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Policy 8040 Implementation Procedures - Selection of Instructional Materials

Implementation Procedures

This document has been temporarily modified during the 2020-2021 school year to support COVID-19 recovery needs.

I. Definition

Within the context of these implementation procedures, the following definition applies:

Course-Specific Instructional Materials – Collection of primary resources for a specific course.

II. General Procedures

  1. The Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) procedures for the selection of instructional material will be used with the exception of the procedures established for:

    1. The program of Family Life and Human Development; and

    2. Any other material governed by COMAR.

  2. The participation of parents, teachers, students, and other interested community members is a significant element in the total selection process. Participation should be representative of the population of Howard County as a whole.

  3. Only materials that are chosen using approved procedures and curricular area selection criteria may be used with students.

III. Committee Procedures

The Curriculum Area Selection Committees develop selection criteria for curricular areas. The Instructional Materials Criteria/Review Committee (CRC) re-evaluates approved texts, reviews materials for which requests for reevaluation have been received, and reviews curricular area selection criteria. Both committees will reflect the diversity of the greater HCPSS’ community. Membership of the committees will consist of students, teachers, parents or other interested Howard County community members, and appropriate supervisors who represent a variety of views, including cultural, ethnic, and religious.

  1. Curriculum Area Selection Committees

    1. Each curricular area will create and maintain curriculum office selection criteria.

    2. Each curricular area will manage the review and selection process of all instructional materials, including digital tools.

    3. Each curricular area will use the curriculum area selection criteria to curate and review course-specific instructional materials.

    4. Each supervisor will convene a Curricular Area Selection Committee.

      1. The Curricular Area Selection Committee will evaluate and recommend materials according to the curricular area and HCPSS selection criteria.

      2. The committee membership will include representatives from the following groups:

        1. Curricular staff;

        2. Teachers;

        3. School-based administrators;

        4. Parents;

        5. Students; and

        6. Community members.

    5. Materials for media centers may be purchased from the list of approved media purchasing sources maintained by the Media Services Office.

    6. Materials for media centers not reviewed in approved media purchasing sources may be purchased upon favorable evaluation using the “Selection Criteria for Media Center Materials” form. A separate form is required for each item purchased. Such materials will be in agreement with established policies and selection criteria.

  2. Instructional Materials Criteria/Review Committee (CRC)

    1. Members of the CRC will be appointed annually for a two-year period with one-half of the committee to be replaced or reappointed each year. The CRC will:

      1. Meet annually.

      2. Review the curricular area selection criteria.

      3. Review materials for which requests for reevaluation have been received.

    2. Community members will be selected for the committee according to the following procedures:

      1. The chairperson will annually notify the general public of upcoming appointments to the committee, functions of the committee, and of the availability of application forms.

      2. The chairperson will oversee the selection of applicants to fill vacancies.

      3. All committee members will be informed of the selection results.

      4. All committee members will be given a roster of the CRC.

      5. Additional teachers, community members, and appropriate subject area supervisors may participate in deliberations or complete assigned tasks, but will not have a vote in those proceedings.

    3. The committee members may represent more than one role. The committee membership will include:

      1. Chairperson – HCPSS staff member selected by the Superintendent/Designee.

      2. Students – Students who will be named to serve on the committee.

      3. Teachers/Media Specialists – Teachers representing elementary, middle, and high schools from various disciplines, including School Library Media.

      4. Curriculum Supervisors – The chairperson will assign the appropriate subject area supervisor to the committee based upon the material to be reevaluated.

      5. Community Members – Community members comprised of:

        1. A majority of the community members having children enrolled in HCPSS.

        2. The remaining community members being residents of HCPSS.

    4. At meetings where recommendations are made, a quorum must be present and at least three of the representative groups must be in attendance. A majority vote of those present will constitute the recommendation of the committee.

    5. The chairperson of the committee will submit reevaluations made by the committee to the Superintendent/Designee and inform the initiator(s) of the request for review of the decision.

IV. Teacher-Selected Instructional Materials

  1. All instructional materials to be used with students will be consistent with approved policies and the established HCPSS Systemwide Criteria and the curricular area selection criteria.

  2. Digital tools will be on the HCPSS approved list of Supplemental Digital Tools before being used with students.

Section V.A-D is suspended during the 2020-2021 school year.

V. Public Review of Proposed Materials

  1. Prior to consideration by the Board, all instructional materials intended for systemwide student use will be publically available for 14 calendar days for parents and community members to review and comment.

  2. HCPSS Curricular Programs will notify the public regarding the opportunity to review of the recommended instructional materials.

  3. Any HCPSS staff member, community member, HCPSS student, or his/her parent may provide feedback concerning the proposed instructional materials by completing the Citizen’s Review of Instructional Materials form included in the public notice.

  4. Curricular Area Selection Committee will review and respond to all concerns addressed by the CRC.

VI. Review and Reevaluation of Materials In Use

  1. The principal will make available specific material for review upon community member request and make every effort to resolve the concern at the school level.

  2. Following review of the material and a conference with the principal, the community member may file a “Request for Reevaluation of InstructionalMaterials In Use” form with the principal of the school. A copy of the completed form will be forwarded by the principal to the Superintendent/Designee.

  3. The Superintendent/Designee, upon notification that a satisfactory solution was not reached at the local school level, will refer the matter to the CRC.

  4. The CRC will reevaluate the work in consideration of the request and the appropriate selection criteria and make a recommendation to the Superintendent/Designee.

    1. The chair of the CRC will schedule a meeting of the CRC to reevaluate the material in a timely manner. Prior to that meeting:

      1. The CRC chair will notify the appropriate supervisor, CRC members, and other relevant personnel of the request and the reevaluation date.

      2. The appropriate supervisor will obtain sample copies of the material and forward these to the CRC chair.

      3. The CRC chair will distribute the sample materials to the CRC members at least two weeks before the scheduled reevaluation.

    2. The CRC chair will facilitate the reevaluation meeting but not vote. The appropriate supervisor will participate as a voting member; any non-committee participants may not vote.

    3. After the meeting, the CRC chair will notify the Superintendent/Designee in writing of the committee’s recommendation.

    4. The Superintendent/Designee will decide whether to remove or retain the material and notify the initiator of the reevaluation in writing.

  5. Further appeals are directed to the Superintendent of Schools.

  6. The Board will serve as the final level of appeal within the HCPSS.

  7. Once Board approval has been given for reevaluated materials, no further reevaluation will be made for at least two years.

VII. History

ADOPTED: October 26, 1989

REVIEWED: July 1, 2012


REVISED: June 13, 1991, December 12, 1996, July 28, 2003, April 6, 2006, January 11, 2018

EFFECTIVE: July 1, 2018