EF(LOCAL) - INSTRUCTIONAL RESOURCES
Note: This section of this policy concerns the objectives of instructional resources and the process to be followed in the event of a challenge to instructional resources. For information related to the selection process and accounting of instructional materials, as this term is defined by state law and rule, see CMD and EFA.
The District shall provide a wide range of instructional resources for students and faculty that present varying levels of difficulty, diversity of appeal, and a variety of points of view. Although professional staff members may select instructional resources for their use in accordance with District policy and administrative regulations, the ultimate authority for determining and approving the curriculum and instructional program of the District lies with the Board.
In this policy, "instructional resources" may include textbooks, library acquisitions, supplementary resources for classroom use, and any other instructional resources, including electronic resources, used for formal or informal teaching and learning purposes. The primary objectives of instructional resources are to implement, enrich, and support the District's educational program.
The Board shall rely on District professional staff to select and acquire instructional resources that:
Enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration students' varied interests, abilities, learning styles, and maturity levels.
Stimulate growth in factual knowledge, enjoyment of reading, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards.
Present various sides of controversial issues so that students have an opportunity to develop, under guidance, skills in critical analysis and in making informed judgments in their daily lives.
Represent many ethnic, religious, and cultural groups and their contributions to the national heritage and world community.
Provide a wide range of background information that will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.
In the selection of instructional resources, professional staff shall ensure that the resources:
Support and are consistent with the general educational goals of the state and District and the aims and objectives of individual schools and specific courses consistent with the District and campus improvement plans.
Meet high standards for artistic quality and/or literary style, authenticity, educational significance, factual content, physical format, presentation, readability, and technical quality.
Are appropriate for the subject area and for the age, ability level, learning styles, and social and emotional development of the students for whom they are selected.
Are designed to help students gain an awareness of our pluralistic society.
Are designed to provide information that will motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behavior; to understand their duties, responsibilities, rights, and privileges as citizens participating in our society; and to make informed choices in their daily lives.
For library selections, are integral to the instructional program, are appropriate for the reading levels and understanding of students, reflect the interests and needs of the students and faculty, are included because of their literary or artistic value and merit, and present information with the greatest degree of accuracy and clarity.
Administrators, teachers, library media specialists, other District personnel, parents, and community members, as appropriate, may recommend instructional resources for selection. Gifts of instructional resources shall be evaluated according to these criteria and accepted or rejected in accordance with CDC(LOCAL).
Selection of resources is an ongoing process that includes the removal of resources no longer appropriate and the periodic replacement or repair of resources that still have educational value.
District professional staff shall endeavor to maintain a balanced collection representing various views when selecting instructional resources on controversial issues. Resources shall be chosen to clarify historical and contemporary forces by presenting and analyzing intergroup tension and conflict objectively, placing emphasis on recognizing and understanding social and economic problems. [See also EMB regarding instruction about controversial issues and EHAA regarding human sexuality instruction.]
A parent of a District student, any employee, or any District resident may formally challenge an instructional resource used in the District's educational program on the basis of appropriateness.
The school receiving a complaint about the appropriateness of an instructional resource shall try to resolve the matter informally using the following procedure:
The principal or designee shall explain the school's selection process, the criteria for selection, and the qualifications of the professional staff who selected the questioned resource.
The principal or designee shall explain the intended educational purpose of the resource and any additional information regarding its use.
If appropriate, the principal or designee may offer a concerned parent an alternative instructional resource to be used by that parent's child in place of the challenged resource.
If the complainant wishes to make a formal challenge, the principal or designee shall provide the complainant a copy of this policy and a form to request a formal reconsideration of the resource.
A complainant shall make any formal objection to an instructional resource on the form provided by the District and shall submit the completed and signed form to the principal. Upon receipt of the form, the principal shall appoint a reconsideration committee.
The reconsideration committee shall include at least one member of the instructional staff who has experience using the challenged resource with students or is familiar with the challenged resource's content. Other members of the committee may include District-level staff, library staff, secondary-level students, parents, and any other appropriate individuals.
All members of the committee shall review the challenged resource in its entirety. As soon as reasonably possible, the committee shall meet and determine whether the challenged resource conforms to the principles of selection set out in this policy. The committee shall prepare a written report of its findings and provide copies to the principal, the Superintendent or designee, and the complainant.
The complainant may appeal the decision of the reconsideration committee in accordance with appropriate complaint policies, starting with the appropriate administrator. [See DGBA, FNG, and GF]
The following principles shall guide the Board and staff in responding to challenges of instructional resources:
A complainant may raise an objection to an instructional resource used in a school's educational program, despite the fact that the professional staff selecting the resources were qualified to make the selection, followed the proper procedure, and adhered to the objectives and criteria for instructional resources set out in this policy.
A parent's ability to exercise control over reading, listening, or viewing matter extends only to his or her own child.
Access to a challenged resource shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process, except the District may deny access to a child if requested by the child's parent.
The major criterion for the final decision on challenged resources is the appropriateness of the resource for its intended educational use. No challenged instructional resource shall be removed solely because of the ideas expressed therein.
Note: This section of this policy addresses student rights when surveyed and guidelines for presentations of media.
Unless a legally compelling reason otherwise requires, every parent, court-ordered guardian, or other person having lawful control of a student in the District shall be entitled to review all teaching resources, textbooks, and other teaching aids used in the classroom of the student and to review each test administered to the child after the test is administered. The District shall make teaching resources and tests readily available for such review and may specify reasonable hours for each such review.
Parental Inspection / Federal Programs
All instructional resource(s, including teachers' manuals, films, tapes, or other supplementary material, that will be used in connection with any survey, analysis, or evaluation as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education shall be available for inspection by the parents, court-ordered guardians, and other persons having lawful control of District students.
No student shall be required, as part of any program funded in whole or in part by the U.S. Department of Education, to submit to a survey, analysis, or evaluation that reveals information concerning the following topics without prior consent of the student (if the student is an adult or emancipated minor) or, in the case of an unemancipated minor, without the prior written consent of the parent, court-ordered guardian, or other person having lawful control of the student. Topics covered by this provision are:
Political affiliations or beliefs of the student or the student's parents.
Mental and psychological problems of the student or the student's family.
Sex behavior or attitudes.
Illegal, antisocial, self-incriminating, and demeaning behavior.
Critical appraisals of other individuals with whom respondents have close family relationships.
Legally recognized privileged or analogous relationships, such as those of lawyers, physicians, and ministers.
Religious practices, affiliations, or beliefs of the student or the student's parent.
Income (other than that required by law to determine eligibility for participation in a program or for receiving financial assistance under such program).
The Superintendent or designee shall develop and enforce administrative procedures to protect student privacy in the administration or distribution of a survey containing one or more of the above topics.
Before any research project about District students may be implemented by a campus, campus personnel, or students at a campus for class assignments, including but not limited to the collection of student information by a teacher, the principal shall ensure that the project has received the necessary approval by a campus-based review committee, which shall make recommendations to the principal on all proposed research projects, including surveys and/or tests in furtherance of such projects. All such research projects must receive final approval from the Superintendent or assistant superintendent for curriculum.
Any non-District individual or governmental, commercial, nonprofit, or academic entity desiring to conduct research about District students shall submit to the Superintendent or designee proposals for such research projects and all proposed questions at least 60 days prior to the involvement of students. For purposes of this policy, research is defined as test or survey development, evaluation of programs, or development of products.
Third-Party Surveys / Tests
Each parent, court-ordered guardian, and other person having lawful control of a District student, upon timely and proper request, shall have the right to inspect a survey or test created by a third party within a reasonable period of time after the request is received and before the survey is administered or distributed by a school to a student.
The Superintendent shall establish administrative procedures for granting requests by parents, court-ordered guardians, and other persons having lawful control of the student for reasonable access to such third-party surveys and tests.
Voluntary Surveys / Tests
Prior written consent of a parent, court-ordered guardian, or other person having lawful control of a student is required to participate in any survey, analysis, or evaluation that would reveal information about any of the prohibited topics listed in EF(LEGAL).
All voluntary surveys and/or tests that are administered by the District or any organization sponsored by the District, shall be clearly and prominently marked as voluntary and either anonymous or identifiable, and students shall be given the same instructions verbally.
Films and Videotapes / Other Media
All films and videotapes and other forms of commercial media presentations intended for use in the classroom shall be carefully previewed and evaluated by the teacher to meet identified instructional objectives for the age and grade level of the students.
Guidelines: Media Presentations
Unless a shorter period is approved in writing, a parent, court-ordered guardian, or other person having lawful control of a student shall receive seven days' advance notice when the student's teacher plans to show a commercial film, video, CD-Rom or other form of commercial media presentation that has a warning rating for other than "General" audiences, including an MPAA rating of "G" and a TV Parental Guideline rating of "TV-Y." The notice must contain the MPAA or TV rating associated with the presentation and the reason why the presentation is so rated. The following additional guidelines shall apply:
Elementary and Middle School
Except as otherwise indicated, elementary and middle school students shall not be shown a feature film, home video or other form of commercial medium that is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America as "G" or "PG" and/or by TV Parental Guidelines as "TV-Y," "TV-Y7," "TV-Y7-FV," "TV-G," or "TV-PG."
Except as otherwise indicated, high school students shall not be shown a feature film, home video or other form of commercial medium that is not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America as "G," "PG," or "PG-13" and/or by TV Parental Guidelines as "TV-Y," "TV-Y7," "TV-Y7-FV," "TV-G," or "TV-PG."
Before a student under the age of 13 shall be permitted to view any film, video, or other forms of commercial media that is rated "PG-13" or "TV-PG," the teacher shall obtain prior written permission from the student's parent, court-appointed guardian, or other person having lawful control of the student.
Feature films, videos, or other forms of commercial media that are marked as "Not Rated" may be shown to age-appropriate and grade-appropriate students, with approval from the principal, after review and recommendation by the campus-based review committee and notification to parents of all content that would otherwise warrant an MPAA rating of higher than "PG," or a TV Parental Guideline of higher than "TV-PG."
Films, videos, and other forms of commercial media that are marked as "Unrated" shall not be shown to students.