4220 - Review of Instructional Media
Instructional Material Washington County School District - Adopted 4-9-91; Revised 12-11-18; Revised 11-11-19
The Washington County School Board supports principles of intellectual freedom inherent in the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Occasional objections to the instructional materials may be made despite the quality of the selection process.
Any stakeholder in the School District may request review of instructional materials used in the District's educational programs. (Reference, also, Policy 4215, Review of Instructional Materials.) Procedure for the appeals process for state mandated Human Sexuality curriculum can be found on the school district website under "Health Curriculum."
3.1. The school official or staff member receiving an objection or request for review of instructional materials shall refer the stakeholder making the request to the staff member responsible for the materials who may attempt to explain the intended educational use of the material in question; materials, however, shall remain in circulation/use pending action of the school level committee. (Form 941)
3.2. If the stakeholder objecting to the material is not satisfied with the initial explanation, he/she shall be referred to the school principal. If, after an informal meeting, the stakeholder wishes to file a "Request For Review of Instructional Materials," he/she shall be given a "Request" form to be completed and returned to the school principal.
3.3. The principal shall provide a copy of the completed request for review form to the staff member using the material. After reviewing the request, the staff member may attempt a resolution (within a five day period). If either the stakeholder or staff member is not satisfied with the informal attempted resolution, he/she may request that the principal convene a review committee to resolve the matter at the school level.
3.4. The principal shall direct the staff member using the material in question to complete the teacher form and shall convene a committee (within five school days) to review the request.
3.5. The committee shall be made up of at least five members including the following:
3.5.1. The school principal or his/her designee, who shall serve as chair for the committee.
3.5.2. The media coordinator for the school.
3.5.3. One parent recommended by the school level PTA.
3.5.4. One faculty member from the department, or grade level, where the materials are used (If the material is recreational reading, a language arts teacher shall be selected).
3.5.5. One other faculty member from the school.
3.5.6. A student from the grade level where the materials are used, when deemed appropriate.
3.6. The committee shall review the materials in question as follows:
3.6.1. Read, view, listen to and/or examine the material in its entirety.
3.6.2. Read reviews and consult recommended lists.
3.6.3. Determine the extent to which the materials meet the selection criteria.
3.7. At the school level meeting, interested persons, including the stakeholder and the teacher(s) using the materials and others with an interest as determined by the committee shall have the opportunity to speak. The committee may request that individuals with special knowledge be present to present information to the committee. The committee shall decide on the appropriateness of the material by considering the following criteria:
3.7.1. The material has identifiable literary value.
3.7.2. The material has positive social and moral value.
3.7.3. The material will help students develop a better understanding of themselves and others.
3.7.4. The selection has identifiable aesthetic value.
3.7.5. The material is appropriate for the purpose for which it is to be taught/used.
3.7.6. The subject matter, reading level, and the maturity level of the material is appropriate for the student using the material.
The committee shall complete its action within fifteen school days, and the chairperson of the committee shall prepare a written report listing the reasons for the decision.
3.8. The stakeholder, faculty member responsible, and all teachers, parents and staff members who have served on the committee shall receive written notice of the decision, within an appropriate length of time.
3.9. If the decision is not satisfactory to all parties, the principal, upon receiving a written request, shall forward the appropriate information to the District administrator for Elementary Education or Secondary Education.
3.10. Upon receipt of the formal written request for review of instructional materials, the District administrator shall convene a committee to review the request for resolution at the District level. All previous information relevant to the case shall be available to this committee. The criteria listed for the school committee shall also be applied by this committee. (See 3.7 above.)
3.11. The committee shall be made up of at least five members including the following:
3.11.1. The school administrator or his/her designee, who shall serve as chair for the committee.
3.11.2. A media coordinator from the District.
3.11.3. One parent recommended by the county PTA Board.
3.11.4. One District faculty member from a department in which the materials are used.
3.11.5. One other faculty member from a school in the District.
3.11.6. A student from the grade level where the materials are used, when deemed appropriate.
3.11.7. No member of this committee shall have served on the school level committee for this case.
3.12. The stakeholder, school principal, staff member responsible for the materials, and all teachers, parents and staff members who have served on the committee shall receive written notice of the decision within an appropriate length of time.
3.13. If a satisfactory agreement can not be reached after consideration by the District committee, the District administrator shall forward the information to the District Superintendent of Schools for a final decision.