|The School Board of Miami-Dade County|
|Bylaws & Policies|
|Unless a specific policy has been amended and the date the policy was revised is noted at the bottom of that policy, the Bylaws and Policies of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools were adopted on May 11, 2011 and were in effect beginning July 1, 2011.|
2510 - INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND RESOURCES
The School Board shall select and provide adequate instructional materials, as recommended by the Superintendent, that serve as the basis for instruction for each student in the core subject areas of mathematics, language arts, social studies, science, reading, and literature. The Board is responsible for the content of all instructional materials and any other materialsused in a classroom, made available in a school library, or included on a reading list whether adopted and purchased from the state-adopted instructional materials list, adopted and purchased through the District instructional materials program or otherwise purchased or made available in the classroom. Instructional materials and resources shall be provided in a variety of formats that are appropriate, timely, and essential to the attainment of specified educational objectives and are free of bias, stereotypes, distortions, and prejudices.
"Adequate instructional materials" means a sufficient number of student or site licenses or sets of materials and have intellectual content that by design serve as the major tool for assisting in the instruction of a subject or course. These items may be provided in a variety of forms, bound, unbound, kit, or package form and may consist of hardbacked or softbacked textbooks, electronic content, consumables, learning laboratories, manipulatives, electronic media, and computer courseware or software. Instructional materials, including textbooks, educational media (library media print, nonprint, and electronic resources), computer software, digital content, videotapes. The Board must either (1) adopt instructional materials selected from the state-approved materials according to the state adoption cycles, (2) adopt instructional materials pursuant to a Board instructional materials review program prescribed by this policy, or (3) a combination of both.
State-Adopted Instructional Materials
The Florida Commissioner of Education shall determine annually the areas in which instructional materials shall be submitted for adoption and evaluate them pursuant to law.
The Superintendent shall assign responsibilities for the District's participation in the State adoption of instructional materials, determine areas of the curriculum in which State adoption of instructional materials is needed and communicate those needs to the Commissioner of Education, and establish procedures for the requisition, purchase, receipt, storage, distribution, use, conservation, maintenance of records and reports, and management practices, and property accountability concerning instructional materials. The duties and responsibilities include keeping adequate records and accounts for all financial transactions for funds collected pursuant to F.S. 1006.28(3)(a). Such records and account shall be a component of the educational service delivery scope of the District’s best financial management practices review under F.S. 1008.35.
Non-State Adopted Instructional Materials
The Board shall implement its own instructional materials review and selection program for materials that are not State-adopted.
Procedures shall be established, which are incorporated by reference in and made a part of this policy, to provide for evaluation and selection of nonstate-adopted instructional materials. These procedures shall include processes, criteria, and requirements for (1) selection of reviewers, one or more of whom must be a parent with a child enrolled in a District public school, (2) review of instructional materials, (3) selection of materials, including a thorough review of curriculum content, and (4) reviewer recommendations. The procedures must also identify by subject area, a review cycle for instructional materials, specify the qualifications of reviewers, establish a process that certifies the accuracy of instructional materials, and comply with all other requirements in F.S. 1006.283(2).
Evaluation and Selection of Instructional Materials (Textbooks)
|A.||Criteria for Selection|
|Textbooks and instructional materials should provide quality learning experiences for students, enrich and support the curriculum, and be consistent with the Florida State Standards. School teaching staff and administrators shall evaluate instructional materials by following the State’s Guidelines for the Review of Instructional Materials. Below are the major components of the review guidelines. The complete guidelines, including specific indicators may be found on the State’s Curriculum and Instruction website http://www.fldoe.org/bii/Instruct_Mat/eval.asp.|
|1.||Alignment To Florida’s Perspective (Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model; Reading in the content area; universal design for curriculum access; Florida’s vision for the subject area)|
|2.||Content (Alignment with curriculum; level of treatment; expertise for content development; accuracy of content; currency of content; authenticity of content; multicultural representation; humanity and compassion)|
|3.||Presentation (Comprehensiveness of student and teacher resources; alignment of instructional components; organization of instructional materials; readability of instructional materials; pacing of content; ease of use and durability of materials)|
|4.||Learning (Motivational strategies; teaching a few "big ideas"; explicit instruction; guidance and support; active participation of students; targeted instructional strategies; targeted assessment strategies)|
|B.||Instructional materials must also be evaluated for bias-free content. There are five (5) areas in which bias is evidenced in instructional materials:|
|1.||Contextual Invisibility (The omission or under representation of various racial and ethnic groups, people with disabilities, older people, women and people from a variety of social classes.)|
|2.||Stereotyping And Characterization (Assignment of traditional and rigid roles or attributes to a group.)|
|3.||Historical Distortions And Omissions (Materials which present only one interpretation of an issue, situation, or group of people.)|
|4.||Language Bias (Materials which perpetuate single-standard language usage that reflects bias based on gender, race, ethnicity, disability, age, and class.)|
|5.||Inaccurate And Stereotypical Visual Images (Pictures which present and reinforce sexism, racial and ethnic stereotypes, etc.)|
|C.||Any materials purchased shall be free of pornography and material prohibited under F.S. 874.12, suited to student needs and their ability to comprehend the material presented, and appropriate for the grade level and age group for which the materials are used or made available.|
|D.||No school official or member of a District or State instructional materials council shall accept any emolument, money, or other valuable thing, or any inducement, to directly or indirectly introduce, recommend, vote for, or otherwise influence the adoption or purchase of any instructional materials.|
|E.||No member of the District evaluation committee may discuss matters relating to instructional materials submitted for adoption with any agent of a publisher or manufacturer of instructional materials, either directly or indirectly, except during the period when the committee shall have been called into session for the purpose of evaluating instructional materials submitted for adoption or in a public presentation showcasing the materials. Aside from exception noted above, both parties (District evaluation committee member and agent of a publisher or manufacturer or instructional materials) must comply with the District’s "Cone of Silence" (Policy 6325). Definition of the cone of silence and its stipulations may be found at http://procurement.dadeschools.net/pdp.asp.|
Instructional Materials Adoption and Purchase
Whether instructional materials are selected and purchased from a State-approved instructional materials list or through the District’s own instructional materials selection process, the Board shall:
|A.||conduct an open noticed public hearing to receive comment on instruction materials being recommended by the Superintendent to the Board for adoption;|
|B.||provide public access to recommended materials at least twenty (20) calendar days prior to Board consideration;|
|C.||provide public notice of the materials being considered for adoption that specifically lists the materials and how they can be accessed;|
|D.||conduct an open noticed public meeting on a date other than the date of the public hearing required above to approve an annual instructional materials plan identifying instructional materials that will be purchased by the District for the entire District; (This does not include instructional materials by a school or teacher for the benefit of only that teacher or school.)|
|E.||receive public comment at the public hearing and meeting in accordance with Policy 0169.1, Public Participation.|
Process for Parents and Residents to Challenge Adoption of Instructional Materials
The following individuals may file an objection to the adoption of a specific instructional material:
|A.||parent of a public school student in the District; or|
|B.||resident of the county.|
For purposes of this policy, "resident" means a resident of the county who has maintained his/her residence in Florida for the preceding year, has purchased a home that is occupied by him/her as his/her residence, or has established a domicile in Florida pursuant to F.S. 222.17.
A parent or resident may file a petition with the Board within thirty (30) calendar days after the Board’s adoption of specific instructional materials on a form provided by the Board. The petition form shall be publicly available on the District’s website. The petition must be signed by the parent or resident, include the required contact information, and state the objection to the instructional material based on the criteria set forth in F.S. 1006.31(2) or 1006.40(3)(d).
Within thirty (30) days after the thirty (30) day period has expired, an unbiased and qualified hearing officer shall conduct an open public hearing on all petitions timely received. The hearing officer shall be appointed by the Superintendent and shall be neither an employee nor agent of the Board.
The hearing before the hearing officer is not subject to the provisions of F.S. Chapter 120 but the hearing officer shall provide sufficient procedural protections to allow each petitioner an adequate and fair opportunity to be heard and present evidence to the hearing officer. Within fourteen (14) days of the conclusion of the hearing, the hearing officer will present his or her findings and recommendation in writing to the Board.
Within thirty (30) days after the Board receives the hearing officer’s findings and recommendation, the Board, at a public meeting, will consider the petition, the hearing officer’s findings and recommendation, and any evidence presented to the hearing officer, and make a final decision on the petition.
The decision of the Board shall be final and is not subject to further review or petition.
Access to Instructional Materials
The Board shall provide annual written notice to parents of the ability to access their child’s instructional materials. In addition, the notice shall be posted on the District’s instructional materials information website.
The Board must also provide notice and access for teachers, administrators, students, and parents to a local instructional improvement system for electronic and digital instructional materials.
The District shall maintain on its website a current list of instructional materials, by grade level, purchased by the District.
Educational Media (Library Media Center Collections)
A wide choice of materials that support the instructional program shall be available to students and professional staff to allow for varying achievement levels, free choice reading interests, and teaching/learning styles. Quality materials should be available in a variety of formats and reading levels, offer a well-balanced coverage of subjects, and support the diverse interests, needs, and viewpoints of the school community. The Chief Academic Officer, Office of Academics and Transformation, in conjunction with the DistrictDirector, Division of Instructional Technology, Instructional Materials, and Library Media Services, shall establish procedures for the evaluation, selection, management, and disposal of library media materials.
Upon written request, the District shall provide access to any material or book specified in the request that is maintained in the school library and is available for review. The school principal shall arrange for a convenient time to provide such access subject to the procedures provided in Policy 9150, School Visitors.
The library media center shall contain a comprehensive collection of materials and equipment in a variety of media formats, to:
|A.||provide a broad background of information resources in all areas of knowledge;|
|B.||support the general educational goals of the District and the objectives of specific courses, including materials that represent diverse points of view in order that young citizens may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical analysis of all media and intellectual integrity in forming judgments;|
|C.||meet the personal needs and interests of students, including materials that:|
|1.||nurture the development of recreational reading/listening/viewing, cultural appreciation, and aesthetic values;|
|2.||represent the many religious, racial, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural groups in our society and reflect their contributions to the heritage and culture of our civilization;|
|3.||foster respect for the diverse roles available to women and men in today's society;|
|D.||support the professional needs of teachers and administrators; and|
|E.||introduce new instructional technologies into the learning environment.|
Evaluation and Selection of Instructional Materials (Educational Media)
The school library media center collection affords students the opportunity to explore the unknown and discover areas of interest and thought not covered by the prescribed curriculum; therefore, it should contain materials that allow for free inquiry, study, and evaluation. The selection process may include consultation with school administrators, other teachers, students, and parents to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for users of the library media center.
|A.||Criteria for Selection|
|1.||Materials should support the school’s and the District’s educational goals and policies, including the advancement of student literacy.|
|2.||Materials should be selected to support, enrich, and extend the school’s curriculum and to encourage informational, educational, and recreational reading, viewing and/or listening.|
|3.||Consideration should be given to diverse user interests, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, languages, and maturity levels. Materials intended for student use should be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, social development, ability levels, special needs, and learning styles of students served by the collection.|
|4.||Materials should represent various viewpoints on controversial issues so that students learn to explore, analyze, and make intelligent judgments.|
|5.||The value of a work should be examined as a whole.|
|6.||In order to assure quality selection, the following additional factors may be considered, when appropriate:|
|a.||educational significance and/or contribution to the curriculum;|
|b.||informational or recreational interest;|
|c.||reputation and significance of the author, producer, editor, and/or publisher;|
|d.||degree of potential user appeal;|
|e.||contribution to the variety in viewpoints offered on controversial issues;|
|f.||accuracy and currency of information;|
|g.||arrangement and organization of the material (for example, indices, glossaries, tables of contents, chapter headings, etc.);|
|h.||artistic quality, literary style or production values;|
|j.||quality and variety of format;|
|k.||need to replace essential/required worn, damaged, or missing materials; and|
|l.||value commensurate with cost and/or need.|
|B.||Selection Tools and Resources|
|The library media specialists should use, but are not limited to, the following tools and resources to assist in the selection of quality library materials:|
|1.||reviews in professional, reputable sources such as Booklist, School Library Journal, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book, Bulletin for the Center for Children’s Books, and Voice of Youth Advocates;|
|2.||reading lists/recommendations compiled by government agencies or departments, educational institutions, or professional organizations such as American Library Association (ALA), Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA), American Association of School Librarians (AASL), National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), International Reading Association (IRA), Florida Department of Education (FLDOE), and Florida Association for Media in Education (FAME);|
|3.||State and national awards such as Caldecott Medal, Newbery Medal, Coretta Scott King Book Award, Alex Award, Sunshine State Young Readers Award (SSYRA), Michael L. Printz Award, Pura Belpre Award, Florida Teens Read;|
|4.||professional selection bibliographies such as Wilson’s Children’s Core Collection, Wilson’s Middle and Junior High Core Collection, Wilson’s Senior High Core Collection, Wilson’s Graphic Novels Core Collection, Best Books for Young Teen Readers, Best Books for High School Readers, Best Books for Middle School and Junior High Readers;|
|5.||District generated reading lists;|
|6.||supplemental reading lists contained in District created curriculum resources and adopted textbooks; and|
|7.||recommendations by faculty, administration, students, or parents.|
No instructional materials (textbooks or educational media) containing pornography or otherwise prohibited by F.S. 847.012 shall be used.
Use of Instructional Materials
Principals shall ensure that instructional materials are used to provide instruction to students enrolled at the grade level(s) for which the materials are designed and for effectively communicating to parents the manner in which materials are used to implement the curricular objectives of the school under F.S. 1006.40(5) and 1006.28(3).
Lost and Damaged Instructional Materials
The principal shall collect from each student or the student's parent the purchase price of any instructional materials the student has lost, destroyed, or unnecessarily damaged and report and transmit the amount collected to the Superintendent. The failure to collect such sum upon reasonable effort by the principal may result in the suspension of the student from participating in extra-curricular activities or satisfaction of the debt by the student through community service activities at the school site as determined by the principal under F.S. 1006.28(3)(b).
Complaints – Non-State/District Adopted Materials, Library, and Educational Media
A parent of a public school student in the District or a resident of the county may file an objection concerning the use of a material or book made available in a school library.A complaint may be filed only at the school which contains the material in question. Challenged materials may be removed from use only after the following informal and formal due process procedures have been completed:
|A.||School Level - Informal Complaint for Non-state or Non-district Adopted Materials and Educational Media Only|
|The complainant shall first contact the principal with the complaint. Within five (5) school days, the principal and/or a designee and the appropriate staff member(s) shall meet with the complainant to hear the grievance regarding the material and to explain (1) the school's materials selection procedures; (2) the criteria used for the selection of instructional materials; (3) the role that the material in question has in the school's curriculum or library media center collection; and (4) whatever additional information is needed regarding the item's use. In preparation for the meeting with the complainant, the principal and the school media specialist should conduct a review of the material based on the selection criteria set forth above. After meeting with the complainant and hearing the concerns regarding the book, the principal may take the following actions: remove the material from the library collection or retain the material in the library collection. If the complainant is not satisfied with the explanation regarding the retention of the material in the library collection and desires to file a formal complaint, the formal procedures shall be followed.|
|B.||School Level - Formal Complaint for Non-state or Non-district Adopted Materials and Educational Media Only|
|1.||The complainant shall obtain four (4) copies of a form entitled "Citizen's Request for Reconsideration of Media" from the principal or a designee, complete the form in its entirety, including signature, retain one (1) copy, and send one (1) copy of the completed form to:|
|a.||the principal (original);|
|b.||the feeder pattern lead principal; and|
|c.||the appropriate Region Superintendent.|
|2.||The completed form and the material(s) in question shall be studied by a nine (9) member School Materials Review Committee (SMRC) appointed on an ad hoc basis by the principal with the following provisions:|
|a.||The committee shall consist of the principal or designee; two (2) teachers in the appropriate subject area/grade; one (1) teacher from another subject area/grade; a library media specialist; a guidance counselor; one (1) student from the appropriate grade level or who is accomplished in the specific subject area (middle and senior high school only); one (1) lay person from the school's Parent-Teacher/Parent-Teacher-Student Association or the Educational Excellence School Advisory Council; and a representative designated by the Region Superintendent.|
|b.||The SMRC shall meet within ten (10) school work days of receipt by the principal of the reconsideration form.|
|c.||The SMRC may solicit professional written reviews of the materials and/or comments from appropriate audiences or resource persons.|
|d.||The SMRC shall read/view the material in its entirety, consider the reviews of the material, study the comments on the complainant's questionnaire, consider one (1) or more of the evaluative criteria above and render a decision based on a majority vote.|
|Note: The principal shall make the criteria in above available to all interested persons.|
|e.||Within five (5) school work days of its final meeting, the SMRC shall prepare a written report with recommendations for the principal to follow. The committee's final recommendation may be any or a combination of the following: (1) allow the challenged material to maintain its current status; (2) leave the challenged material in the classroom or library media center, but allow students to use alternate materials approved by school personnel who require the use of the disputed item; (3) limit the educational use of the challenged material; or (4) remove the challenged material from the total school environment.|
|f.||Within five (5) school work days after receipt of the SMRC recommendation, the principal shall inform the complainant of the decision of the committee and shall send copies of all reports and communications to the appropriate Region Superintendent.|
|3.||Access to challenged materials shall not be restricted during the reconsideration process. The materials shall remain in use unless removed by formal vote of the SMRC.|
|4.||A copy of the selection and reconsideration procedures shall be placed in the library media center's professional collection for reference.|
|5.||Each school principal shall include a copy of this policy in the school's staff handbook and shall review the selection and reconsideration procedures with the staff as needed, emphasizing the policies pertaining to the teaching of controversial issues and the ethical considerations that are needed in handling citizen complaints with courtesy and integrity.|
|C.||District Level - Formal Appeal for Reconsideration of Non-state or Non-district Adopted Materials|
|The following steps are to be followed to appeal a School Materials Review Committee (SMRC) decision:|
|1.||The complainant shall notify the Superintendent of the appeal in writing.|
|2.||Within fifteen (15) school work days of receipt of the request, the Superintendent and appropriate staff shall review the action taken at the school level and issue a decision. If the decision does not include further review, the complainant shall be notified and may request an appearance to appeal directly to the Board according to policy.|
|3.||If the Superintendent finds cause for further review, the complaint shall be submitted to a seventeen (17) member District Materials Review Committee (DMRC), chaired by the Associate Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, or designee, appointed on an ad hoc basis by the Superintendent, with the following provisions:|
|a.||The committee shall consist of the Chief Academic Officer, Office of Academics and Transformation, or designee, an appropriate Region Superintendent; two (2) principals at the appropriate level; the Executive Director of Instructional Technology, Instructional Materials, and Library Media Services; two (2) appropriate subject area directors/supervisors; the Instructional Supervisor of Library Media Services; the Supervisor of Textbook Services; one (1) teacher in the appropriate subject area/grade; two (2) library media specialists; one (1) student from the appropriate grade level or who is accomplished in the specific subject area (middle and senior high only); a representative from United Teachers of Dade; a representative from the Miami-Dade County Council of Parent-Teacher/Parent-Teacher-Student Associations who will be appointed by the President of the District Association; a representative from the District Advisory Committee; and one (1) lay person.|
|b.||In the event that a person named above cannot be present at the DMRC meeting(s), the Superintendent may appoint an alternate.|
|c.||The DMRC shall follow the procedures stated above.|
|d.||The DMRC shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent within fifteen (15) school work days of receipt of the complaint based on the evaluation and selection criteria for instructional materials set forth in this policy.|
|e.||The recommendation of the DMRC and the basis for that recommendation shall be transmitted to the Superintendent; the Associate Superintendent, Curriculum and Instruction; the principal; and the party requesting the review.|
|f.||The Superintendent or a designee shall make a final decision within five (5) school work days of receipt of the DMRC recommendation and send a report of that decision to the Chief Academic Officer, Office of Academics and Transformation; the appropriate Region Superintendent; the principal; and the complainant.|
|g.||The Citizen Information Center shall make the selection criteria and a copy of the material(s) in question available for review upon request of interested persons.|
|h.||The complainant may appeal the decision of the Superintendent to the Board in writing and may request an appearance before the Board pursuant to Policy 9130.|
34 C.F.R. Part 300
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