Physical Activity and Wellness

Section I: Instructional Program

Policy Title: Physical Activity and Wellness
Policy Code: IHAM

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Policy Intent/Rationale:
The Tucson Unified School District promotes wellness by supporting good nutrition and regular physical activity as part of the total learning environment. Wellness is defined as the dynamic state of achieving optimal well-being in all the dimensions of health: physical, mental/emotional, and social.

The District supports a healthy environment where children learn and participate in positive dietary and lifestyle practices. Schools contribute to the basic health status of children by facilitating learning through the support and promotion of good nutrition and physical activity. Improved health optimizes student performance potential.

The District supports a work environment where employees are encouraged to embrace healthy lifestyle choices, educational resources are provided, and information about wellness activities is available so that employees can serve as good role models for students.

The District shall provide a comprehensive learning environment for developing and practicing lifelong wellness behaviors.
The entire school environment, not just the classroom, shall be aligned with goals to positively influence a student’s understanding, beliefs and habits as they relate to good nutrition and regular physical activity. A healthy school environment should not be sacrificed because of a dependence on revenue from high fat, high added sugar, low nutrient foods, and food and beverage sales in addition to meals to support school programs.

The District shall support and promote proper dietary habits contributing to students’ health status and academic performance.
All foods and beverages available to students on school grounds before, during, and after the instructional day, except public events, should meet the District Nutrition Standards. Emphasis should be placed on foods that are nutrient dense per calorie. To ensure safe, nutritious foods, consideration of available foods and beverages should be based on national health initiatives, nutrient contribution, variety, appeal, safety, and packaging.

The District shall provide physical education and physical activity opportunities for students.


Physical Education: A course of study which focuses on the learning of sequential skills as set forth in the Arizona State Physical Education Standards.

Structured Recess: Physical Activities which are organized and supervised by the teacher

Unstructured Recess: Free play where the teacher is the monitor.

Physical education and physical activity must be scheduled within the school plan.

Physical Activity

  • Physical activity must be included in a school’s daily educational program for grades pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Physical activity may also include recess that encourages activity, structured and unstructured recess, recreational activities, intramurals, integrated curricular activities, physical activity clubs and interscholastic athletics which allow students to accumulate at least 90 minutes of activity throughout the school week.
  • Each elementary school student in full day kindergarten and grades one through five shall participate in a minimum of 90 minutes of daily physical activity throughout the week with no less than 10 minute sessions. A minimum of 60 minutes a week of structured activity will be required. .

Physical Education

It is recommended that each student in grades K-5 have no less than 60 minutes of Physical Education throughout the week. These minutes may be applied to the minimum of 90 minutes of physical activity required in the week.

As with all physical activity, specific individual adaptations will be addressed through 504 Plans or Individual Education Plans.

Restriction on the Use of Physical Activity

The District shall not:

  1. Use physical activity as punishment;
  2. Withhold participation in physical activity/education as punishment; or
  3. Use physical activity time to complete assignments from other classes.
  4. Recess before and after lunch will not satisfy the requirements of this policy.

District Wellness Committee

The Tucson Unified School District is committed to improve academic performance.
Educators, administrators, parents, health practitioners and communities must consider the critical role student health plays in academic stamina and performance and adapt the school environment to ensure students’ basic nourishment and activity needs are met.

The District shall establish and maintain a District Wellness Committee with the purposes of:

  • developing guidance to explicate this policy
  • monitoring the implementation of this policy
  • evaluating and reporting policy progress
  • serving as a resource to school sites, (e.g. providing lists of healthy snacks for incentives, celebrations and physical activity initiatives, etc.) and
  • recommending revisions to policy as necessary.

The Committee is appointed by the Superintendent and meets a minimum of annually with Committee membership including, but not limited to:

  • District Food Service Director/Manager, Co-Chair
  • Physical Education and Health Program Leader, Co-Chair
  • Committee members shall also include:
  • Physical Education Teacher
  • Coach/Athletic Trainer
  • School Nurse
  • Classroom Teacher
  • Parent Representatives
  • Student Representatives
  • Governing Board Member
  • Administrative Representative
  • Local Community Partners (e.g. Boys & Girls Club, YMCA)

Responsibilities of the District Wellness Committee may include, but not be limited to, oversight of the following:

  • Implementation of district nutrition and physical activity standards.
  • Integration of nutrition and physical activity in the overall curriculum.
  • Assurance that staff professional development includes nutrition and physical activity issues.
  • Assurance that students receive nutrition education and engage in moderate/vigorous physical activity.
  • Promotion of healthful choices among all school venues that involve the availability and/or sale of food and beverages.

On each school campus, schools shall establish a plan for implementation including principal designation of one or more individuals to ensure compliance with standards of the District Wellness Policy. The principal or designee will report on the school’s compliance to the Co-Chairpersons of the District Wellness Committee.

The Director of Food Services will ensure compliance with the nutrition-related components of the policy within the school food service areas and will report to the District Wellness Committee on this matter.

Adopted: June 27, 2006
Revision: August 12, 2014

LEGAL REF.: A.R.S. §15-242 Nutritional Standards
R7-2-301 Minimum Course of Study and Competency Goals for Students in the Common Schools
R7-2-302 Minimum Course of Study and Competency Requirements for Graduation from High School
This policy fulfills the requirements of Section 204 of The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 (Public Law 108-265).

Policy # JJE Student Fund-Raising Activities
Administrative Regulation 1241 Fund Raising (Eliminated 06/13)
Policy # JLD Guidance and Counseling