606 Policy: Selection and Review of Instructional Resources
- 600: Education Programs
|Policy Adopted: 3-29-79
It is the policy of I.S.D. 834 that it recognizes the need for providing quality instructional resources which support I.S.D. 834’s Mission, Core Values, and instructional program.
Resources shall enhance learning and critical thinking and promote tolerance, respect, and understanding of all individuals and groups. Resources shall be selected to bring connection, articulation, and focus to the teaching process.
The I.S.D. 834 Board of Education is legally responsible for the operation of the schools. Resources selected shall be consistent with I.S.D. 834’s Mission and Core Values and contribute to the instructional program for which they will be used.
The I.S.D. 834 Board of Education directs the Superintendent/designee to implement rules and procedures which provide for:
Definition of instructional resources:
Materials to support the instructional process (Rule I)
Responsibility for selection:
Delegated to certified teaching personnel by the school board (Rule II)
Criteria for selection:
Resources selected based on specific criteria (Rule III)
Procedures for selection/use/retention (Rule IV)
Instructional Resources Review and Request for Alternative Instruction
Opportunity for curriculum review and request for alternative instruction
Challenge procedure (Rule VI)
Process to challenge selected resources
Guidelines pertaining to overdue, damaged, or lost materials (Rule VII)
ADMINISTRATIVE PROCEDURES AND REGULATIONS
- Definition of Instructional Resources:
Instructional resources are defined as anything which is read, listened to, manipulated, observed or used by students as part of the instructional process in classroom and in school-sponsored activities.
Instructional resources include, but are not limited to books, periodicals, films/ videos, Internet, television programs, and other print, non-print, electronic resources, and field trips and speakers.
- Responsibility for Selection:
The responsibility for the selection of instructional resources is delegated to certified teaching personnel. Responsibility for coordinating and recommending selection and procurement of textbooks and other instructional resources rests with the appropriate teacher(s), library media specialist, department chairperson, curriculum committees, and the district Director of Curriculum and Instruction. The school board of Independent School District 834 recognizes that the freedom to choose from a wide range of instructional resources is an integral part of a free society. Teachers, by virtue of their training and experience, are best qualified to select instructional resources for use with
their students. Teachers will select instructional resources for use with their students as defined by criteria for selection/use/retention in Rule III.
Material known to be controversial, which is relevant to the course content, may be introduced into classroom presentations and discussions after consultations with and approval by the building principal.
All certificated personnel in the district will follow the procedures for selection of resources as set forth in this policy. School district support is assured to the extent that the rules and procedures stated in this policy are followed.
- Criteria for Selection/Use/Retention:
Resources which are selected/used/retained will:
- be consistent with District 834’s Mission and Core Values
- be quality materials, appropriate to the level of instruction and pertinent to curriculum
- be appropriate to the age, social development and maturity of the users
- be judged in total rather than in part
- represent a diversity of views and expression in order to promote learning, critical thinking and objective evaluation
- promote tolerance, respect and understanding of individuals and groups
- reflect the history, culture and contribution of members of a diverse society
- be used in a manner that enables students to recognize potential bias
- provide a background of information designed to motivate students to:
- examine their own attitudes and behaviors
- comprehend their duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges in a democratic society
In addition, resources used in the classroom which contain gratuitous acts of violence, explicit sexual acts, and/or obscene language may be considered controversial and may be introduced into the classroom after consultation with the building principal and parental notification (see Rule V). Films and videos and television will be selected/used for their educational value rather than solely for entertainment purposes within the instructional day.
- Procedures for Selection/Use/Retention:
The teacher has the right to select resources that he or she believes will increase effectiveness in meeting curriculum objectives. The teacher recognizes the responsibility to use good judgment in the selection/use/retention of resources. The teacher who is in doubt concerning the advisability of using certain resources which may be controversial in the classroom will consult with the building principal or designee and determine a next course of action. This may include parental notification so that the parents or guardians may have the opportunity to review the material and arrange for alternative instruction (see Rule V).
Gift resources will be judged by the criteria for selection/use/retention and should be accepted or rejected on that basis. (see Rule III).
In selecting/using/retaining resources for instructional programs, professional personnel will when applicable:
- assess curricular needs
- evaluate the existing resources for educational suitability
- preview or examine the resources (whenever possible)
- select, use and retain resources according to criteria (see Rule III)
- collaborate where possible with other agencies such as other professional organizations, libraries, electronic data bases
- refer to reputable, professionally prepared reviews
- use curriculum advisory committee and/or departments to collaborate and to assist with major instructional resource selection
- remove resources no longer of educational value
- view films/videos in entirety before use to determine if they meet criteria (see Rule III)
- Instructional Resources Review and Request for Alternative Instruction
Parents, guardians or adult students, 18 years of age or older, can review the content of instructional resources used in the classroom. Arrangements to review resources can be made with school personnel at any time. School personnel will notify parents regarding the use of instructional resources known to be controversial. This notification will be sent in a timely manner, so that parents have the opportunity to review the resource and/or select alternative instruction prior to its use in the classroom.
- If the parent, guardian or adult student objects to the content of the instructional materials, alternative instruction may be requested.
- Alternative instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian, or adult student if the alternative instruction, if any, offered by the school board does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian, or adult student.
- The school board is not required to pay for the costs of alternative instruction provided by a parent, guardian or adult student.
- School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction. School personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student’s work.
- Challenge Procedure:
- Statement of Procedure and To Whom It Applies
Administrative rules and regulations attendant to this policy provide procedures by which students, parents, guardians or employees may request reconsideration of instructional resources. In the event that resources are challenged on these grounds, the First Amendment Rights of the Constitution of the United States of America are of primary importance. These rights are further delineated in the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association and in the Minnesota Board of Education’s Policy on the Freedom to Teach, to Learn, and to Express Ideas in the Public Schools.
Origin of Challenge
A challenge is defined as a written or verbal statement of opposition to a resource requesting that it be excluded, included, or restricted. A challenger must be a parent, guardian, adult student of or employee of the school district who objects to the inclusion or exclusion of instructional resource(s) in the district’s educational program. Only a challenger may issue a challenge.
Step by Step Procedure When a Challenge Occurs
Step 1: The challenger will be directed and assisted in meeting with the appropriate teacher(s), library media specialist(s) or instructor(s) for an informational meeting regarding the use of the resource in question. The staff member will immediately advise the school principal or designee of the challenge and then attempt to resolve the issue informally in a respectful manner.
Step 2: After reading or viewing the challenged material in its entirety, the challenger will be given a copy of this policy and may submit a “Statement of Concern About Instructional Resources” form to the principal of the school involved. The certified personnel involved will submit to the principal a “Staff Response to Challenged Resources” form within five (5) working days of receipt of the “Statement of Concern About Instructional Resources.” The principal will inform the superintendent and other appropriate personnel of the challenge. A complete copy of the “Staff Response to Challenged Resources” will be provided to challenger.
Step 3. Upon receipt of the completed forms, the principal will request review of the challenged material by a Resource Review Committee within fifteen (15) working days. It will be up to the discretion of the involved principal whether or not the challenged resource be used during the reconsideration process. The membership of the committee will be composed of the principal, the library/media specialist, two parents, students where appropriate, and three teachers appointed by the principal. No committee member will be a party to the challenged resource’s request for reconsideration.
Step 4. Upon receipt of the completed forms, the Resource Review Committee will take the following steps: a) Read, view or listen to the resource in its entirety. b) Invite the challenger and certified staff to the meetings of the committee as observers if they wish to be present for purposes of clarification. c) Check general acceptance of the resource by reading reviews and consulting recommended lists. d) Determine the extent to which the resource supports the curriculum and meets the selection/use/retention criteria (see Rule III). e) Review the “Statement of Concern” and “Staff Response to Challenged Resources” in the presence of the certified staff and challenger if they wish to be present to observe the proceedings. f) Complete the “Resource Review Committee Response” form, judging the material for its strength and value as a whole and not in part. g) Present a written decision to the challenger within twenty (20) working days of the principal’s receipt of the “Statement of Concern About Instructional Resources” form following the initial resources review committee meeting.
Step 5. If either party is not satisfied with the decision of the Resource Review Committee, the decision may be appealed to the school board through the superintendent. The school board shall notify the challenger when the challenge will be considered by the board. Any decision made by the school board will be final.
- Guidelines Pertaining to Overdue, Damaged or Lost Instructional Resources
Instructional resources or media center materials issued to students become the responsibility of the student. Loss or unreasonable wear and tear will result in the student being appropriately assessed for the resource. Consequences may result from failure to compensate the school district for lost or damaged textbooks or library materials.