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Physical Activity

May a school refuse to graduate a student who has not met the physical activity requirement?


No. The physical activity requirement is an accreditation requirement, not a student-specific requirement. Schools are to monitor this requirement, and failure to substantially monitor is an accreditation issue, but individual students are not to be punished.

May a parent ask that the parent's child be exempt from the physical activity requirement?


Yes. The Healthy Kids Acts allows a student to be excused from the physical activity requirement if the child's parent or guardian files a written statement with the school principal stating that the requirement conflicts with their child's religious belief.

What if a student is physically unable to fulfill the physical activity requirement?


That student should be excused by school administrators. The requirement is mandated only for "physically able" students, and determining who is physically able is left to the judgment of local school officials.

May a school refuse to allow non-school activities to count as physical activity?


Yes, but the school may not require students to participate in interscholastic sports or other school activities, and the school must make sure that it offers students the opportunity to meet the physical activity requirement without reducing instructional time for academic courses.

Is "physical activity" synonymous with "physical education?"



While P.E. is a subset of physical activity, physical activity may include many other endeavors. There is no need for a school or school district to add more P.E. instructors to meet this requirement or build more gymnasiums.


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Printed from the Iowa Department of Education website on July 25, 2017 at 1:50pm.