Textbook Selection and Adoption
The pervasive instruction goal of the Lake Washington School District is to provide opportunities for all children to achieve their maximum intellectual growth and development. It shall be the responsibility of the Board of Directors to authorize the adoption of instructional materials to meet this goal. Instructional materials selection shall be regarded primarily as the function of the professional staff of the school system. Further, it shall be the policy of the Lake Washington School District:
- To provide, free of charge, to each pupil such textbooks and supplies as to assure optimum classroom learning. However, each pupil shall be required to exercise reasonable care in the use of such materials.
- To select materials which support and enrich the curriculum for use at all grade levels and in all subject areas; to provide an effective basic education for all students; and to insure flexibility sufficient to meet the special needs of individuals and groups.
- To assure that procedures are available for the consideration and adoption of text and other text materials, library materials, guest speakers, pilot programs and free and/or sponsored materials. (It is required that these procedures be adhered to in the consideration and selection of all materials.)
- To establish an Instructional Materials Committee to recommend instructional materials in accordance with district policy.
- To provide parents and guardians an opportunity to review within a reasonable time frame, those instructional materials which are being used in their children's course of instruction.
- To provide an orderly procedure for challenging the appropriateness of any text, library material or other instructional material.
- To select instructional materials that eliminate bias pertaining to sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharge veteran or military status, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, or the use of a trained guide dog or service animal.
Instructional Materials and The Method of Selection
While the screening and selection of instructional materials shall be a continuing and cooperative process shared by teachers, administrators and community persons, it is the policy of the Lake Washington School District that any process which leads to the selection of instructional materials should give assurance that:
- Instructional materials are consistent with district statement of philosophy and educational goals,
- Instructional materials shall stimulate student growth and conceptional thinking, factual knowledge, physical fitness, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and the development of ethical standards,
- Instructional materials shall enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the various instructional needs, abilities, interests and maturity levels of the students served,
- Instructional materials should be of a sufficient variety so as to present opposing views of controversial issues in order that young citizens may develop the skills of critical analysis and informed decision making,
- Instructional materials should help students understand the ethnic, cultural and occupational diversity of American life. Instructional materials shall objectively present the concerns and build upon the contributions, current and historical, of both sexes, and members of various religions, ethnic and cultural groups. It should be recognized that under certain conditions biased materials may represent appropriate resources in presenting differing points of view,
- Teacher expressed curricular and instructional needs and requirements are considered,
- Community interests are safeguarded, i.e., local, social, political, moral, and cultural environment are considered,
- The expenditure is economically sound, i.e., it represents a wise use of tax money. This concerns such things as the frequency with which materials are changed and the matter of competitive pricing,
- Instructional materials are consistent with the district's scope of student learning objectives, and,
- All legal requirements are met, i.e., to have an established process which is administratively approved.
Selection of library materials shall be the province of the school librarian, operating according to professional selection standards and guidelines and keeping with the primary objective which is to enrich, support and extend the educational program of the school. The philosophy of selection of library materials shall be consistent with the Library Bill of Rights.
Library Bill of Rights
The American Library Association affirms that all libraries are forums for information and ideas, and that the following basic policies should guide their services.
- Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
- Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.
- Libraries should challenge censorship in the fulfillment of their responsibilities to provide information and enlightenment.
- Libraries should cooperate with all persons and groups concerned with resisting abridgment of free expression and free access to ideas.
- A person's right to use a library should not be denied or abridged because of origin, age, background, or views.
- Libraries which make exhibit spaces and meeting rooms available to the public they serve should make such facilities available on an equitable basis, regardless of the beliefs or affiliations of individuals or groups requesting their use.