State Board of Education adopts new physical education, health standards for Iowa schools
DES MOINES – Members of the State Board of Education today adopted new physical education and health standards for students in kindergarten through high school.
The board adopted, based on an Iowa team’s recommendations, statewide standards that will provide a foundation for Iowa school districts to implement high-quality health and physical education programs. The standards are optional for Iowa schools.
"Physical education and health are an integral part of a full education," said board president Brooke Axiotis. "Academic standards in these two disciplines strengthen instruction and help students build knowledge and skills to be healthy and active for life."
The Physical Education and Health Standards Review Team, comprised of Iowa health and physical education teachers, administrators, teacher leaders and community organizations, recommended that Iowa’s standards come from the Society of Health and Physical Educators (SHAPE) America standards and the National Health Education Standards.
"Physical education and health are an important part of academics,” said Brian Rhoads, a West Des Moines physical education teacher, teacher leader and co-chair of the standards review team. “They relate positively to increased academic performance and affect the lifelong health and well-being of the whole child. This makes physical education and health essential for all."
In addition to input from team members, public input was sought through a series of public forums and an online survey.
The health and physical education standards indicate what a student should know and be able to do at each grade level.
“Quality instructional programs in physical education and health are essential for building skills, advancing knowledge and contributing to dispositions toward physical activity at all stages of life,” the report states. “In addition, physical education and health programs provide the knowledge and skills to support the development of social-emotional learning.”
Health and physical education will join other academic disciplines that already have both voluntary and required standards. Standards are required in science, social studies, English language arts, mathematics and 21st Century skills (employability skills; and civic, financial, health and technology literacy). Voluntary standards include fine arts and computer science.
For more information, visit the Physical Education and Health Standards Review Team’s webpage.