Title: Selection of Educational Materials
Adopted: January 8, 2003
Last Revised: October 6, 2020
Prior Revised Dates: August 4, 2004; June 7, 2011; December 4, 2012;
SELECTION OF EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS
The highest priority shall be meeting the student’s instructional needs of the district’s mission, vision, and goals. In meeting this priority, preference shall be given to basic learning materials, i.e., those that are the predominant instructional materials used at particular grade levels or courses and/or are essential to student achievement of Maine’s system of learning results content standards.
Before selecting/recommending materials for purchase, professional staff should evaluate the existing collection, consult with staff from appropriate departments and/or grade levels, personally review the material and obtain recommendations/reviews regarding the material from appropriate reputable sources.
In accordance with state regulations, social studies and science textbooks should not be older than five years unless up-to-date supplemental instructional materials are also available.
Multiple copies of materials should be purchased as needed and within budgetary constraints. Worn or missing materials should be replaced as needed. Outdated materials or materials that are no longer in demand should be withdrawn from the collection and/or circulation.
Gift materials are judged by the same criteria as materials selected by the school staff and in accordance with any applicable Portland Board of Public Education (“Board”) policies or procedures on gifts and donations.
“EDUCATIONAL MATERIALS” INCLUDE BOTH INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS AND LIBRARY-MEDIA RESOURCES. Instructional materials include textbooks and other print materials, software and other electronic materials, and supplies and other materials to support implementation of the Maine system of learning results. Library- media resources include books, written materials, online Internet resource materials, including programs related to educational instruction, multimedia materials and information technology that support the school unit’s curriculum.”
Selection of Educational Materials
The Superintendent, or his designee, in consultation with administrators and professional staff, is responsible for selecting appropriate educational materials (including instructional materials and library-media resources). Administrative procedures must be consistent. The Superintendent or designee will keep the Board informed about educational materials and textbooks purchased for the school unit.
The Superintendent delegates responsibility for selection of library-media materials and technology and Internet resources to the school system’s professional library media specialists, subject to the criteria and procedures for selection and the Board’s policy on challenged materials.
Criteria for Selection
Instructional and library-media materials selected should:
A. Support student achievement of the content standards of the Maine’s system of learning results, which includes the Common Core State Standards;
B. Support the goals and objectives of the school unit’s educational programs;
C. To contribute toward continuity, integration and articulation of the curriculum;
D. Take into consideration the varied interests, abilities and maturity levels of the students served;
E. Foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and varied opinions;
F. Provide a comprehensive, accurate and peer-reviewed collection that enables students to develop a capability for critical analysis through engaging with a broad array of perspectives;
H. Stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and ethical standards;
I. Provide information that will enable students to make informed decisions in their daily lives;
J. Be accurate and current;
K. Reflect high quality scholarship and presentation;
L. Represent significant authors/composers and works; and
M. Be affordable and not exceed the approved budget.
Other factors that should be considered are accuracy and currency of material; importance of the subject matter; scholarship; quality of writing and production; and reputation and significance of the author, artist or composer.
In evaluating software, multimedia materials and online/Internet resources, additional factors that should be considered include purpose for use; content; format; appropriate use of graphics, sound and animation; feedback provided; and ease of use.
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