602.01 Selection of Instructional Materials



The Board of Directors of the Muscatine School District hereby declares it the policy of the district to provide a wide range of instructional materials on all levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and the presentation of different points of view and to allow review of allegedly inappropriate instructional materials.

LEGAL REF:            Code of Iowa 279.8, Ch. 301

Statement of Rules

Responsibility for Selection of Materials

The Board of Directors is legally responsible for all matters relating to the operation of the Muscatine School District.

The responsibility for the selection of instructional materials is delegated to the professionally trained and certificated staff employed by the school system.  For the purpose of this rule, the term “instructional materials” includes printed and audiovisual materials (not equipment), whether considered text materials or media center materials (media).

While selection of instructional materials involves many people (principals, teachers, students, parents, community persons and media specialists), the responsibility for coordinating the selection of most materials and making the recommendation for purchase rests with certificated personnel.

Responsibility for coordinating the selection of text materials for distribution to classes will rest with the appropriate department chairperson or with the curriculum development committee.  For the purpose of this rule, the term “text materials” includes textbooks and other print and nonprint material provided in multiple copies for use of a total class or a major segment of such a class.

Certificated staff choosing instructional materials to supplement and expand their curriculum must exercise special care in selection.  If these materials have not been authorized through the specified process for selection of instructional materials, the individual teacher must judge these materials by the selection criteria.                     

Teachers must keep the building principal informed of added materials in their classrooms.  Principals will make a decided effort to communicate with teachers and will remind them of their joint responsibility to provide appropriate learning materials for students.

Criteria for Selection of Materials

The following criteria will be used as they apply:

Materials shall support and be consistent with the general educational goals of the district and the objectives of specific courses

Materials shall meet high standards of quality in factual content and presentation.

Materials shall be appropriate for the subject area and for the age, emotional development, ability level, and social development of the students for whom the materials are selected.

Materials shall have aesthetic, literary, or social value.

Materials chosen shall be by competent and qualified authors and producers.

Materials shall be chosen to foster respect for women, minority and ethnic groups, the elderly, and the disabled, and shall realistically represent our pluralistic society, and the roles and life styles open to both women and men in today’s world.  Materials shall be designed to help students gain an awareness and understanding of the many important contributions made to our civilization by women, minority and ethnic groups, the elderly, and the disabled.

Materials shall clarify the multiple historical and contemporary forces with their economics, political, and religious dimensions which have operated to the disadvantage or advantage of women, minority and ethnic groups, the elderly and the disabled.  These materials shall present and analyze intergroup tension and conflict objectively, placing emphasis upon resolving social and economic problems.

Materials shall be designed to motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behaviors and to comprehend their own duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges as participating citizens in a pluralistic society.

Materials shall be selected for their strengths rather than rejected for their weaknesses.

Biased or slanted materials may be provided to demonstrate or clearly state the purpose, i.e., demonstrating bias in an editorial

Physical format and appearance of materials shall be suitable for their intended use.

The selection of materials on controversial issues will be directed toward maintaining a balanced collection representing various views.

Procedure for Selection of Materials

Media Center Materials (Media)

In selecting materials for purchase for the media center, the media specialist will evaluate the existing collection and the curriculum needs and will consult reputable, professionally prepared selection aids and other appropriate sources.  For the purpose of this rule, the term “media” includes all materials considered part of the library collection, plus all instructional materials housed in resource centers and classrooms (if any) that are not text materials.  For the purpose of this rule, the term “media center” is the space, room or complex of rooms and spaces designated as a library, media center, instructional materials or similar term.  It may include units not contiguous to the center where facilities dictate.  These units would include but not be limited to resource centers, production centers, and television studios.

Recommendations for purchase will be solicited from faculty and student body.

Gift materials shall also be judged by the criteria for selection of materials and accepted or rejected by those criteria.

Selection is an ongoing process which shall include the removal of materials no longer appropriate and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.

Selections are forwarded to the office of the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee through the principal in charge of the attendance center.

Curriculum Material

Curriculum material committees shall be responsible for recommending appropriate textbooks, lab equipment, software, and/or other instructional materials.   Subject area, and/or instructional level, certified staff, representatives from the equity committee, parents and other community members shall be included on each committee.

The curriculum development committee shall develop criteria for curriculum materials consistent with the general criteria for materials selection.

The committee shall present its recommendation(s) to the superintendent or other designated administrator.

The superintendent or the superintendent’s designee and the curriculum development committee shall present the recommendation(s) to the Board.

Approved:           3/14/88        Reviewed:        5/09/11         Revised:       5/8/06__

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