Policy IJA: Instructional Materials Reconsideration

The School Committees affirm their belief that the schools should provide instructional materials that not only include multiple points of view on current and historical issues but also one designed to help students to achieve the instructional goals and objectives of the system and the various instructional disciplines. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

On occasion, however, individuals or groups may wish to have the use of particular instructional materials reviewed or reconsidered, whether they be single items or more basic multi-class materials. The Superintendent will develop any necessary guidelines and procedures to enable this reconsideration as outlined in this policy to occur appropriately.

Whenever a person or group wishes to question the use of particular instructional materials they should first discuss the matter with the teacher involved for information and resolution. If a satisfactory conclusion is not reached, an appeal should be made to the teacher’s immediate supervisor, the department head and building instructional director on the secondary level or the principal on the elementary level. If a satisfactory resolution is not reached at that level, an appeal should be made to either the Elementary or Secondary Education Director. Whenever a satisfactory resolution is not reached at that level, an appeal may be made to the Superintendent to resolve the matter. If a satisfactory conclusion is not reached with the Superintendent, the requesting person or party or the Superintendent, may submit the matter to one of the following review procedures for final determination:

A. For review and reconsideration of basic instructional materials which are purchased in large quantities such as texts used in multiple classrooms:

  1. The requestor(s) shall be provided with a prepared form on which to submit a formal written request for reconsideration.
  2. The completed form shall be submitted to a review committee established to study the request and to make a final determination in the matter. This review committee will be established by the Superintendent and shall be composed of the following representation:
    a. Secondary department head or elementary curriculum chairperson or a teacher in the appropriate instructional area, appointed by the Superintendent.
    b. An administrator, chosen by the Superintendent.
    c. A parent from the appropriate school, chosen by the Parent Advisory Council of that school.
    d. A non-school staff citizen who is interested and knowledgeable in the related instructional area. This member to be selected by the School Committee chairperson after consultation with the objecting person or group.
    e. On the secondary level a student from the appropriate level to be selected by the Student School Committee.
    f. A member of the Cultural Diversity Advisory Group if the matter involves issues regarding multicultural education or affirmative action. This member to be selected by the CDAG as outlined in the school systems’ Affirmative Action Plan (1988).
  3. This review committee will hold open meetings to review the materials in question and the issues raised in requesting the review and reconsideration and to arrive at their final conclusion in the matter. The Committee shall hold a special announced public meeting to hear comments from anyone interested in the matter before making its final conclusion. The materials in question will be placed on convenient public display for review by interested persons prior to the public meeting.
  4. The Review Committee shall present its conclusions on the issues in writing to the Superintendent, ordinarily before the end of a six-week period.
  5. The Superintendent shall notify the person or group requesting the reconsideration and the School Committee of the final conclusion reached by the Review Committee. The Superintendent will present the Review Committee recommendation and decision in the matter to the School Committee for final ratification.

B. For review and reconsideration of particular instructional materials which are purchased in small quantities, generally in single classroom amounts or less:

 

  1. The requestor(s) shall be provided with a prepared form on which to submit a formal written request for reconsideration.
  2. The completed form shall be submitted to a review committee established to study the request and to make a final determination in the matter. This review committee will be established by the Superintendent and shall be composed of the following representation:
    a. Secondary Department Head or Elementary Curriculum Chairperson or teacher in the appropriate instructional area, appointed by the Superintendent.
    b. An administrator appointed by the Superintendent.
    c. A Media Council member selected by the Media Council.
    d. A parent from the appropriate school appointed by the Parent Advisory Council of that school.
    e. On the secondary level, a student from the appropriate level to be selected by the Student School Committee.
    f. A member of the Cultural Diversity Advisory Group if the matter involves issues regarding multicultural education or affirmative action. This representative to be selected by the CDAG.
  3. This Review Committee will hold open meetings to review the materials in questions and the issues raised in requesting the review and to arrive at their final conclusion in the matter.
  4. The Review Committee shall present its conclusions on the issues in writing to the Superintendent, ordinarily before the end of a three-week period.
  5. The Superintendent shall notify the person or group requesting the reconsideration and the School Committee of the final conclusion reached by the Review Committee. The Superintendent will present the Review Committee recommendation and decision in the matter to the School Committee for final ratification.

Once the use of particular instructional materials has been reviewed and reconsidered through the Review Committee procedure and a final conclusion has been reached on the matter, it shall not be subject to further review based on the same concerns unless additional factual evidence validates the concern. Appeals to review the process used in the reconsideration shall be made to the School Committee.

During the review and reconsideration procedure period, any questioned instructional materials shall continue to be used and available for the instructional program.

Region Voted to Approve: 8/9/88
Amherst Voted to Approve: 9/6/88
Pelham Voted to Approve: 8/23/88
Effective Date: 8/9/88
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