SUSQUEHANNA TOWNSHIP SCHOOL DISTRICT
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania 17109

POLICY

SELECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND TEXTBOOKS
 
 

A.  TEXTBOOK SELECTION

In accordance with the Public School Code, Article IIX, Section 803, the procedures for ordering new textbooks will require a written request to be made preferably no later than December 1. The principals of the various schools are responsible to consult with teachers and to determine the subject matter or grade levels where new texts are most needed. When a new adoption is recommended, the Assistant Superintendent will be responsible to establish a faculty committee for the purpose of evaluating all sample texts. Representatives of publishers should be informed they are not to call upon members of the committee individually. All presentations of textbook materials will be coordinated through the office of the Assistant Superintendent.

After a committee has been established to recommend a new textbook adoption, all publishers of such materials will be notified by the Assistant Superintendent and invited to send sample copies of materials for review by the appropriate committee. These materials will be received and distributed by the Assistant Superintendent in charge of Curriculum. The committee will examine current planned course objectives and competencies, along with subject specific standards as part of the evaluation process. Sufficient time should be arranged for members of the committee, along with grade level teachers and/or department members to review and examine materials being considered for adoption. When appropriate, textbooks may be piloted for a period of time, not to exceed one school year, as part of the evaluation process. It is imperative that the committee exert every effort to receive suggestions and recommendations from as many teachers as possible.

The final report of the committee should be submitted to the district office prior to April 1 when implementation is recommended for the beginning of the next school term. The written report of recommendations should include: the rationale for the change, the committee process, the targeted levels of implementation, recommendations of the committee, the anticipated cost per unit and the quantity needed, the date of implementation, and the signatures of committee members. In addition, a sample text will be provided to members of the board for their perusal prior to final action.

When the report is reviewed and approved by the assistant superintendent, the superintendent of schools will submit the committee’s recommendation for adoption to the school board.


Approved by the School Board - September 2, 1976
Amended by the School Board - June 8, 1987
 
 
B.  SELECTING INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

The purchase and/or use of ancillary instructional materials such as brochures, software, magazines, and other learning tools for use by students in classroom instruction must have the written approval of the building principal. There will be no exception to this procedure, regardless of the funding source for the aforementioned items.

Under no circumstances can a teacher arbitrarily purchase or distribute, even at no cost to the district, texts or other ancillary materials to students for classroom instruction.

In the case of new adoptions of texts, board approval is required in addition to administration approval as stated in the Pennsylvania State Code, Article IIX, section 803.

Promoting positive cultural awareness and sensitivity to individual student differences shall be paramount in the evaluation process.

The following items will be considered when instructional materials are being chosen for student use:
  1. Content shall be appropriate for each of the students at his/her grade level.
     
  2. Content shall accommodate various learning styles and promote critical thinking skills.
     
  3. Content shall promote enrichment activities, designed to extend student learning.
     
  4. Content shall be current, accurate and objective.
     
  5. Content shall provide diverse perspectives on social, political, ethnic, racial, geographic, religious, cultural and economic issues (to be specifically addressed in social science and language arts instructional materials).
     
  6. Content shall present diverse racial, religious, ethnic, gender, non-traditional, and cultural groups in non-stereotypical fashion.
     
  7. Content shall seek to motivate learners and thereby promote additional student research.
     
  8. Content shall provide opportunities for students to work in cooperative groups.
     
  9. Content shall provide for the application of knowledge in meaningful ways (to include the collection, evaluation and synthesizing of data).
     
  10. Content in the Language Arts Curriculum shall be selected in accordance with the Standards for English and Language Arts as adopted by the International Reading Association and the National Council of Teachers of English and the recommendations of the Children's Literature Review Board.
     
  11. Instructional materials should be of quality construction and suitable for extended use.
 
Approved by the School Board - January 23, 1976
Amended by the School Board - June 8, 1987
Amended by the School Board – November 23, 1998