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Physical Education – High Schools

The State of Iowa requires all students who are physically able to participate in physical education each semester they are enrolled in school. A student may, however, be excused from this requirement under one of the following exceptions.

Mandatory Exemptions
If a parent files a statement signed by a licensed physician that a student is not physically able to participate in physical education, then the student is exempt from physical education.

If a parent of a student files a written statement with the principal that a physical education course conflicts with the student’s religious belief.

Discretionary Exemptions
12th Grade Students

Off-Campus Educational Program

If a 12th grade student is enrolled in a cooperative, work-study, or other educational program authorized by the District which requires the student’s absence from school during the school day. A student/parent must file a written waiver request with the principal/designee and if the student drops the course, the student must enroll in physical education. This option will be limited to one semester per school year.

If the request is denied, the decision may be appealed to the Deputy Superintendent/designee, whose decision will be final.


Iowa Administrative Code: 281-12.5(5)f
Iowa Code §256.11(5)(g)
Iowa Code §256.11(6)

  • Approved: 08-28-89
  • Approved: 09-11-89
  • Revised: 01-11-93
  • Reviewed: 04-08-96
  • Revised: 10-12-98, 01-14-08, 04-14-14, 03-09-2020
  • Documents: 400.7

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