Last Reviewed by State Dept of Education: 12/1/2012
Contact us with corrections or additions Iowa Last Updated: 6/4/2014
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Curriculum and Instruction
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Health Education
     Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Mandate: Code 256.11 (2005) and 281 IAC 12.5 specifies that schools teach about health topics in grades 1-12, although it does not address amounts of instruction. More detail about the required health instructional topics is included in the school accreditation standards. The policies also mandate that the high school program include one unit of credit of health education, but the state does not require that students complete the course for graduation.

Curriculum Content: 281 IAC 12.5(1) pre-kindergarten program specifies the program shall help children work and play with others, to express themselves, to learn to use and manage their bodies, and to extend their interests and understanding of the world about them. In section 12.5(2) states that the program shall include experiences designed to develop healthy emotional and social habits and protect and increase physical well-being with experiences relating to the development of life skills and human growth and development. The Department of Education provides a list of age-appropriate and research-based materials and resources which schools and school districts may use to update their  human growth and development curricula, including health and wellness literacy. 

State Assessment Requirement: None.

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Physical Education
     Last Updated: 11/22/2010

Mandate: Code 256.11 (2005) requires physical education to be taught in grades 1-12. All students in grades 9-12 are required to participate in physical education activities for at least a 1/8 unit each semester. The Code also requires 1 credit of basic physical education for high school graduation.

281 IAC 12.5 requires students in grades 1-12 to receive instruction in physical education that include movement experience, fitness activities, and sport skills and activities. The code further requires 1 credit of physical education to be offered and taught during the high program.

Iowa's model Wellness Policy (2010), put forth by the Iowa School Board, recommends district wellness policies include a daily physical education for grades K-12.

ExemptionsCode 256.11 (2009) allows for exemptions as follows. Twelfth graders may be excused from the physical education requirement by the school principal if: (1) the student is enrolled in a work-study or other educational program that requires the student to be off school premises during the day, or (2) the student is enrolled in an academic class not otherwise available, or (3) the student participates in an athletic program that requires at least as much time as the physical education requirement. Students in grades 9-12 may be excused if requested by a parent or guardian. These students must then participate in an athletic program that requires at least as much time as the physical education requirement. This is not required if a parent/guardian files a written statement with principal that course or activity conflicts with religious belief.

Curriculum Content: 281 IAC 12.5 outlines the specifics of instruction that students should receive in prekindergarten, kindergarten, and grades 1-12.

Physical Fitness Assessment: None.

Asthma Awareness Education
     Last Updated: 11/30/2008

Not specifically required.

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Emotional, Social, and Mental Health Education
     Last Updated: 11/22/2010

Mandate: 281 IAC 12.5 requires students in grades 1-12 be taught, as part of the overall health curriculum, emotional and social health, stress management, interpersonal relationships, and self-esteem. Kindergarten students are to be exposed to experiences that promote the healthy development of emotional and social habits. Code 256.11 (2009) requires every student to complete a course in cardiopulmonary resuscitation by the end of twelfth grade. Students may be exempted from the requirement if a parent or guardian files a written statement stating a conflict with the student's religious beliefs.

Character Education: Code 256.18 (2009) requires schools to make every effort, formally and informally, to promote character qualities that promote a safe and orderly living environment and equip students to become model citizens. The Department of Education is to assist schools in accessing curricula and funds to meet this requirement.

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HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 12/12/2012

Mandate: Code 279.50 requires each school board to provide instruction in human growth and development including instruction regarding human sexuality as required in section 256.11, in grades one through twelve. Human growth and development instruction includes human sexuality, interpersonal relationships, HPV and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.   

The school accreditation standards, 281 IAC 12.5 requires kindergarten programs to include development of life skills and human growth and development;" elementary programs to include prevention and control of disease, and the characteristics of communicable diseases, including acquired immune deficiency syndrome;" grades 7-8 to include prevention and control of disease and the characteristics of communicable diseases, including sexually transmitted diseases and acquired immune deficiency syndrome;" and grades 9-12 to include, in the mandated one-unit of health education, instruction in sexually transmitted diseases and acquired immune deficiency syndrome, human sexuality, and interpersonal relationships.

Code 256.11 specifies that instruction in seventh and eight grade include age-appropriate and research-based information regarding the characteristics of sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV, and acquired immune deficiency syndrome. The required high school health education course shall include family life; age-appropriate and research-based human growth and development and prevention and control of disease, including age-appropriate and research-based information regarding sexually transmitted diseases, including HPV and the availability of a vaccine to prevent HPV,  and acquired immune deficiency syndrome.

Curriculum Content: The state does not require or suggest that schools follow a specific curriculum. The state does not have limitations on what can or cannot be included in the instruction. The district or school determines the specific curriculum and resources based on community, school needs and research-based information.  The Department of Education provides a list of age-appropriate and research-based materials and resources which schools and school districts may use to update their human growth and development curricula, including regarding sexual exploitation by means of the Internet, health and wellness literacy, sexually transmitted diseases (including HPV), and human sexuality 

Parental Approval: Code 279.50 requires each school board to annually provide to a parent or guardian of any pupil enrolled in the school district information about the human growth and development curriculum used in the pupil's grade level and the procedure for inspecting the instructional materials prior to their use in the classroom. A pupil shall not be required to take instruction in human growth and development if the pupil's parent or guardian files with the appropriate principal a written request that the pupil be excused from the instruction. ("Opt out policy"). Notification that the written request may be made shall be included in the information provided by the school district.

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Nutrition Education
     Last Updated: 10/30/2011

281 IAC 12.5 (2001) requires schools to provide instruction in health education to all students in grades 1-12, including instruction in personal health and food and nutrition. Iowa Association of School Boards  School Board Association model Wellness Policy (2010), put forth by the State Board, also recommends nutrition education be addressed at every grade level.

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Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drug Use Education
     Last Updated: 11/23/2010

Alcohol: The school accreditation standards, 281 IAC 12.5 require elementary and middle students to receive instruction on the effects of alcohol on the human body. At the high school level, students receive instruction on substance abuse and nonuse.

Tobacco: The school accreditation standards, 281 IAC 12.5, require elementary and middle students to receive instruction on the effects of tobacco on the human body. At the high school level, students receive instruction on substance abuse and nonuse.

Drugs: The school accreditation standards, 281 IAC 12.5, require elementary and middle students to receive instruction on the effects of drugs on the human body. At the high school level, students receive instruction on substance abuse and nonuse.

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Injury and Violence Prevention Education
     Last Updated: 11/23/2010

Code 280.9B requires the department of education to contract with a law-related education agency that serves the state and provides a comprehensive plan to develop violence prevention program based on law-related education for grades K-12, provide training for teachers and administrators, and develop school-community partnerships.

Bullying/Harassment: Code 256.9(49) requires the director of the Department of Education to develop and make available to school districts, examples of age-appropriate and research-based materials and lists of resources which parents may use to teach their children to recognize unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances, to not make unwanted physical and verbal sexual advances, to effectively reject unwanted sexual advances, and other topics related to the dangers of sexual exploitation and sexual harassment.

Fighting/Gangs: Not specifically required.

Suicide and Other Self-Abuse Prevention: Not specifically required.

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Staff
Requirements for All Educators Regarding Health Education
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Professional Development: Iowa Association of School Board's sample Wellness Policy (2010), put forth by the State Board, includes training for teachers and staff on nutrition education and promotion. Code 279.50 requires each area education agency periodically to offer staff development for teachers in human growth and development.

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Requirements for Health Educators
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Pre-service Requirement: The specific details of initial licensure are outlined in 282 IAC13.28. The minimum requirement for health teachers prior to licensure is a bachelor's degree and a course in methods and materials of teaching health per 282 IAC 13. Teachers specifically endorsed in pre-kindergarten through kindergarten are required to take developmentally appropriate curriculum with emphasis on integrated health, safety, child and family health and nutrition, and health, safety and nutrition.  The requirement for health teachers in middle and high school is a bachelor's degree with at least 30 credit hours in health per 282 IAC 13.  K-12 health educators must complete 24 semester hours in public or community health, consumer health, substance abuse, family life education, mental/emotional health, and human nutrition. according to Requirements for Teaching Endorsements.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for Physical Educators
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Pre-service Requirement282 IAC13.28 states that the minimum requirement for a physical education K-12 basic teacher license and physical education endorsement is the completion of 24 semester hours in physical education, elementary school physical education, human growth and development related to children's physical education, and first aid and emergency care. Grades 5-12 requires coursework in human anatomy, kinesiology, human physiology, human growth and development related to maturational and motor learning, adapted physical education, curriculum and administration of physical education , assessment process in physical education, and first aid and emergency care.

Professional Development: None specified.

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Requirements for School Nurses
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Schools and school districts are required to employ a school nurse  per Code 256.11(9B) (2007). The school registered nurse must have a registered nurse (RN) license from the board of nursing, and may be employed, shared, or contracted. 282 IAC 16.7 Special education nurse SPR  provides services with pupils requiring special education, birth to 21. Requirements include a baccalaureate in nursing or a master's degree in nursing, current licensure by the board of nursing, two years experience in public health nursing including service to schools or as a school nurse. Legalization is through a statement of professional recognition (SPR) and not through teacher licensure. The licensed practical nurse may provide nursing care in a non-acute care setting with the supervision of a registered nurse or physician in the same building or for one individual when delegated and supervised by a registered nurse.

Pre-service Requirement: Code 256.11(9B) requires registered nurse licensure on file to be employed as a school nurse.  281 IAC 12.4(12) (2001) School nurse SPR requires registered nurse licensure and a baccalaureate degree.

Professional Development: No specific requirement.

Student-to-Nurse Ratio: Code 256.11(9B) (2007) does not require a specified ratio, however it states that every school shall "work toward the goal of having one school nurse for every 750 students enrolled in the school district."

Requirements for Non-Certified Personnel to Administer Medication
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Pre-service Requirement: Code 280.23 (2005) states that The board of each public school district and nonpublic school shall not require non-administrative personnel to perform any special health services or intrusive non-emergency medical services for students unless the non-administrative personnel are licensed or otherwise qualified and have consented to perform the services". 

281 IAC 41.404(1-2) and 281 IAC 41.404(3)  requires each local school board or authority in charge of an accredited nonpublic school to adopt policies allowing licensed registered nurses, physicians, and persons who have successfully completed a training program to administer medications, per Codes 124.101, 147.107, 155A.4(2), 657 IAC 8.32.

Professional Development281 IAC 41.404(1-2) and 41.404(3) requires each local school board or authority in charge of an accredited nonpublic school to adopt policies and procedures for a medication administration course, periodic update, and maintain a school record of successful completion of a school medication administration course.

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Requirements for School Counselors
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Pre-service Requirement: 282 IAC 13.28  (26-27) require elementary and secondary school counselors to have a master's degree from an accredited institution of higher education, completed an approved human relations component, and completed an approved exceptional learner component. Elementary and secondary counselors must also complete 12 specified course and experience sequences, specified for both levels of counseling in this code. A 500-hour practicum in a classroom setting is one of those required sequences for both levels of counseling. Further information provided in 282 IAC 13.28 and 282 IAC 27 professional service license endorsements. Further details are also provided in the Requirements for Teaching Endorsements.

Professional Development: 282 IAC 17.5 (2005) requires six credits of graduate or undergraduate credit from a regionally accredited institution which adds greater depth/breadth to the school counselor endorsement or leads toward a doctoral degree. 

Student-to-Counselor Ratio: Code 256.11(9A) requires each district to work toward the goal of one guidance counselor for every three hundred fifty students. The Iowa Comprehensive Guidance and Counseling Program Development Guide recommends a 250:1 ratio for grades K-Community College.

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Requirements for School Psychologists
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Pre-service Requirement282 IAC 27 professional service license endorsement requires a 60 graduate credit master's degree, a 60 graduate credit specialist's degree, the completion of a National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) or American Psychological Association (APA) approved graduate school psychology program, or certification as a Nationally Certified School Psychologist by the NASP. School psychologists are also required to have completed a practicum in a school setting, completed an approved human relations component, and have training that contributes to the education of students with gifts and talents and those with disabilities.

Professional Development: 282 IAC 20.3; 27.5 lists requirements for license renwal, and requires six credits of graduate or undergraduate credit from a regionally accredited institution which adds greater depth/breadth to the school psychologist endorsement or leads toward a doctoral degree.

Student-to-Psychologist Ratio:  None specified.

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Requirements for School Social Workers
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Pre-service Requirement: 282 IAC 15.3(15) (2004) requires a master's degree in social work from an accredited school of social work, which must include at least 20 credit hours in six specific areas in the fields of social work and education. A school social worker must also have completed an approved human relations component and have training that contributes to the education of students with gifts and talents and those with disabilities. 282 IAC 17.5 (2005) requires six credits of graduate or undergraduate credit from a regionally accredited institution which adds greater depth/breadth to the school social worker endorsement or leads toward a doctoral degree. Code 154C.3 (2003) also requires all social workers to renew their licenses biennially by participating in continuing education activities.

Professional Development: None specified.

Student-to-Social Worker Ratio: None specified.

Requirements for Food Service Personnel
     Last Updated: 11/24/2010

Pre-service Requirement: None.

Professional Development: Iowa Association of School Board's model Wellness Policy (2010), put forth by the State Board, recommends food service staff be provided with continuing professional development. Districts should also provide staff development programs that include certification and training programs for child nutrition directors, nutrition managers, and cafeteria workers.

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Requirements for Athletic Coaches
     Last Updated: 11/24/2010

Pre-service Requirement: The minimum requirement for a K-12 athletic coach is a teacher's license and an endorsement as an athletic coach. Details are provided in Code 279.19B (2005), 282 IAC  13.28(29).

Professional Development: None specified.

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Health Promoting Environment
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Wellness Policies
     Last Updated: 10/31/2011

Additional Accountability Requirements: None

Additional Content Requirements: None

Guidance Materials: The Iowa Association of School Boards provides a model wellness policy and additional support materials. Iowa State University, working with the Iowa Department of Education, developed an online web tool that schools can use for self-assessment.

Other: None

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School Meals Program
     Last Updated: 7/31/2013

281 IAC 58.7 requires districts to provide lunch programs for all students who attend public school 4 or more hours each school day. Code 256.7(29) requires establishing nutritional content standards for foods and beverages provided on school grounds during the school day. Code 256.7(57) requires convening a nutrition advisory panel to submit nutritional standard recommendations to the state board. Iowa Code 256.7(58) requires providing nutritional content standards and monitoring compliance. 281 IAC 58 outlines school breakfast and lunch program nutritional content standards for other foods and beverages.

Adequate Time to Eat: No state policy.

School Breakfast281 IAC 58.6 (2002) allows school districts to provide a school breakfast program at all schools in the district.

Food Allergies: No state policy.

     Last Updated: 11/24/2010
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Farm-to-School: Code 190A.1-190A.4 (2007) establishes a farm to school program to encourage and promote the purchase of locally and regionally produced or processed food. The program seeks to link elementary and secondary public and nonpublic schools with farms to provide schools with fresh and minimally processed food for inclusion in school meals and snacks, to encourage children to develop healthy eating habits, and provide farmers access to consumer markets. The program may include activities that provide students with hands-on learning opportunities, such as farm visits, cooking demonstrations, and school gardening and composting programs. The statute also establishes a council charged with establishing partnerships between public agencies, nonprofit organizations and schools and with seeking out financial or in-kind contributions to the program.

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Competitive Foods in School
     Last Updated: 6/4/2014

State Board of Education Rule 281 IAC 58.9-11 (2009)  restricts the sale of a la carte, vending and regulated fundraising as follows:

  • Food and beverages listed as a part of a NSLP reimbursable meal may be sold in the same portion size and frequency a la carte without having to meet the Healthy Kids Act Nutritional Content Standards. Items not offered as part of a reimbursable meal must meet all standards listed below.
  • Calories for entrees may not exceed 400 
  • Calories for sides may not exceed 200 calories
  • Sodium for entrees may not exceed 600 mg (480 mg by 2014)
  • Sodium for sides may not exceed 400 mg (200 mg by 2014)
  • Saturated fat may not exceed 10% (excluding reduced fat cheese)
  • Trans fat may not exceed 0.5 gm/serving
  • Total fat may not exceed 35% calories (excluding nuts, seeds, nut butters and reduced fat cheese)
  • Sugar may not exceed 35% calories (excluding fruits and yogurts)
  • 50% of grains offered must be whole grain


Beverages in a la carte, vending and regulated fundraising are restricted to the following:
 

  • Milk - low fat/nonfat regular, low fat/nonfat flavored with no nonnutritive sweeteners, <27 gm sugar/8 oz (2014), <24 gm sugar/8oz (2017), <22 gm sugar/8 oz (2020)
  • 100% Fruit/Vegetable Juice with no added sweeteners
  • Water with no added nonutritive sweeteners
  • No sports drinks or flavored water for elementary students during the school day
  • No caffeinated beverages for elementary students during the school day, with the exception of beverages that contain trace amounts of naturally occurring caffeine-related substances (e.g., chocolate milk).
  • No sodas or carbonated beverages are to be made available to any students during the school day.

The model Wellness Policy (2010), put forth by the Iowa Association of School Boards recommends district wellness policies to include school food nutrition requirements and guidelines for all foods available on campus.

 

Fundraising Exemptions:

As of July 1, 2014, all fundraisers must meet USDA's Smart Snacks standards.

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Physical Activity Other Than Physical Education
     Last Updated: 12/20/2010

General Physical Activity Requirement: Iowa Code 256.11(6) (2009)  requires physically able students in K-5 to engage in physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes per school day, grades 6-12 minimum of 120 minutes per week. Exemptions may be granted on the basis of conflict with religious beliefs, upon a written request from a parent. For students in grades 6-12, the requirement may be met by participation in interscholastic athletics, school-sponsored marching band, show choir, dance, drill, cheer or similar activities, specified nonschool sports activities, or similar endeavors that involve movement, manipulation or exertion of the body.

Recess or Physical Activity Breaks: The model Iowa Association of School Board's model Wellness Policy (2010), include a physical activity component. Specifically, at least 20 minutes a day of recess are recommended, preferably outdoors, that encourages moderate vigorous activity and discourages more than two hours of inactivity a day. The policy also recommends withholding recess should not be used as a tool for punishment.

Recess Before Lunch: No state policy.

Walking/Biking to School: No state policy.

Organized Sports
     Last Updated: 8/17/2011

Interscholastic Athletics: 281 IAC 36.14 prescribes rules for participation in extracurricular athletic competition. 281 IAC 36.15 prescribes the eligibility requirements. Code 280.13 does not allow a public school to participate in any extracurricular interscholastic athletic contest unless the organization is registered with the department of education.

Concussion and Sports Related Head Injury: Code 280.13C requires the Iowa high school athletic association and the Iowa girls high school athletic union to work together to distribute the CDC guidelines and other information to inform and educate coaches, students, and parents and guardians of students of the risks, signs, symptoms, and behaviors consistent with a concussion or brain injury, including the danger of continuing to play after suffering a concussion or brain injury and their responsibility to report such signs, symptoms, and behaviors if they occur. It requires the parent or guardian and student to annually sign and return a concussion and brain injury information sheet (provided by each district and non-public school) prior to the student’s participation in any extracurricular interscholastic activity for grades 7-12. If a student’s coach or contest official observes signs, symptoms, or behaviors consistent with a concussion or brain injury in an extracurricular interscholastic activity, the student must be immediately removed from participation. The student may not return to participate until they have been evaluated by a licensed health care provider trained in the evaluation and management of concussions and other brain injuries, and have received written clearance.

Automated External Defibrillator (AED): No state policy.

Safe and Drug-Free Schools
     Last Updated: 11/29/2010

The Department of Education's sample Policy on Student Bullying & Harassment states that, the school district is committed to providing all students with a safe and civil school environment in which all members of the school community are treated with dignity and respect". Further, Code 279.58 (2005) allows school districts to implement dress code policies if deemed necessary for the health, safety, or positive educational environment of students and staff in the school environment."

281 IAC 11.3(2) (2003) requires persistently dangerous schools" to review, and possibly implement a remedial plan for, their school safety plan and prevention activities, per PL 107-110 (2001). 281 IAC 11.4 (2003) also allows any student who is the victim of a violent crime in or on school ground to transfer to another, safe school within the district. Also, any student enrolled in a persistently dangerous school" has the right to transfer to a safe school within the district.

Fighting/Gangs: Code 723A.3 (2005) makes it a class C felony to solicit, recruit, entice, or intimidate a minor into joining a criminal street gang. Further, it is a class D felony to conspire to solicit, recruit, entice, or intimidate a minor into joining a criminal street. Code 279.58  allows school districts to implement dress code policies prohibiting the wearing of gang-related apparel.

281 IAC 12.3(6) requires school boards to adopt student responsibility and discipline policies, which must address violent, destructive, and seriously disruptive behavior. 

Weapons: 281 IAC 12.3(6) requires school boards to adopt student responsibility and discipline policies, which must address weapons. Code 280.21B (2005) conforms to the Federal Gun-Free Schools Act. Code 724.4B (2005) further prohibits any person to be armed with, carry, or transport any firearm, concealed or not, on public or nonpublic school grounds. Violation of this statute is a class D felony. Code 280.17B (2005) requires public and nonpublic schools to have procedures for continued involvement with and reintegration of a student suspended or expelled for possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises.

Drugs and Alcohol: 281 IAC 12.3(6) requires school boards to adopt student responsibility and discipline policies, which must address the use or possession of alcoholic beverages and controlled substances.  Code 279.9 Prohibits use or possession of tobacco, alcoholic beverages, or any controlled substance as defined in section 124.101, subsection 5, by any student of the schools and the board may suspend or expel a student for a violation of a rule under this section.

Code 280.24 (1997) requires the board of directors of each public school and the authorities in charge of each accredited nonpublic school [to] prescribe procedures to report any use or possession of alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer or any controlled substance on school premises to local law enforcement agencies, if the use or possession is in violation of school policy or state law". 

Collaboration with Law Enforcement: Code280.17A (2005) requires public and non-public schools to have procedures requiring school officials to report to local law enforcement agencies any dangerous weapon possessed on school premises". Code 280.25 (2005) also requires public and accredited nonpublic schools to adopt a policy, and the superintendent of each public school to adopt rules, which allow for the sharing of information contained within a student's permanent record pursuant to an interagency agreement with state and local agencies that are part of the juvenile justice system. Code 279.9B (1997) requires schools to notify juvenile courts of unexcused absences, suspensions or expulsions of students under court supervision or probation.

Bullying, Harassment and Hazing
     Last Updated: 3/30/2012

Bullying/Harassment: Code 280.28 (2007) requires school districts and accredited nonpublic schools to adopt a policy declaring harassment and bullying in schools, on school property, and at any school function, or school-sponsored activity regardless of its location, as against state and school policy. Bullying and harassment is defined as follows: any electronic, written, verbal, or physical act or conduct toward a student which is based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the criteria outlined in the statute.The statement must include the following provisions:  (1) A statement that school employees, volunteers, and students in school, on school property, or at any school function or school sponsored activity shall not engage in harassing and bullying behavior or reprisal, retaliation, or false accusation against a victim, witness, or an individual who has reliable information about an act of harassment or bullying, (2) A definition of harassment and bullying as set forth in the Act, (3) A description of the type of behavior expected relative to prevention measures, reporting, and investigation of harassment or bullying, (4) The consequences and appropriate remedial action for a person who violates the policy, (5) Procedures for reporting an act of harassment or bullying, (6) Procedures for the prompt investigation of complaints, and (7) A statement of the manner in which the policy will be publicized.

The Department of Education 's sample Policy on Student Bullying & Harassment prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization based on real or perceived race, sex, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and/or personality characteristics". 

281 IAC 12.3(6) (2001) requires school boards to adopt student responsibility and discipline policies, which must address the harassment of or by students and staff. Code 19B.12 (2005) prohibits any state employee from sexually harassing another state employee or a person attending a state educational institution.

CyberbullyingSchool Anti-bullying and Anti-Harassment Act (2007) includes in the definition of "bullying or harassment" any "electronic act...or conduct toward a student based on any actual or perceived trait or characteristic of the student and which creates an objectively hostile school environment that meets one or more of the criteria outlined in the statute.

Hazing: Code 708.10 (2005) states that hazing, as defined in detail within this statute, is a simple misdemeanor offense, unless serious bodily harm is incurred, in which case the act is a serious misdemeanor offense. Furthermore, the Department of Education's sample Policy on Student Bullying & Harassment prohibits harassment, bullying, hazing, or any other victimization based on real or perceived race, sex, creed, color, national origin, religion, marital status, disability, sexual orientation, physical appearance, and/or personality characteristics".

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Crisis Management/Emergency Response
     Last Updated: 11/29/2010

Response and Management Plans: No state policy.

Reporting Incidents of Violence: Code 280.17A (2005) requires public schools to have procedures of reporting the possession of a dangerous weapon on school premises to law enforcement agencies. 281 IAC 11.5 (2003) requires school districts to report data and requested information related to violent criminal offenses, per PL 107-110 (2001). Code 280.24 (1997) requires the board of directors of each public school and the authorities in charge of each accredited nonpublic school [to] prescribe procedures to report any use or possession of alcoholic liquor, wine, or beer or any controlled substance on school premises to local law enforcement agencies, if the use or possession is in violation of school policy or state law".

Code 280.27 (2005) states that any school employee of a district, accredited nonpublic school, or area education agency who participates in good faith and acts reasonably in the making a report to, or investigation by, an appropriate person or agency regarding violence, threats of violence, or other inappropriate activity against a school employee or student in a school building, on school grounds, or at a school-sponsored function" is immune from any liability.

Tobacco Use
     Last Updated: 11/29/2010

Code 142D requires smoke free air with penalties. Prohibits smoking in school districts and anywhere on school grounds. Code 279.9 prohibits the use of tobacco by any student and allows the local board to suspend or expel a student for violation of this code. The school accreditation standards, 281 IAC 12.3(6), requires school boards to adopt student responsibility and discipline policies on the use of tobacco.

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Air Quality
     Last Updated: 1/9/2011

Green Cleaning: Code 8A.318 (2010) encourages all school districts to conform to an environmentally preferable cleaning policy designed to facilitate the purchase and use of environmentally preferrable cleaning and maintenance products. The law also directs all public school districts (as well as other state institutions) to conduct an evaluation and assessment regarding implementation of an environmentally preferable cleaning policy. Following the assessment, by July 2012, school districts are required to purchase only cleaning and maintenance products identified by the state Department of Administrative Services or products that meet nationally recognized standards.

281 IAC 44.4(10) (1998) requires the construction of school buses to be reasonably dustproof.

Pesticide Use
     Last Updated: 8/6/2009

No state policy specifically regarding schools. However Administrative Code 21-45.50 requires pesticide applicators to post a notification within 24 hours of applying pesticides in urban areas in municipalities. This includes on school property.

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Playground/Facility Safety
     Last Updated: 11/25/2008

Code 300.1 (2005) allows school districts to establish and maintain public recreation places and playgrounds for children and adults in the public school buildings and grounds.

Shared Use Agreements
     Last Updated: 4/14/2013

Codes 350.1-350.8 create a county conservation board and authorize counties to acquire, develop, maintain, and make available parks, preserves, parkways, playgrounds, recreational centers, and other areas to provide adequate programs of public recreation. Local boards of education may grant use of any buildings, grounds, or equipment of the district to any county conservation board for the purpose of carrying out provisions of this chapter whenever their use will not interfere with the use of the buildings, grounds, and equipment for any purpose of the public school system. A county conservation board may join with any other county board and may enter into agreement with each other; school districts may aid and cooperate with any county conservation board or any combination of boards in equipping, operating, and maintaining parks, preserves, parkways, playgrounds, and recreation centers, and for providing, conducting, and supervising programs of activities, and may appropriate money for such purposes.

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Student Services
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Screening for Health Conditions
     Last Updated: 11/29/2010

Vision and Hearing: Code 280.7A (2009) requires schools to provide each parent who registers a child for kindergarten to provide each parent who registers a child for kindergarten a student vision card, with the goal of every child receiving an eye exam by age seven. 281 IAC 41.304(3)  requires schools to collect information, and if appropriate assessment or evaluation of vision and hearing, prior to enrollment in special education. 

Chronic Health Conditions: IAC 281 41.405 (256B) requires school policy and procedures for special health services. Individuals requiring special health services shall receive special health services along with their educational program.

Body Mass Index (BMI) Screening: No state policy.

Dental:  Code 135.17 and 641 IAC 51 (2007) mandate that parents or guardians of elementary students must provide evidence to the school district or nonpublic elementary school of the child having a dental screening performed by a licensed medical professional (nurse, physician, physician assistant sometime between ages three and six.  A parent or guardian of a high school student must provide evidence of a dental screening preformed by a dental professional (hygienist or dentist) within the prior year. The Department of Public Health may specify the procedures that constitute a dental screening and authorize a waiver signed by a licensed medical professional for a person who is unduly burdened by the screening requirement. In addition, the screening requirement shall not apply to a person who submits an affidavit signed by the student (if an adult) or, if a minor, the student's parent or legal guardian, stating that the dental screening conflicts with a genuine and sincere religious belief.

Lead:  Code 135.102 (2007) requires that all children receive a blood lead test for elevated blood levels for lead prior to the age of six and before enrolling in any elementary school. The requirement may be waived if the department determines the child is at very low risk of elevated blood levels, or if the parent or legal guardian submits an affidavit stating that the blood testing conflicts with a genuine and sincere religious belief.

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Administration of Medications
     Last Updated: 10/13/2013

Staff Administration: 281 IAC 41.404(1-3) requires local boards to establish policies and procedures that address the administration of prescription and non-prescription medication, an individual health plan, the persons permitted to administer medication including individuals who demonstrate competency may self-administer their own medication, a course on the administration of medication, properly labeled medication containers, record-keeping of medication administration, storage of medication, a written statement by a parent or guardian requesting individual co-administration of medication, emergency protocols, and confidentiality of information. Medication Management in Iowa Schools provides additional guidance.

Self-Administration of Asthma Medication: Code 280.16 (2005) authorizes schools to permit the self-administration of medication by a student with asthma or other airway constricting diseases provided that parental or guardian authorization and a statement by the student's physician containing information about the name and purpose of the medication, the prescribed dosage, and the times or special circumstances under which the medication shall be administered are given. In addition, the code protects the school district and its employees from incurring any liability for any improper use of medication by a student when self-medicating.

Self-Administration of  Anaphylaxis Medication: Code 280.16 (2005) authorizes schools to permit the self-administration of medication by a student with asthma or other airway constricting diseases provided that parental or guardian authorization and a statement by the student's physician containing information about the name and purpose of the medication, the prescribed dosage, and the times or special circumstances under which the medication shall be administered are given. In addition, the code protects the school district and its employees from incurring any liability for any improper use of medication by a student when self-medicating.

Psychotropic Medications: Use school medication administration policy and procedures. No specific state policy. 

Storage and Record-keeping281 IAC 41.404(1-3) requires each local school board or authority in charge of an accredited nonpublic school to adopt policies for medication to be stored in a secure area and to maintain written records of administration.

Medical Emergencies281 IAC 41.404(3) requires each local school board or authority in charge of an accredited nonpublic school to adopt policies requiring emergency protocols for medication-related reactions.

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Counseling and Mental Health Services
     Last Updated: 11/29/2010

Requirement to Provide Services: No state policy.

Identification of Students with Mental or Emotional Disorders: 281 IAC 41.301(6) requires each public agency to conduct a full and individual intiaal evaluation in accordance with rules 41.305 and 41.306 before the initial provision of special education and related services to a child with disability. The purpose of the evaluation is to determine the educational interventions that are required to resolve the presenting problem, behaviors of concern, or suspected disability, including whether the educational interventions are special education. 

Substance Abuse: Code 808A places significant restrictions on the search of a student by a school employee. It is a violation of chapter 808A to subject all students to a breathalyzer as a condition of entry into a school activity, such as a dance or athletic contest. School officials have the right to use a breath test when officials has a reasonable suspicion that the student has been consuming alcohol. 

Suicide Prevention: No state policy.

HIV, STD, and Pregnancy Testing and Counseling: According to code 139A.35, a minor seeking diagnosis or treatment for a sexually transmitted disease or infection has the legal capacity to act and give consent for medical care and service. Iowa Code 141A Consent, testing, reporting, penalties, and confidentiality. 

Immunity of Liability: Sain v. Cedar Rapids Community School District, 626 N.W.2d 115  (Iowa 2001) states that school counselors can be held liable for negligent misrepresentation if they give bad or inaccurate advice that the student then relies on to his or her financial detriment.

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Immunization
     Last Updated: 5/18/2011

Detailed, current information about immunization requirements by state is maintained by the National Network for Immunization Information.  Select your state from the drop down box under Search for State Vaccine Requirements for School Entry."

Exemptions: Code 139A.8 and 641 IAC 7 allows exemption from immunization requirements under the following circumstances: (1) The student (if over 18) or the student's parent or guardian submits a signed statement from a licensed physician, advanced practice nurse practitioner, or physician assistant stating the required immunizations would be injurious to the health and well-being of the applicant or any member of the applicant's family, or  (2) The student (if over 18) or the student's parent or guardian submits a signed affidavit stating that immunization conflicts with the tenets and practices of a recognized religious denomination of which the applicant is an adherent or member.  Exemptions from immunization do not apply in times of emergency or epidemic as declared by the state board of health and the director of public health. 

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Accommodation
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Staff with HIV
     Last Updated: 11/30/2008

No state policy.

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Students with HIV
     Last Updated: 11/30/2008

No state policy.

Pregnant or Parenting Students
     Last Updated: 11/30/2008

Iowa has no state law or administrative rule that specifically addresses attendance for pregnant or parenting students, nor does the state require districts to offer alternative programs for such students. However, the school accreditation standards, 281 IAC 12.5(13) requires each district to provide for the needs of at-risk students.

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Individual Health Plan for Students
     Last Updated: 12/21/2008

281 IAC 41.404  requires each agency providing special education services to establish policies and procedures on individual health plans for students who require ongoing professional health evaluations when administering medication. 281 IAC 41.404-405 requires the each agency to adopt policy and procedures for special health services including an individual written health plan and emergency plan.

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Coordination/ Implementation
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Coordinating or Advisory Councils
     Last Updated: 11/29/2010

State-level: S.F. 2251 (2006) required the department of education and the department of public health to convene a healthy children task force to assess current policy and statutes affecting the health of children specifically physical activity, physical education, food and nutrition, and nutrition education for children ages 3 through 18. Link to the report to the Governor and General Assembly. 

Local-level: 281 IAC 12.8 requires schools to appoint and charge a school improvement advisory committee to make recommendations to the school board. The recommendations must address harassment or bullying prevention goals, programs, training, and other initiatives.

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School Health Program Coordinators
     Last Updated: 5/6/2009

State-level: Code 80E.1 (2003) states that the drug policy coordinator, appointed by the governor, shall coordinate and monitor all statewide narcotics enforcement efforts, coordinate and monitor all state and federal substance abuse treatment grants and programs, coordinate and monitor all statewide substance abuse prevention and education programs in communities and schools, and engage in such other related activities as required by law".

Local-level: No state policy.

Confidentiality
     Last Updated: 11/29/2010

Student Health-Related Records281 IAC 12.3(4) school accredidation standards require schools to establish and maintain a system of student records including confidentiality that complies with the provisions of the Federal FERPA law. The cumulative record provides a continuous and current record of significant information on progress and growth including physical and health record. 281 IAC 41.123 requires each agency providing special education and related services to establish policies and procedures regarding confidentiality of personally identifiable information. 281 IAC 41.404 requires policy and procedures. 281 IAC 41.610.62 specifies confidential protections and 41.1002(4) confidentiality of preappeal discussions.

Student Health-Related Services: Code 22.7 states that all medical records and personal information in records regarding a student, prospective student, or former student maintained, created, collected or assembled by or for a school corporation or educational institution maintaining such records are confidential. 281 IAC 12.3(4) requires school boards to adopt student confidentiality policies for school records, including physical and health, in accordance with federal FERPA regulations.

Code 228.2 states that mental health professionals, data collectors, and employees or agents of a mental health professional, facility, or data collector may not disclose or permit the disclosure of mental health information without informed consent. Code 228.2 does allow disclosure if the student's parent, if a minor, gives consent by signing a voluntary written authorization.

Limitations on Student Surveys
     Last Updated: 11/30/2008

No state policy.

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