students.
Q: What have the kids liked most about having the Heart Zones System?
A: That they can immediately see how hard they are working in class and can get to know their heart health better. This translates to heart rate awareness outside of the classroom as well.
Q: What have the teachers liked most about having the Heart Zones System?
A: That we get to know our students better because we can see changes in their heart rate which leads to conversations about how factors inside and outside of the classroom can impact their heart rate. We also enjoy that they system allows us to teach movement skills and health concepts simultaneously. We have also enjoyed watching the kids be able to learn more about their own heart, something relevant to them. The kids are excited to wear them in class. Finally, we love talking about all 5 zones and the importance of each and every one.
-Allison Steinmetz, 4th Grade Teacher
-Craig Trautsch, Principal
-5th Grade Student
-Aaron and Maria Andres, Parents
-5th Grade Student
Students now move with purpose. Not only are we encouraging and helping students spend time in moderate/vigorous physical activity but we are also teaching them about recovery heart rate and waiting for them to lower their heart rates before we give instructions. Using the Heart Zones system allows us to know our students individually and therefore challenge, encourage, and support them individually in a whole class setting.
We have used the heart rate monitors outside the traditional PE classroom too. We often will use them while working with students with special needs, whether that is figuring out a way to help a student with limited mobility raise their heart rate or if it is while working with a student in the pool when they are the most active of their entire day. We have also used the heart rate monitors during activity breaks for students to help us ensure we are helping the student get a productive break.
Learn more from the Sauk Prairie School District
If you have any questions, please contact Eric Scheunemann or Jacob Breunig as they would love to share more about their experience with the Heart Zones System. Also, they have invited anyone to come and visit their program and show them about their curriculum and program and how they use the Heart Zones system. As a showcase district, they are a great location to visit for any schools considering a Heart Zones System for themselves.
Jacob Breunig has been a Physical Education teacher for 14 years with 12 in Sauk Prairie. He enjoys working with K-5 students. In his spare time he enjoys coaching soccer and basketball and bowhunting.
Eric Scheunemann has been serving the Sauk Prairie School District as a Elementary Physical Education Teacher for 12 years. He enjoys spending time with his family and being outdoors. Especially hiking, fishing, or hunting. You can follow Eric on Twitter via @ScheuEric.