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6230: Instructional Materials

District Policy 6230                          

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

1.0       The Board of Education, in compliance with Colorado laws, shall prescribe textbooks for courses of instruction. The Superintendent shall make textbook recommendations to the Board of Education. For the purposes of this policy, the term “textbooks” means the instructional materials that are the primary set of materials teachers use to guide the instructional activities of a course of study and, thereby, meet the Colorado Academic Standards.  The set of instructional materials for a course of study may be a single textbook or multiple books and may include such materials as workbooks, novels, literature and resource supplements and activity kits.

1.1       Primary versus Supplemental material will have a consistent definition across content areas and grade levels and will determine whether or not instructional materials are subject to the review process outlined in this policy.

1.1.1    Primary Instructional Materials are defined as materials which form the basis of core instruction over an extended period of time (i.e. more than a couple of days). These materials require Board approval prior to being used in the classroom (e.g. textbooks, anthologies, whole-class or managed choice novels).

1.1.2    Supplemental Instructional Materials are defined as materials which are used to support or enhance the primary instructional materials and/or will be used for a limited amount of time (i.e., no more than three (3) days). These materials do not require Board approval prior to being used in the classroom (e.g. classroom libraries, articles, excerpts).

2.0       The Learning Services Department shall be responsible for the textbook selection process.

3.0       District-wide Instructional Materials Selection Process: This process shall apply to initial approval of instructional materials selected to be available for District-wide use or review of materials for District-wide use after having been approved for use in an individual school that has followed the process outlined in Exhibit A.

3.1       An instructional materials selection committee (“the committee”) will evaluate textbooks against the criteria stated in this policy. The committee members shall serve for at least one (1) school year. The committee will be composed of representatives from multiple stakeholder groups and include the following:

3.1.1    The Chief Academic Officer (CAO) or designee shall act as the Chairperson for the Committee;

3.1.2    District-level staff members with appropriate content expertise in the area being considered for selection, as determined by the CAO or designee;

3.1.3    Three principals who collectively represent each school level, as determined by the CAO or designee after receiving input from District administrative staff members;

3.1.4    Three teachers who collectively represent each school level as determined by the CAO or designee after receiving input from District administrative staff members and the District Twelve Educators’ Association;

3.1.5    Three parents who collectively represent each school level;

3.1.6    Two business and/ or community members who do not fall into one of the above described categories;

3.1.7    Three student representatives from different high schools;

3.1.8    At the discretion of the CAO or designee, additional members with relevant expertise, not otherwise represented, to address a particular recommendation.

3.1.9    The CAO or designee shall select the parent representatives designated in 3.1.5 and the business or community members designated in 3.1.6 from interest forms submitted by parents and business/community members and shall ensure that collectively those members represent all five Board of Education director districts. The District will take steps to seek interest from parents and business/community members in specific Board of Education director districts if needed to meet the requirements of this subsection.

3.2       The committee will operate using a consensus model and if no consensus can be reached among the committee members, the CAO will make a recommendation to the Superintendent based on the best interests of the students in the District.

3.3       The CAO or designee shall have the responsibility for adopting appropriate bylaws for the selection committee. Said bylaws shall be aligned with the provisions of this policy.

3.4       The committee will make a written recommendation to the Superintendent that reflects the consensus of the group and if no consensus exists, the written recommendation will contain the decision of the CAO and the written viewpoint of those who have opposing recommendations.

3.5       After undergoing the review process, if a textbook is not recommended for approval by the committee, the committee may be asked to reconsider its decision after two academic years subsequent to the current year have concluded. A local school is not prohibited from approving use of a textbook that has not received District-wide approval by following the process outlined in Exhibit A.

3.6       If the committee determines that instructional materials approved for use at a school in accordance with Exhibit A will not be recommended for District-wide use, the instructional materials remain approved for use in the school that followed said process.

3.7       The committee will meet a minimum of once per school year.

3.8       At one meeting per year as designated by the CAO, the committee will review all textbooks that have been approved for use at individual schools pursuant to the process outlined in Exhibit A to determine if the textbooks will be approved for District-wide use.

3.9       In evaluating instructional materials being recommended for approval, the committee will take into consideration the following criteria, use them as the basis for making its decision, and recommend for adoption instructional materials that:

3.9.1    Align to Colorado Academic Standards for the content area under consideration;

3.9.2    Align with the defined 21st Century Skills for Colorado learners;

3.9.3    Address students’ needs relevant to instruction in the content area based on available data;

3.9.4    Place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice;

3.9.5    Enrich and support the curriculum taking into consideration the varied needs, interests, abilities, and maturity levels of students served;

3.9.6    Present material in a manner which is grade level appropriate for students;

3.9.7    Stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards;

3.9.8    Set forth opposing sides of controversial issues so that students may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical analysis of all media;

3.9.9    Represent the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our American heritage; and,

3.9.10  Show concern for fairness toward all individuals and groups.

3.10     The recommendations from the committee will be given to the Superintendent for presentation to the Board of Education during its consent agenda at a regularly scheduled Board meeting.

3.11     All instructional materials that will be considered by the committee for recommended approval to the Board of Education shall be publicly displayed at the Educational Support Center for a period of ten school days prior to the committee’s meeting and consideration of the materials. No later than ten school days prior to the Committee’s meeting, the committee agenda and information related to the instructional materials to be considered will be posted on the District’s website and the Committee meetings will be noted on the District calendar. If the instructional materials to be considered contain mature content, as addressed below, a description of the mature content will be included with the information on the website. An opportunity will be provided to stakeholders to provide written comment about the materials for the committee’s consideration.

3.12     The criteria outlined in 3.9 are the criteria that shall be used by the individual schools when implementing the process outlined in Exhibit A.

4.0       Parents/guardians of District students, students enrolled in a district school, district employees, or district residents (Complainant) may challenge the use of instructional materials approved for use throughout the District through the procedures set forth by District Policy 1500, Section 4.0. Parents/guardians of district students, students enrolled in a district school, district employees, or district residents may challenge instructional materials approved for use at a specific building pursuant to Section 3.5 and Exhibit A, through the procedures set forth in District Policy 1500, Section 3.0.

5.0       Mature Content: The following process will be used when approved District instructional materials contain mature content, defined as violence, sex and/or profanity.

5.1       If instructional materials that contain mature content are offered in a particular class, parents, on behalf of their child, may opt out of participating in class when the instructional materials with mature content are offered.

5.2       Schools will provide equally appropriate text and standards based instruction for any students who opt out of reading instructional materials with mature content.

5.3       When high school course syllabi are provided to parents and students, they will include a list of instructional materials for the course. For novels that are to be used, the following information will also be provided: a description of the novel, including citation to the source of the description; a statement of the literary merit of the novel; a notation of any mature content, defined as violence, sex and/or profanity, contained in the novel. Multiple website links with information on the text will be listed on the syllabi and posted on the school websites, along with the list of District-approved novels, if the novel contains mature content, defined as violence, sex and/or profanity. The syllabi shall include a statement, in bold type, stating as follows: “Parents or students may opt-out from novels with mature content by providing a written request for assignment of alternate material to the instructor at least five school days prior to the planned commencement of the coverage of materials with mature content so that the instructor has adequate time to identify alternative materials and instructional supports for the student. An opt-out notice provided less than five school days in advance of the commencement of the coverage of materials shall not preclude the student/parent from opting out but may delay the identification of alternative materials and implementation of alternative instructional supports.”

Adams 12 Five Star Schools
Most Recent Adoption: June 13, 2022