SJE Board Policy 2020 – Instruction
Curriculum Development and Adoption of Instructional Materials
The curriculum of a district will be reviewed on a regular basis. The district will adopt a cycle for review as follows:
1st year: Civics and History, Geography
2nd year: Mathematics, Science and Technology
3rd year: Social, Physical and Life Sciences
4th year: Reading and Communications
5th year: Writing and Arts
6th year: Health and Fitness and Career Education
7th year: Special Programs
Instructional Materials Committee: Scope and Sequence
The instructional materials committee is formed to establish and monitor such procedures as may be necessary for the selecting, adopting and discarding of instructional materials owned and used by the district. The committee will act upon requests for text approval and removal and will evaluate and act upon citizens' requests for reconsideration of instructional materials. The function of the committee is to ensure that materials are selected in conformance to stated criteria.
Regular committee meetings will be held every other month on a schedule to be set by the committee secretary at the beginning of each school year. The district will be responsible for arranging released time for committee members. Special meetings may be called by the committee chairman if necessary.
Instructional Materials Committee Membership
This committee will consist of: (Districts should describe the membership of their committee here. Instructional Materials Committees may include parents, but state law provides that parents must make up less than one-half the committee.)
The instructional materials committee will establish screening criteria to identify and eliminate bias based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal.
Members will be appointed by the superintendent. The superintendent will designate committee members to serve as chairman and secretary.
Terms of Office
The chairman and the secretary will be permanent members of the committee. Other members will have three-year terms. Temporary appointments of one year or less may be made to fill vacancies.
The committee, with the approval of the superintendent, will establish and monitor such procedures as may be necessary for the implementation of this policy.
Citizens Participation in the Instructional Materials Process
Should a community member wish to make a formal protest regarding specific material used in the school system, he/she must use the form for requesting reconsideration of instructional materials. These forms are available in the district office. A request to remove an item from the schools or limit its use will be acted upon by the committee, using the procedure outlined below. A written decision will be delivered to the complainant within two months. Any appeal of this decision must be delivered in writing to the superintendent within two weeks. The board will make final decisions on appeals.
A community member wishing to protest any use of any instructional materials in the school system must use the form for requesting reconsideration of instructional materials. These forms are available from the district curriculum office. The complainant will deliver the completed request form to the instructional materials committee secretary, who will take the following steps to assure timely consideration of requests:
A. Set a time and place for an open hearing of the complaint by the instructional materials committee. Such hearing will be within 30 days of the committee secretary's receipt of the completed request form.
B. Notify the complainant and appropriate staff, including those using the materials, of the time and place of the meeting. Such notification will include an invitation to present relevant information, oral or written.
C. Assemble such data, including reviews and professional opinions of the materials, the staff member's objectives in using the materials, and the specific objections of the complainant, as may be necessary for the committee to properly judge the request for consideration.
Hearings of a community member's request for reconsideration will be open to the public. The committee will consider all matters presented and give reasonable credit to such matters according to the weight to which they are reasonably entitled. Decisions will be by majority vote of the committee. Decisions of the committee will be delivered in writing to the superintendent, complainant and affected staff within 10 days.
Selection of Instructional Materials: Responsibilities
The principal is responsible for ensuring the continuing familiarity of his/her certificated staff with the requirements of this policy and procedure. The district office will provide such technical assistance as may be necessary.
Texts initially will be selected by such certificated staff as the superintendent may designate. Texts are major instructional materials for a given course.
Supplementary materials will be selected by certificated staff using such materials with the understanding that while such materials do not require item-by-item approval of the committee, they must be selected under the criteria detailed below and are subject to normal reconsideration procedures. Supplementary materials support the major text of a course and should be available in sufficient amounts to support the curriculum.
(Trial-use texts of an experimental, pilot nature may be authorized for use by the superintendent for a period of no more than one school year prior to board approval for general use throughout the district).
Texts will be approved by the committee. Supplementary materials will not require committee approval.
Supplemental materials will not require board approval.
The committee secretary will provide department heads, principals, and program developers with copies of the committee meeting schedule at the beginning of each school year.
Tasks and Time Lines
Textbooks can be approved at any committee meeting and sent for adoption at the next board meeting. The superintendent directs that all non-emergency requests be confined to two board meetings per year. The committee secretary will forward requests for text adoption to the board only twice per year as noted in the committee meeting schedule. Requests to deviate from this timeline should be forwarded to the committee secretary.
The following checklist is provided to help text selectors follow the above criteria. Selections which receive "fair" or "poor" ratings on any items should be avoided. If materials uniquely suited to an important purpose fail to meet the above criteria, they may be used in conjunction with countervailing materials.
Bias Content: Excellent/Good/Fair/Poor/Not-
1. Presents more than one viewpoint
of controversial issues.
2. Presents minorities realistically.
3. Includes contributions of minority
4. Presents non-stereotypic models.
5. Facilitates the positive nature of
6. Promotes the positive nature of
7. Includes the contributions,
inventions, or discoveries of
8. Includes the contributions,
inventions, or discoveries of
9. Presents minorities in a manner
that promotes ethnic pride.
10. Facilitates an environment open to
discovery and experimentation
To evaluate materials by these criteria, text selectors may find the following steps helpful:
A. Read reviews in professional periodicals;
B. Review copies of other available texts (the district curriculum office will order samples on request);
C. Check the reading level of the text through use of a standard readability formula; and
D. Use tentatively selected materials according to pilot-use procedures.
Conditions for Loan and Sale of Instructional Materials
Free textbooks and other instructional materials may be made available for loan to students when, in the judgment of the board members, the best interests of the district will be served by such a decision. The professional staff will maintain records necessary for the proper accounting of all instructional materials and will set forth conditions for student replacement of lost or badly damaged materials.
District instructional materials which students are not required to own may be made available to students who wish to purchase them. New and used materials currently utilized in the instructional program will be sold at the replacement cost of each item. Used materials no longer in basic or supplementary use will be sold at a price reflecting the depreciated value of the materials. Instructional materials that do not meet current district standards for subject content, sex balance, ethnic content or are not repairable may be declared obsolete by the superintendent and disposed of per district policy.
Removal of Instructional Materials
Instructional materials may be removed from collections at any time that they no longer meet the criteria for initial selection outlined in "Criteria for Selection of Instructional Material." Any instructional materials may be removed when the administration judges such removal to be in the best interests of the district. Ordinary procedures for withdrawal of materials are outlined below:
A. Texts will be removed from collections by the committee based on the criteria for selection in this procedure and on the availability of suitable replacement materials; and
B. Supplementary materials will be removed from collections by individual certificated staff holding such collections based on the criteria for selection in this procedure and on the availability of suitable replacement materials.
Members of the community are invited to review any instructional materials in current use or proposed for district purchase. Such review may be accomplished at the school or in the district learning resource center. The review and examination process should be arranged in a way to avoid disrupting the educational program. The review of materials should be undertaken with the knowledge of district objectives in mind. The following activities will be employed to help citizens become familiar with instructional materials:
A. A variety of learning materials will be available for immediate perusal at any time in the district learning resource center; and
B. Displays of learning materials may be provided in schools during P.T.A. meetings, parent-teacher conferences and public meetings during the school year.
St. John – Endicott Cooperative Schools