Policy 606 - Textbooks and Instructional Materials

Reviewed: February 21, 2017

I. PURPOSE

The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for selection of textbooks and instructional materials.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

The school board recognizes that selection of textbooks and instructional materials is a vital component of the school district’s curriculum. The school board also recognizes that it has the authority to make final decisions on selection of all textbooks and instructional materials.

III. RESPONSIBILITY OF SELECTION

A. While the school board retains its authority to make final decisions on the selection of textbooks and instructional materials, the school board recognizes the expertise of the professional staff and the vital need of such staff to be primarily involved in the recommendation of textbooks and instructional materials. Accordingly, the school board delegates to the superintendent the responsibility to direct the professional staff in formulating recommendations to the school board on textbooks and other instructional materials.

B. In reviewing textbooks and instructional materials during the selection process, the professional staff shall select materials which:

1. support the goals and objectives of the education programs;

2. are appropriate for the age, interest, abilities, learning styles, social development, and maturity levels of the students.

3. represent the diversity of religious, ethnic, political, and cultural values held in a pluralistic society

4. fit within the constraints of the school district budget;

5. are in the English language. Another language may be used, pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 124D.61;

6. permit grade-level instruction for students to read and study America’s founding documents, including documents that contributed to the foundation or maintenance of America’s representative form of limited government, the Bill of Rights, our free-market economic system, and patriotism; and

7. do not censor or restrain instruction in American or Minnesota state history or heritage based on religious references in original source documents, writings, speeches, proclamations, or records.

8. illustrate the accurate contributions made by various groups to our national heritage and the world;

9. illustrate historical and contemporary forces in society to enable users to recognize and understand social, economic, personal, and political problems;

10. provide various points of view about issues, including those considered to be controversial;

11. represent the various cultural theories about the physical environment and the universe.

C. The superintendent shall be responsible for developing procedures and guidelines to establish an orderly process for the review and recommendation of textbooks and other instructional materials by the professional staff.

IV. SELECTION OF TEXTBOOKS AND OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

A. The Director of Teaching and Learning shall be responsible for keeping the school board informed of progress on the part of staff and others involved in the textbook adoption and other instructional materials review and selection process. The discarding of outdated and worn resources is necessary to keep collections current. The decision for discarding media center materials will be made by the site Media Specialist. The decision for discarding textbooks will be made by the Director of Teaching and Learning.

V. RECONSIDERATION OF TEXTBOOKS OR OTHER INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

A. The school board recognizes differences of opinion on the part of some members of the school district community relating to certain areas of the instruction program. Interested persons may request an opportunity to review materials and submit a request for reconsideration of the use of certain textbooks or instructional materials.

B. The superintendent shall be responsible for the development of guidelines and procedures to identify the steps to be followed to seek reconsideration of textbooks or other instructional materials.

C. The superintendent shall present a procedure to the school board for review and approval regarding reconsideration of textbooks or other instructional materials. When approved by the school board, such procedure shall be an addendum to this policy.

D. Each school district shall have a procedure for a parent, guardian, or an adult student, 18 years of age or older, to review the content of the instructional materials to be provided to a minor child or to an adult student and, if the parent, guardian, or adult student objects to the content, to make reasonable arrangements with school personnel for alternative instruction. Alternative instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian, or adult student if the alternative instruction, is any, offered by the school board does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian, or adult student. School personnel may not impose an academic or other penalty upon a student merely for arranging alternative instruction under this section. School personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student’s work.

Legal References:

  • Minn. Stat. § 120A.22, Subd. 9 (Compulsory Instruction – Curriculum)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.20 (Parental Curriculum)
  • Minn. Stat. § 120B.235 (American Heritage Education)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.02, Subd. 2 (General Powers of Independent School Districts)
  • Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, Subd. 8 (School Board Responsibilities)
  • Minn. Stat. § 124D.59-124D.61 (Limited English Proficiency)
  • Minn. Stat. § 127A.10 (State Officials and School Board Members to be Disinterested; Penalty)
  • Hazelwood Sch. Dist. v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260, 108 S.Ct. 562, 98 L.Ed.2d 592 (1988)
  • Pratt v. Independent Sch. Dist. No. 831, 670 F.2d 771 (8th Cir. 1982)

Cross References:

  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 603 (Curriculum Development)
  • MSBA/MASA Model Policy 604 (Instructional Curriculum)

Adopted: November 10, 2008
Revised: October 20, 2015
Reviewed: February 21, 2017