Policy 610

  • Selection and ReEvaluation

    of Instructional Resources

    I.          PURPOSE

    The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for selection of instructional textbooks, materials and content.  The policy also provides a procedure for addressing an objection to the text, materials and/or content.

    II.         GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

    The school board recognizes that selection of textbooks and instructional materials is a vital support for the school district’s academic standards and curriculum.  The school board has the authority to make final decisions on selection of instructional texts, materials and content.

    III.        RESPONSIBILITY OF SELECTION

                A.        While the school board retains its authority to make final decisions on the selection of instructional texts, materials and content, the school board recognizes the expertise of the professional staff and the vital need of such staff to be primarily involved in the recommendation of textbooks and instructional materials.  Accordingly, the school board delegates to the administration and professional staff the responsibility for the evaluation, selection and consideration of resources.  The Director of Teaching and Learning shall work directly with staff in developing such recommendations 

                B.        Based on the review of instructional texts, materials and content during the selection process, the recommendations shall:

                            1.         support the academic standards of the education programs;

                            2.         consider the needs, age and maturity of students;

                            3.         foster understanding of and appreciation for historical and contemporary contributions by and roles open to Americans of all cultures and races, both women and men and individuals with disabilities and varied opinion; and

                            4.         permit grade-level instruction for students to study America’s founding documents, including documents that contributed to the foundation or maintenance of America’s representative form of limited government, the Bill of Rights, our free-market economic system; and

                            5.         be in the English Language.  Another language may be used, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 124D.61;

                            6.         be within the constraints of instructional time and the school district budget.

                C.        The Director of Teaching and Learning shall be responsible for developing procedures and guidelines to establish an orderly process for the review and recommendation of textbooks, materials and content by the professional staff.  This procedure will be coordinated with the district program improvement process.

    IV.       OBJECTION TO AND RECONSIDERATION OF TEXTBOOKS OR OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

                A.        The school district shall provide a process for district families and/or community members to object to and seek reconsideration of selected instructional texts and/or materials.      

                B.        The administration shall be responsible for the development of guidelines and procedures to identify the steps to be followed to seek reconsideration of textbooks or other instructional materials.

    Legal References:          

    Minn. Stat  § 120A.22, Subd. 9 (Compulsory Instruction – curriculum)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.20 (Parental Curriculum Review)

    Minn. Stat. § 120B.235 (American Heritage Education)

    Minn. Stat. § 123B.02 (General Powers of Independent School Districts)

    Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 8 (School Board responsibilities)

    Minn. Stat § 124D.59-124D.61 (Limited English Proficiency)

     Cross References:         

    Board Policy 601 – Curriculum and Instruction Goals

    Board Policy 611 - Provision of Alternative Instruction

    Board Policy 612 Curriculum Development

     

    ADOPTED  BY  THE  BOARD  OF  EDUCATION:  March 3, 1997

    AMENDED BY THE BOARD OF EDUCATION:       April 7, 1997, October 2, 2000 February 7, 2011

610.1 Administrative Guideline

  •  

    Procedures for Selection and ReEvaluation of

    Instructional Resources

    I         INTRODUCTION

             "The mission of the Richfield Public Schools is to help prepare all learners for success in a changing world by developing their knowledge and abilities within a climate of mutual trust and respect."  The Richfield Schools strive to provide instructional resources which ensure that learners will have the opportunity to grow in their ability to find, generate, evaluate, and apply information that helps them to function effectively as individuals and to participate fully in society. 

    II.      PURPOSE STATEMENT

             This document provides established guidelines and procedures necessary to maintain a consistent quality of excellence in the resources used in the teaching-learning process, to provide for the continuing evaluation of the collection, and to allow the review of allegedly inappropriate instructional resources. These guidelines and procedures are used as a basis in helping administrators, teachers, students, parents/guardians and other interested citizens better understand the criteria used in selecting, reevaluating, and reviewing instructional resources.

    III.     DEFINITION OF "RESOURCE

             Resources are all print and non print instructional and recreational resources, purchased by the district, and used in the education of the student.  They shall include a variety of formats such as books (including textbooks), periodicals, and projected and electronic resources.

    IV.   RESPONSIBILITY FOR RESOURCES SELECTION

             The Richfield Board of Education recognizes that it has legal authority to prescribe textbooks and courses of study, but it delegates responsibility for the evaluation, selection, and reconsideration of resources to the administration and the professional staff.

    A.     It is the responsibility of school personnel who select resources to:

             provide resources that are aligned with Richfield Public Schools Curriculum Assumptions (APPENDIX A Policy 612) and that will support and enrich achievement of academic standards and benchmarks addressed in the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied races,

    gender, interests, abilities, learning styles and maturity levels of students served; and to

            provide resources that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, critical analysis of differing sides of issues, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and recognition of various societal values.

    B.     It is the responsibility of the school library/media center personnel to:  

             place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of resources of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection of resources appropriate for the complete education of all students.

    C.     It is the responsibility of the teacher to:

             recognize his/her responsibility to use professional judgment in the selection and deployment of educational resources.

    V.     MATCHING INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES AND OBJECTIVES

              All resources selected shall support stated instructional objectives.  The purposes of instructional and supplementary materials and resources selection process are:

    A.     To acquire resources consistent with the demands of the curriculum as defined by academic standards and benchmarks;

    B.     To effectively guide students in the selection and application of a variety of resources;

    C.     To provide students with the opportunity to develop skills in the use of a variety of learning resources;

    D.     To foster in students a wide range of interests and stimulate intellectual curiosity;

    E.     To provide opportunities for aesthetic experiences and development of appreciation for a variety of literary and fine arts;

    F.     To provide resources that support recreational reading and encourage students to be life-long, self directed learners.

    VI.    Selection Criteria

             Resources shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals of District 280 and the goals and objectives of individual schools and specific courses and be reviewed on a scheduled rotation (APPENDIX B Policy 612).  The resources need to:

    A.     Be sensitive to Race, culture, language, ability and gender. 

    B.     Be chosen to support student achievement of academic standards and benchmarks represented in the curriculum; and to meet the needs of students.

    C.     Be appropriate for the age, emotional and social development, experience, ability level and learning styles of the students for whom they are selected.

    D.     Provide a wide range of information, preparing students to examine their own attitudes and behavior, to comprehend their responsibilities and rights as participating citizens in our society, and to make intelligent judgment in their daily lives.

    E.     Represent the diversity in religious, ethnic, political and cultural values held in a pluralistic society.

    F.     Be judged as a whole; selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.

    VII.   MATERIAL DISCARD AND REPLACEMENT PROCEDURE

             In order to provide a current, highly usable collection of resources, professional personnel shall provide for constant and continuing renewal of resources, not only by the addition of up-to-date resources, but by the judicious elimination of resources which no longer meet a need or are not being used. 

             Selection is an ongoing process which includes the removal of resources which are no longer appropriate and replacement of resources which are lost or damaged. This process will be carried out according to accepted standards. 

    VIII.  PRINT AND NON-PRINT MEDIA CENTER RESOURCE 

             Professional personnel shall:

    A.     Evaluate existing resources 

    B.     Assess curriculum needs.

    C.     Consult reputable, professionally prepared aids for selection (the actual item shall be examined when deemed appropriate).

    D.     Consider requests from school district personnel, students, parents, and other community members.

    IX. SELECTION PROCEDURES

    A.     Elementary Classroom instructional Resources

             Because the elementary teacher is teaching in multiple subject areas, the selection of resources in any single content area generally follows a set procedure.

    1.      Elementary curriculum adoptions will be reviewed on a scheduled basis.   Representative committees, which include Special Education and ESL teachers, will review instructional programs and related materials/resources on a regular rotation.

    2.      District administration may initiate and teachers and/or principals may request the establishment of a program evaluation committee in addition to the routine rotation based on emerging circumstances.                          

    3.      A district office administrator or his/her designee will assume leadership of the committee review process as described in the Richfield Public Schools Curriculum Design Process (APPENDIX C Policy 612).

    4.      All requests to publishing companies for information and resources to be examined should be channeled through the committee.  Resources are received and processed by the Office of Teaching and Learning.

    5.      It is the responsibility of the committee members to communicate with the elementary principals and teachers who will be affected by the selections of the committee.

    6.      The committee is to make a recommendation to the district office for approval.

    7.      The purchase of instructional material/resources is approved by the Director of Teaching and Learning Director of Teaching and Learning and Instruction on the basis of the committee recommendations, budgetary considerations, and relationship to identified district policies and programs, and endorsement by the District Curriculum Advisory Committee.

    8.      Committees will remain functional until curriculum has been selected, implemented and reviewed.

    9.      Records regarding review and selection will be kept by the Director of Teaching and Learning
     

    B.     Secondary Classroom Text-type Resources

        The five groups of professional staff involved with resources selection are teachers, educational leaders, media personnel, principals, and district office administrators.  Representative committees, which include Special Education and ESL teachers will evaluate instructional programs and related materials/resources and selected updated materials on a scheduled basis (APPENDIX B Policy 612).  

    1.      District administration may initiate and teachers and/or principals may request the establishment of a program/materials evaluation committee in addition to the routine rotation based on emerging circumstances. 

    2.      In the selection of resources, the individuals on the review committee will consult with the department or directly with the principal if the course is not a part of a department.  The committee will involve educational leaders, media personnel, and the principal in the selection process and follow the Richfield Public Schools Curriculum Review and Design Processes (APPENDIX C Policy 612).

    3.      All requests to publishing companies for resources to be examined should be channeled through the committee.  All resources are received and processed by the Office of Teaching and Learning.

    4.      Resources will be submitted to the entire department for discussion.

    5.      The committee submits a written recommendation and rationale to the building principal and Director of Teaching and Learning  based on inputs from the department(s) concerned for its approval.

    6.      The recommendation to purchase instructional material/resources is submitted to the Board of Education by the Director of Teaching and Learning and Instruction on the basis of committee recommendations, budgetary considerations, relationship to identified district policies and programs, and endorsement by the District Curriculum Advisory Committee.

    7.      Selection of text-type resources for pilot studies and innovative programs will also follow the above procedure with the exception of #7.

    8.      Records regarding the review and selection will be kept by the Director of Teaching and Learning.

    C.     INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES NOT PURCHASED BY THE DISTRICT

    1.      Teachers have the right to use resources they believe will increase their effectiveness in meeting the objectives of the course being taught.

    2.      Teachers recognize their responsibility to use good judgment in the selection of resources.  The teacher who is in doubt concerning the advisability of using certain resources in the classroom should apply the criteria outlined in these guidelines and/or consult with the principal.

    3.      Teachers must recognize that the manner in which they present and use resources has an impact upon students.  Staff members should be sensitive to the divergent needs of students, should allow students freedom to select alternative resources, and should demonstrate respect for student standards and preferences.

    4.      The district media collection only includes district-approved films/videos.  When teachers want to use film/video materials from sources other than the district media collection, potential selections having ratings of "R" or "PG13" require special consideration.  When staff feel such selections merit use for classroom instruction, staff must secure permission from the building principal and obtain parental permission prior to classroom viewing.   At the elementary level, principal and parent permission are required before the showing of PG rated videos/films.

    5.      Gift resources will be accepted only with the understanding that they will then be judged by the same criteria as other resources and will be accepted or rejected on the basis of those criteria.

    X.        PROCEDURES FOR DEALING WITH AN OBJECTION TO A RESOURCE

    Any resident, parent or employee of the school district may object to the inclusion or exclusion of resources in the district's educational program on the basis of appropriateness.

    An objection is defined as written statement of opposition to a resource, requesting that it be excluded or advocacy, requesting that it be included or restricted.

    A.     OBJECTION AND REEVALUATION PROCEDURES

    1.      If material is questioned, school personnel shall explain the selection and reevaluation guidelines and procedures to the complainant; this is considered the "informal" stage of a challenge. 

    2.      Within five working days after receiving an objection, school personnel will contact and meet with the complainant.  Utilizing the rationale for selection and approval of the material, the principal or designee will explain the reasons for its inclusion in the curriculum or media center.  If the challenge is not resolved informally, the complainant must submit a Request for Reevaluating a Resource form (APPENDIX A) to the principal. 

    3.      If the complainant still objects to the material, the principal will refer the complaint to the Reevaluation Committee. The challenge now becomes a "formal" challenge.

    4.      Within twenty working days, the Reevaluation Committee shall meet, hear testimony and make a recommendation to the Superintendent.

    5.      Upon making the final decision, the Superintendent will send a letter informing the complainant of the decision.  The decision shall be communicated to all appropriate employees and the Reevaluation Committee.

    B.     INFORMATIONAL MEETING

             Each objector shall be directed to the building principal or the designee.

             Within 5 calendar days of receiving the objection, the principal or designee shall contact the objector, provide him/her with a copy of these policies and procedures, and arrange a meeting with him/her.

             The principal and/or other appropriate staff shall explain to the objector the school's selection procedure, the selection criteria and the qualifications of those persons selecting the resources.

             The principal and/or other appropriate staff shall explain the selection rationale for the resource, its intended educational use, and any additional information regarding its use.

    C.     INFORMAL PROCEDURES

             Initiating the challenge at the building level.

    1.     Each challenge shall be dealt with in a courteous and confidential manner.

    2.     The person initiating the challenge should communicate with the teacher, principal and/or media person, whichever is appropriate.

    3.      An informal resolution is defined as a condition in which both parties agree to accept the material as currently used.

    4.     If the challenge cannot be resolved informally, the building principal will invite the person who is initiating the challenge to submit a "Request for Reevaluating a Resource" form.

    5.      Upon submission of the form, the challenge will be defined as formal and the process for formal challenges will be initiated at the appropriate level.

    D.     FORMAL REEVALUATION

             Normally the questioned resource will remain in use during the reevaluation process.

    1.      The chair of the Committee for Reevaluation of Resources shall:

    a.      Within 20 days of receiving an objection, hold an open committee meeting to discuss the questioned resource, hear testimony, and make a recommendation to the Superintendent.      

    1).    Obtain reviews of the questioned resource and send them to each committee member at least three calendar days prior to the reevaluation committee meeting.   Hold a reevaluation committee meeting to discuss the questioned resource hear testimony and make a recommendation to the Superintendent.  If more time is necessary, the committee members and all other involved will be notified in writing by the chair.

    2).    Invite the objector, professional media person, or teacher, and administrator involved in the committee meeting.

    3).    Invite appropriate persons to provide testimony during the meeting 

    2.      The Committee for Reevaluation of a Resource shall:

    a.      Examine the questioned resource in its entirety.

    b.      Determine professional acceptance of the resource by reading critical reviews.

    c.      Weigh values and faults and form opinions on the resource as a whole if it is read or viewed in its entirety or focus the review on passages or sections identified for viewing/reading.  

    d.      Discuss the resource in the context of the educational program.

    e.      Hear testimony.

    f.       Make a recommendation to the Superintendent.

    g.      Complete the Resource Reevaluation Committee Report form (APPENDIX D Policy 612).


    E.     REEVALUATION COMMITTEE COMPOSITION

             The committee shall be identified and convened on an as-needed basis.     Each member shall serve on the committee for the duration of the review.   Representatives shall be selected or based on the nature of the complaint and may include the following categories.

    1.      one district administrator

    2.      one building principal

    3.      one elementary teacher

    4.      one secondary teacher

    5.      one media professional

    6.      one parent with elementary school-aged children

    7.      one parent with secondary school-aged children

    8.      one community member

    9       one student

            Staff involved in the complaint may testify but should not participate as a member of the reevaluation committee. 

    F.      COMMITTEE DUTIES

    CHAIRPERSON

    1.      Notify those groups who must select a representative upon receipt of the complaint.

    2.      Ensure that all groups are represented as appropriate to the complaint.

    3.      Notify committee members of objections and set meeting dates.

    4.      Distribute copies of the Request for Reevaluating a Resource and Resource Reevaluation Committee Report to all committee members.

    5.      Obtain and arrange the reading/listening/viewing of the questioned resource by the committee.

    6.      Obtain critical reviews of the questioned resource and send them to the committee members.

    7.      Within 20 school days of receiving the objection, hold an open committee meeting to discuss the questioned resource, hear testimony, and make a recommendation to the Superintendent.

    COMMITTEE MEMBERS

    1.      Read/listen/view the questioned resource in its entirety.

    2.      Read and analyze critical reviews of the questioned resource and consult recommended lists.

    3.      Form opinions on the resource as a whole and the specific segments used for classroom instruction.

    4.      Discuss the extent to which the material supports the curriculum.

    5.      Hold open hearings and listen to testimony.

    6.      Make a recommendation to the Superintendent.

    7.      Complete a written report using the Resource Reevaluation Committee Report form.

    RECORDING SECRETARY

    1.      Record attendance.

    2.      Take notes and complete all necessary forms.

    3.      Obtain all committee members' signatures on the REPORT form.

    4.      Be responsible for filing all reports within 5 calendar days.

    G.     RESOLUTION

    1.      The written report, signed by all members of the committee who attended the meeting, accompanied by all resources used during the proceedings and a minority report, if one is made, shall be referred to the superintendent for a final decision. 

    2.      The decision shall be communicated to the complainant, the building principal, and the professional media person or teacher involved and all committee members.

    3.      The decision shall be binding for the individual school or as specified in the Superintendent's recommendation.

    4.      Requests to reconsider resources which have previously been before the committee will not be reviewed again for three years, unless the challenge is substantially different from a previous challenge.

    5.      The Superintendent's decision may be appealed to the District 280 Board of Education.

     

    Dated:            April 7, 1997

    Reviewed:    

    Revised:        October 2, 2010

    Amended      February 7, 2011


    RICHFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS

    APPENDIX D

    REQUEST FOR REEVALUATING A RESOURCE

    The amount of instructional material available makes it possible to offer alternatives to challenged or controversial material. Should students or parents have objections to any material, teachers shall offer substitute selections.

     

    School                                                                                                                                                           

     

    Please check type of material:

     

    (  )       Book                                                                           (  )       Video

    (  )       Periodical                                                                  (  )       Other

    (  )       Film

    Title                                                                                                                                                                

    Author                                                                                                                                                           

    Publisher or Producer                                                                        Copyright Date                             

    Request initiated by                                                             Self                                                          

                                                                                                    Organization                                          

                                                                                                                                     Name of Organization

    Telephone                                                  Address                                                                                    

    City                                                                          State                                       Zip                                

     

    The following questions are to be answered after the complainant has read, viewed, or listened to the material in its entirety.  If sufficient space is not provided, attach additional sheets.  (Please sign your name to each additional attachment).

     

        1.        To what in the material do you object?  Please comment on the resource as a whole as well as being specific on those matters which concern you.  (Please be specific, cite pages, film sequence, video, etc.)

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

        2.        What do you believe is the theme or purpose of this material?

     

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

        3.        What do you feel might be the result of a student using this material?

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

        4.        For what age group would you recommend this material?

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

        5.        What do you think is good in this material?  Please comment.

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

        6.        What other material of the same quality, subject and format could you recommend in place of this material?

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

     

     

        8.        What would you like the school district to do about this material?

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

                                                                                                                                                                           

     

     

                                                                                                                                  Date                                 

              Signature of the Complainant

     

    Please return completed form to the school principal