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Board Policies


Last Updated Date: 02/14/2023

Adoption Date: 06/22/2021

Revision History: 9/9/21(updated), 3/22/22 (updated), 2/14/23 (updated), 2/13/24 (updated)


Physical Education

The school district will provide physical education that:

  • meets a minimum of:
    • 54 minutes per week for kindergartner students;
    • 81 minutes per week for first through sixth grade students;
    • every other day for junior high;
    • meets the state requirements for high school;
      is taught by a certified physical education teacher;
  • includes students with disabilities, students with special health-care needs may be provided in alternative educational settings;
  • the teacher engages students in moderate to vigorous activities during at least 50 percent of physical education class time;
  • includes lifestyle (non-team) activities at each grade level.

Daily Recess

Elementary schools shall provide recess for students that:

  • meets a minimum of:
    • 40 minutes per day for kindergarten through second grade students;
    • 30 minutes per day for third and fourth grade students;
    • 20 minutes per day for fifth and sixth grade students;
  • is preferably outdoors;
  • encourages moderate to vigorous physical activity verbally for all students and through the provision of space and equipment;
  • discourages extended periods (i.e., periods of one or more hours) of inactivity.

When activities, such as mandatory school-wide testing, make it necessary for students to remain indoors for long periods of time, schools will give students periodic breaks during which they are encouraged to stand and be moderately active.

Physical Activity and Punishment

Staff will not use physical activity (e.g., running laps, pushups) or withhold opportunities for physical activity (e.g., recess, physical education) as punishment. Withholding recess will not be considered unless in extreme circumstances where all other methods have been exhausted or for continued unacceptable behavior exhibited during recess.


Health Education – Elementary

The school district will provide health education for kindergarten through sixth grade students that:

  • meets the state requirements;
  • is sequential and standards-based;
  • provides active learning and skills practice;
  • is taught by qualified teachers;
  • is emphasized across the physical education, social studies, science and guidance curriculums.

Health Education – Secondary

The school district will provide health education for seventh through twelfth grade that:

  • meets the state requirements;
  • is taught by qualified teachers;
  • utilizes community support and partnerships;
    • all nutrition education must be delivered by a registered dietitian as a guest speaker and or licensed teacher during classroom and/or extracurricular activities;
  • provides opportunities for students to practice skills;
  • includes curriculum that focuses on wellness and healthy life choices.

Health Education Teachers

  • The school district will encourage health education teachers at both the elementary and secondary level to:
  • collaborate with community public health-related agencies to enhance health education lessons;
  • collaborate with school nutrition and health services to promote health education lessons in addition to the classroom lessons ;
  • develop cross-curricular collaboration with guidance, PE, science and social studies

Professional Development

  •  The school district will provide opportunities for professional development according to the Iowa City Community School District Professional Development Plan.

Health Education Coordinator

  • The school district will provide a health education coordinator to:
  • monitor implementation process of the health education curriculum;
  • emphasize the importance of health education across curriculums;
  • work with teachers to ensure scheduling instruction in health education;
  • work with community agency personnel to provide additional health education;
  • work with teachers to ensure scheduling instruction in health education with allocation of time to adequately fulfill the responsibilities of the position.


General Guidelines

The following nutritional guidelines for food available on school campuses will be adhered to:

  • Meals served through the National School Lunch and School Breakfast Program will be appealing and meet, at a minimum, nutrition requirements established by state and federal law;
  • Schools providing access to healthy foods outside the reimbursable meal programs before school, during school and thirty minutes after school shall meet the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) Smart Snacks in Schools nutrition standards, at a minimum.  This includes such items as those sold through a la carte lines, vending machines, student-run stores, and fundraising activities;
  • Snacks provided to students during the school day without charge (e.g., class parties) will meet standards set by the district. The district will provide on the district website a list of foods and beverages that meet nutrition standards for classroom snacks and celebrations; and
  • Schools will only allow marketing and advertising of foods and beverages that meet the Smart Snacks in School nutrition standards on campus during the school day. 
  • Meal times will be scheduled to allow for students to have at least 10 minutes of seat time at breakfast and 15 minutes at lunch.

Lunches brought from Home

In regards to lunches brought from home, the school district will:

  • encourage students and parents to bring healthy foods and beverages;
  • discourage students from trading foods with each other;
  • encourage students and families to be aware of classroom allergies provided by classroom teachers (elementary).

Snacks, Birthday, Classroom, and Building Celebrations

In regards to snacks being served in the classroom, the school district will:

  • allow healthy snacks to be served in the classroom, especially at the primary level;
  • allow only fresh fruits/vegetables or purchased foods with the ingredients listed;
  • allow only foods that meet the Healthy Food Guidelines/ Smart Snacks which is posted on the district website;
  • not allow foods with peanuts or peanut butter, or food that were made in a factory where cross contamination may occur;
  • all food should be removed from the classroom at the end of each day;
  • encourage celebrations that promote non-food related activities (example: play a game).


The school district will:

  • encourage that healthy foods be sold to students for fund-raising activities, similar to Healthy Food Guidelines /Smart Snacks and;
  • not allow food/beverage sales to occur during the school breakfast or lunch period;
  • allow only foods that meet Healthy Food Guidelines / Smart Snacks to be sold to students during the school day, and up to 30 minutes after school is dismissed;
  • not allow unhealthy foods and beverage advertisements on school grounds.

Rewards and Incentives

The school district will:
  • allow staff to only use non-food items as rewards or incentives to encourage student achievement or desirable behavior;
  • allow an exception to this ONLY if the student’s IEP or other behavior intervention plan includes the use of food. encourage students and families to be aware of classroom allergies provided by classroom teachers (elementary).
  • not withhold food or beverages as a punishment forstudents.


Physical Activity Opportunities after School

Elementary and secondary schools will offer extracurricular physical activity programs, such as physical activity clubs and/or intramural programs.

Schools may offer a range of after-school moderate to vigorous physical activities that meet the needs, interests and abilities of all students including boys, girls, non-binary students, and students with disabilities.

Schools may collaborate with local agencies to promote local, state, and national events that encourage physical activity by students, staff, families, etc.

Integrating Physical Activity into Classroom Settings

Opportunities for physical activity beyond the physical education class may be provided to students. These opportunities may include the following:

  • reinforce the importance of a physically active lifestyle;
  • encourage physical activities over sedentary activities such as watching television, video games, etc
  • provide opportunities for physical activity to be incorporated in all classes when possible;
  • provide short physical activity breaks during or between classes, as appropriate for all ages and developmental levels.


Policy Review

The Wellness Committee (co-facilitated by the Health Services Manager and the Nutritional Services Director) will review the Wellness Policy and monitor progress towards wellness goals at the end of each school year. The information will be provided in the district's annual progress report. A Triennial Assessment will be completed once every 3 years with results posted to the district website.

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