CATEGORY I: Instruction
PROCEDURE I9: Reconsideration of Instructional Materials
The Districts affirm that the school system should provide instructional materials that include multiple points of view and are designed to help students to achieve the instructional goals and objectives of the system and the various instructional disciplines. The School Committees have indicated that materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval. On occasion, however, it is acknowledged that individuals or groups may wish to have particular instructional materials reviewed or reconsidered.
The Districts recognize two scenarios where review and reconsideration of instructional materials may occur:
- Particular instructional materials that are purchased in small quantities, generally in single classroom amounts or less.
- Basic instructional materials that are purchased in large quantities such as texts used in multiple classrooms.
In order to comply with District Policy IJA on Instructional Materials Reconsideration, the following processes shall be followed.
- Persons who have objections or concerns about the use of any instructional materials are encouraged to initially discuss the matter with the teacher involved in using the materials. Following this, discussions are encouraged with the teacher’s supervisor or the department head (at the secondary level).
- If no resolution is reached, the matter may be appealed by the individual using the following sequence:
- First appeal to the principal
- Second appeal to the Superintendent’s Designee (e.g., Director of Teaching and Learning)
- Third appeal to the Superintendent (The Superintendent may engage experts and stakeholders to assist her/him in consideration of the matter.)
- Final appeal to Review Committee established by Policy IJA.
In all cases, if a satisfactory conclusion is not reached with the Superintendent, the person requesting the review and reconsideration, may request consideration and a final determination by a Review Committee, as established in Policy IJA. Per policy, the Review Committee members will include:
- A department head, an elementary curriculum specialist or a teacher in the appropriate instructional area—appointed by Superintendent
- An administrator—appointed by Superintendent
- A parent from the appropriate school—selected by the Parent Advisory Council of that school
- A non-school staff resident of the District who is interested and knowledgeable in the related instructional area—selected by the School Committee chairperson after consultation with the objecting person or group
- For matters regarding the secondary level, a student from the appropriate level—selected by the appropriate student governing body
- A member of the Cultural Diversity Advisory Group (or a successor committee that can represent perspectives regarding diversity) if the matter involves issues regarding multicultural education or affirmative action—selected by the CDAG as outlined in the school systems’ Affirmative Action Plan of 1988 (or its successor committee).
The Review Committee will conduct its business and review in open public meetings. 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.
Under normal circumstances, the Review Committee shall present its conclusions on the issues, in writing, to the Superintendent before the end of a six-week period.
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 the final decision in the matter to the School Committee for final ratification.
All requests for reconsideration of materials directed beyond that with an individual teacher must be in writing and must include the following information:
- Name of person requesting review/reconsideration
- Contact information of requester
- Affiliation of the requester to the Districts
- Type of material
- Publisher (if known)
- School(s) and classes in the Districts where material is used
- Description of concerns or objections about this material (Please be specific, cite pages or details, as appropriate.)
- Statement of the resolution sought regarding this material.
POLICY IJA: Instructional Materials Reconsideration