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Series 603 - Instructional Resources

Adopted: May 1983
Revised: April 2018

1.  Definition

1.1  For the purpose of this policy and related regulations and procedures, instructional resources are defined as anything which is read, listened to, manipulated, observed or experienced by students as part of the instructional process.  Resources may be consumable or non-consumable, and may vary greatly in the kind of student response they stimulate. Instructional resources include, but are not limited to, manipulatives, textbooks, books, magazines, other publications in print and online, audio and visual recordings, speakers (from inside or outside the school district), online databases, selected internet sites (refer to section 6 of Policy 503, Student Rights and Responsibilities, and related regulations), device apps, and other print and non-print resources.

1.2 Materials related to the selection of students for certain programs or services or related to student eligibility data are not considered to be instructional resources.  These materials include, but are not limited to, teacher’s grade books, student records and standardized tests.

2.  Intellectual Freedom

2.1 District 196 will provide students with a wide range of learning resources at all levels of difficulty with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view.

2.2 The board supports the principles of intellectual freedom inherent in the first amendment of the Constitution of the United States as expressed in official statements of professional associations, including A Policy on the Freedom to Teach, to Learn, and to Express Ideas in the Public Schools (adopted by the Minnesota Board of Education March 12, 1985); Library Bill of Rights (American Library Association); The Freedom to Read (American Library Association, revised June 2004); The Right to Read (National Council of Teachers of English); Freedom to View (Freedom to View Committee of the American Film and Video Association) and Access to Resources and Services in the School Library Media Program:  An Interpretation of the Library Bill of Rights (American Library Association, amended July 1, 2014).

3.   Selection of Instructional Resources -- The superintendent shall establish regulations and procedures for instructional resources selection.

3.1   Process

3.1.1  The board delegates the responsibility for selection of instructional resources to the professional educators of the district (the superintendent, administrators and teachers), with the involvement of and input from parents and other residents.

3.1.2  The district selection process shall be open, allowing for appropriate communications with and input from other employees, parents, district residents and students. 

3.2   Criteria

3.2.1  Instructional resources shall include a wide range of information and opinion, at varying levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal and the presentation of different points of view and perspectives in order to meet the diverse needs of students and teachers.

3.2.2  Instructional resources shall reflect multicultural, gender-inclusive and disability-sensitive concepts, or they will be used in a manner that helps students gain insights into the existence of bias in both print and non-print materials.

3.2.3  All instructional resources used in the district shall have been measured against and shown to be in compliance with the criteria for selection as specified in district regulations.  The same selection criteria shall apply to all instructional resources, whether selected by a district committee, a school committee, a grade level, a department or an individual teacher, or donated.

3.2.4  Movies and Videos

3.2.4.1  In accordance with federal copyright laws, rented or purchased videotapes that carry the warning “for home use only” may be used only in face-to-face teaching for an instructional goal.  These videotapes may not be used for entertainment.  For more details, refer to Administrative Regulation 407.6AR, Copyright.

3.2.4.2  The board does not approve of the use of movies or videos that contain vulgar or profane language, nudity, sexually explicit scenes, portrayal of drug use or violence which are educationally inappropriate for classroom purposes and for the particular student group.

3.2.4.2.1  Movies and videos rated "R" may not be shown to students in grades k-8, and may be shown for instructional purposes to students in grades 9-12 only with advance approval of the principal and advance notification of parents and guardians. 

3.2.4.2.2 Movies and videos rated "PG-13" may not be shown to students in grades k-5, may be shown for instructional purposes to students in grades 6-8 only with advance approval of the principal and advance notification of parents and guardians, and may be shown for instructional purposes to students in grades 9-12. 

3.2.4.2.3 Movies and videos rated "PG" may be shown for instructional purposes to students in grades k-5 only with advance approval of the principal and advance notification of parents and guardians, and may be shown for instructional purposes to students in grades 6-12. 

3.2.4.2.4 Movies and videos rated "G" may be shown for instructional purposes to students in grades k-12.

3.2.4.3  Movies and videos that are not rated may also be considered unsuitable for particular student groups due to vulgar or profane language, nudity, sexually explicit scenes, portrayal of drug use or violence.  In order to determine their suitability, such movies and videos shall be previewed by media specialists, team leaders and the principal (elementary schools) or media specialists, department heads and the principal (secondary schools).

3.2.4.4  Advance Notification of Parents and Guardians

3.2.4.4.1 Advance notification of the showing of a movie or video, as required in sections 3.2.4.2.1 - 3.2.4.2.3 above, must be given to parents and guardians by the teacher at the beginning of the quarter or trimester, or at least 15 days in advance of the showing of the movie or video, whichever time period is longer.

3.2.4.4.2 Advance notification shall include the purpose and content of the movie or video, and the option for the parent or guardian to withhold their child from the class during the time the movie is shown. 

4.  Reconsideration of Instructional Resources

4.1 The district recognizes the right of district residents, parents and guardians of district students, adult students and district employees to examine instructional resources, and the responsibility of individual parents to monitor resources selected for their children.  Such persons may require that specific instructional resources be excluded or restricted for their child and may request that specific instructional resources be reconsidered for other students. 

4.2 When such a reconsideration request is received, the administration will follow a pre-determined process for responding in a timely and responsible fashion in accordance with Administrative Regulation 603.4AR, Reconsideration of Instructional Resources.

5.  Parent Review of Instructional Materials

5.1 The superintendent or designee will establish a process to allow for parents and guardians of district students or adult students (18 years of age or older) to review the content of instructional materials to be provided to a student. 

5.1.1 Verification of Content - If a parent, guardian or adult student objects to the content of specific instructional material, he or she may make reasonable arrangements for alternative instruction with the principal of the school the student attends.

5.1.2 Alternative Instruction - If the alternative instruction offered by the school does not meet the concerns of the parent, guardian or adult student, the instruction may be provided by the parent, guardian or adult student.  The district will not pay for the costs of alternative instruction provided by the parent, guardian or adult student.

5.1.3 Evaluation - While appropriate school personnel may evaluate and assess the quality of the student’s work in the alternative instruction, no academic or other penalty will be imposed upon a student who is receiving alternative instruction.

5.2 Parent Notification About Human Growth and Development Curriculum and Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases Prevention Curriculum -- Schools will notify parents, in advance, about courses in which students are taught the human growth and development curriculum and/or the sexually transmitted infections and diseases prevention curriculum.  Parents are encouraged to contact their child's school to find out more about these curricula. Parents may withhold their children from specific class sessions in which these curricula are taught.

References: 

  • Minnesota Statute 120B.20, Parental curriculum review
  • Minnesota Statute 121A.23, Programs to Prevent and Reduce the Risks of Sexually Transmitted Infections and Diseases
  • Minnesota Rules, Chapter 3500.0550, Inclusive Educational Program

Policies/603/4-20-18