1.      Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to promote increased physical activities for students in grades K-12 and to help students develop the knowledge and skills necessary to perform a variety of physical activities, maintain physical fitness, regularly participate in physical activity, understand the short and long-term benefits of physical activity, and value and enjoy physical activity as an ongoing part of a healthful lifestyle. In addition, the district encourages the staff to participate in and model physical activity as a valuable part of daily life.

2.      Rationale

According to the U.S. Surgeon General, regular physical activity is one of the most important things people can do to maintain and improve their physical health, mental health, and overall well-being. Additionally, regular physical activity prevents adverse health consequences of childhood obesity and reduces the risk of premature death in general and of cardiovascular disease, stroke, high blood pressure, colon cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes in particular. Promoting a physically active lifestyle among young people is important because:


A.  through its effects on mental health, physical activity can help increase students’ capacity for learning and academic success;

B.   physical activity has substantial health benefits for children and adolescents, including favorable effects on endurance capacity, mental health, muscular strength, body weight, and blood pressure; and

C.   positive experiences with physical activity at a young age help lay the foundation for being regularly active throughout life.

3.      Definitions

For the purposes of this policy:

A.  “extracurricular and co-curricular activities” refers to school-sponsored voluntary programs that supplement regular education and contribute to the educational objectives of the school.

B. “health-related physical fitness” refers to cardio respiratory endurance, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and body composition.

C. “interscholastic athletics” refers to organized individual and team sports that involve more than one school.

D. “intramurals” refers to physical activity programs that provide opportunities for all students to participate in sport, fitness, and recreational activities within their own school.

E. “developmentally appropriate daily physical activity” means physical activity that is suitable for the cognitive age and individual characteristics of students.

F. “physical education” refers to the program of physical education in Ed 306.

G. “recess” refers to regularly scheduled periods within the school day for unstructured physical activity and play.

H. “chronic inactivity” means an ongoing sedentary lifestyle.

I. “other related health problems” means:

(1) physical illnesses;

(2) psychological illnesses; and

(3) injuries.

J.    “childhood obesity” means the term used to describe children and teenagers ages 2-20 who are considered overweight because their body mass index as defined by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention is greater than or equal to the 95 percentile.

4.      Components of Policy

School leaders are encouraged to develop and implement a plan that supports physical activity and that may include, but not be limited to the following:

A.  a sequential physical education program that involves moderate to vigorous physical activity on a scheduled basis; teaches knowledge, motor skills, self management skills, and positive attitudes; promotes activities and sports that students enjoy and can pursue throughout their lives; and is coordinated with the health education curriculum;

B. time in the elementary school day for supervised recess with physical activities encouraged;

C. opportunities and encouragement for students to initiate and voluntarily participate in before and after-school physical activity programs, such as intramurals, clubs, and, at the high school level, interscholastic athletics;

D. school support for community recreation and youth sports programs and agencies that complement physical activity programs;

E. opportunities for staff to be physically active;

F. provisions for acquiring adequate resources to include funding, personnel, appropriate equipment and facilities;

G. strategies to involve family members in program development and implementation; and

H.  Strategies to encourage parents and guardians to support their children’s participation in physical activities and to be positive role models for active life styles.


The program should attempt to make effective use of school and community resources and to equitably serve the needs of interested students and staff, taking into consideration differences of gender, cultural norms, physical and cognitive abilities, and fitness levels. Additionally, a school’s developmentally appropriate daily physical activity program as recommended by Ed 310 shall be in addition to and shall not be a replacement for the physical education program requirement in Ed 306 and/or the school district’s policies regarding physical education, extra or co curricular, intramural, and/or interscholastic athletics programs.

Schools may work with recreation agencies and other community organizations to coordinate and enhance opportunities available to students and staff for physical activity during their out-of-school time. Schools are encouraged to negotiate mutually acceptable, fiscally responsible arrangements with community agencies and organizations to keep school- or district-owned facilities open for use by students, staff, and community members during non-school hours and vacations. School policies concerning safety shall apply at all times.



Statutory and Regulartory References

RSA 189.11-a, Food and Nutrition Programs

NH Code of Administrative Rules, Section Ed 303.O1 Duties of the School Board



Adoption Date:           September 8, 2005






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AN ACT requiring school districts to develop a school age nutrition and physical activity committee.


SPONSORS: Rep. Price, Hills 26; Rep. French, Merr 5; Rep. Miller, Straf 7; Rep. Carter, Hills 3; Sen. Foster, Dist 13; Sen. Larsen, Dist 15; Sen. Odell, Dist 8


COMMITTEE:   Education



This bill requires each school district to establish a school age nutrition and physical activity advisory committee to develop policy for nutrition and physical activity.



Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.


23Mar2005... 0559h
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In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Five

AN ACT requiring school districts to develop a school age nutrition and physical activity committee.

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

1 New Paragraph; School Boards; Food and Nutrition Programs. Amend RSA 189:11-a by inserting after paragraph VI the following new paragraph:


(a) Each school board shall establish, maintain, or utilize existing committees to form a school age nutrition and physical activity advisory committee which shall develop school district policy on nutrition and physical activity during the school day. The committee may include food service directors, health education and physical education faculty, school nurses, parents, pupils, nutritionists, health care professionals, a school administration representative, and community members, in such proportions as deemed appropriate and available by the school board. The committee shall submit its policies, recommendations, or reports annually to the school board. A summary of the policy shall be made available in print or electronic form to the community no later than July 1, 2006. When aggregate data on the height, weight, and fitness scores for New Hampshire’s school children is made available to the department of education, the department shall provide a link to such data on its website.

(b) The policy set by the committee shall address the following issues:

(1) Food quality and choices.

(2) Ensuring that all foods made available by school personnel to pupils during the school day, outside of the United States Department of Agriculture school meals program, contribute to a healthy diet.

(3) Approving the sale of all foods on school grounds, including but not limited to school stores, a-la-carte items in cafeterias, school fundraisers involving food sales, vending machines, snacks, and foods teachers sell in class.

(4) Increasing availability of fruits and vegetables in all school-related food sites.

(5) Addressing physical activity of all pupils and recommending that all pupils engage in physical activity throughout the school day.

(6) Promoting physical activity for all pupils that develops the knowledge, attitudes, skills, behavior, and motivation needed to be physically active for life.

2 Effective Date. This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.