Four School Districts Adopt the Marathon Kids District Tech Integration for the 2021–22 School Year
By MK Editor, May 23, 2021
This school year, four school districts—Austin ISD, Corpus Christi ISD and Midland ISD in Texas, and Beaverton School District in Oregon—are participating in Marathon Kids through the organization’s innovative district tech integration, Marathon Kids Connect. This all-in-one digital platform for tracking and reporting on kids’ active time is the perfect tool for PE teachers interested in increasing student MVPA (moderate to vigorous physical activity) while incorporating Social Emotional Learning into Physical Education curriculum.
The platform is also the perfect choice for school and district administrators who are interested in meeting state-mandated minutes for their students’ PE requirements and wanting greater visibility into students’ active minutes on campus. The Marathon Kids Connect digital platform and scanning app offer hands-free physical activity programming, so it’s easy for anyone to use both safely and independently—including coaches, teachers, parents and volunteers, and even kids themselves. Best of all, it stores crucial data to support physical education that teachers, coaches, and administrators can use when making decisions about curriculum as well as staffing and funding.
Expanding Reach Within Districts
Austin and Midland ISDs and Beaverton School District are all in their second years of their district tech partnerships with Marathon Kids, though none of these districts is new to Marathon Kids programming. Austin is home to Marathon Kids, and Austin ISD schools have implemented Marathon Kids programming for 26 years, since the organization’s inception. This year, the district has over 56,000 kindergarteners through eighth-graders across 99 schools participating in the program.
Midland ISD and Beaverton School District are both in their fifth year of Marathon Kids participation. Midland ISD has 15,000 kindergarteners through sixth-graders in 26 schools participating in the program; last year, three of its elementary schools led the leaderboard for Marathon Kids nationwide. Beaverton School District has over 18,000 students in 36 schools active in Marathon Kids.
Corpus Christi ISD is also in its fifth year of participating in Marathon Kids, with 53 schools and over 30,000 elementary, middle and high school students active in the program. It is in its first year of the district tech integration; the partnership was adopted by Dr. George Woods, the district’s Health and Physical Education Specialist and a former, longtime PE teacher and Marathon Kids coach in the district.
Dr. Woods was interested in the Marathon Kids Connect tech integration for his district because he appreciates its programming’s ability to reach the Whole Child through movement. “Physical Education in Texas includes more than just kinesiology,” he points out. “It also includes wellness and social-emotional learning. We’re giving kids the tools they need to become lifelong movers.” Marathon Kids and its cloud-based reporting platform integrate seamlessly with that goal.
Dr. Woods also appreciates Marathon Kids for the way it inspires community involvement and engagement. Celia Whitehead, a Marathon Kids coach and PE teacher at Greenway Elementary School in Beaverton School District, agrees. “Families love Marathon Kids,” Whitehead says. “Plenty of parents ask to run with their kids in our after-school run club.”
Last year, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Beaverton schools to shift to remote learning, Greenway Elementary and other schools in the district were able to use Marathon Kids Connect to keep more than 18,000 students engaged in their running and active time at home. Parents followed and encouraged their kids’ progress from home; they used the app to communicate with teachers and coaches, and the community celebrated new milestones virtually, together.
Build a Culture of Health District-Wide
Marathon Kids Connect’s ability to bridge the gap between home and school, connecting teachers and run club coaches with student runners and their parents at home, is just one of its many benefits. Some of the other major benefits of Marathon Kids Connect for districts include how simple it is to set up and use, with accounts created automatically for the user as well as auto-rostering and a single sign-on feature with district credentials. Since the platform provides access to district-wide data regarding students’ active time and progress, it allows district administrators and schools to be nimble, pivoting in curriculum choices as needed and jumping on opportunities as they become apparent through the real-time data offered by the digital platform.
School districts interested in utilizing innovative technology for Physical Education or in adopting the Marathon Kids district tech integration can visit Marathon Kids for more information about the program and its benefits for districts, schools, teachers, and students.