State fitness test results show some Glendale schools ‘have work to do’


Clark Magnet High students make up some of Glendale’s brightest young minds who, year after year, score higher than many of their peers at other local schools in English and math on the state’s standardized exam — but they may need to work on their abs.

The ninth-graders who attend Glendale Unified’s science and technology magnet school, known for its high-tech robotics and engineering programs, reported some of the lowest scores on the state’s physical fitness exam compared to other students in the district, according to recently released results.

Success in all portions of the test meant students were in the “Healthy Fitness Zone,” which is described as “a level of fitness that offers protection against the diseases that result from sedentary living.”

Only 66% of Clark’s freshmen who were tested for their abdominal strength during the 2015-16 school year met the state’s requirement.

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For the abdominal-strength test, female students were required to do at least 18 curl-ups, while their male counterparts needed to complete at least 24.

In comparison, 80% of Hoover High students successfully did the curl-ups, while 91% and 94% of Glendale High and Crescenta Valley High freshmen, respectively, completed them.

Clark’s scores on the fitness exam improved on the portion testing their flexibility, where 91% of freshmen met that requirement compared to 87% who did at Glendale and 89% who did at Hoover.

Crescenta Valley High freshmen proved to be the most flexible — 97% of the Falcons met the state’s requirement.

On the upper-body strength portion of the exam — which involved students doing push-ups, modified pull-ups and the flexed-arm hang — Crescenta Valley High freshmen also reported the highest marks compared to their peers.

About 92% of Crescenta Valley ninth-graders proved they had adequate upper-body strength compared to the 81% of Glendale freshmen and 76% of Hoover freshmen.

Clark students reported the lowest marks for upper-body strength — 57% of freshmen met the goal.

For the upper-body strength part of the exam, male freshmen were asked to do at least 14 push-ups, complete at least nine modified pull-ups and hold the flexed-arm hang for at least 15 seconds.

Meanwhile, females needed to complete at least seven push-ups and four modified pull-ups. They also needed to hold the flexed-arm hang for at least eight seconds.

For physical education teacher Chris Axelgard, who teaches at Clark, the latest results “can be a motivating factor” for the school.

The magnet school does not feature any sports teams of its own, but students who attend Clark can elect to join sports teams at Hoover, Crescenta Valley or Glendale high schools.

Clark’s campus was originally built as a middle school, and Axelgard said its smaller weight room and gymnasium compared to the other high schools in the district were built with seventh- and eighth-graders in mind.

Also, unlike Glendale, Hoover and Crescenta Valley high schools, Clark doesn’t have a swimming pool.

Even so, Axelgard chose to teach at Clark “fully aware of its limitations,” he said in an email.

“Do we have work to do? Absolutely,” he said. “I would have loved to have known these statistics as a guideline a long time ago to use as an instructional guideline. With the support of the administration, we will improve our results as well as increase what we have to offer.”


Kelly Corrigan,

Twitter: @kellymcorrigan