Note: 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.