School Board Policy Manual

Nevis Public Schools

Independent School District 308

 
 

Table of Contents

School Board Policy 626

626 LIBRARY/CURRICULUM MATERIAL

 I. PURPOSE

 It is the policy of the Nevis Board of Education to provide a broad range of educational materials to enrich and support the curriculum and to meet the needs of individual students and teachers. The media center (library) provides a wide range of materials on many levels of difficulty, in a variety of formats, with diversity of appeal, representing varying points of view.

II. GENERAL STATEMENT OF POLICY

Responsibility for the selection of all library materials is delegated to the professional library staff through the building principal. The selection process involves open opportunity for consultation with administrators, faculty, and students. Selection aids such as bibliographies and reviews will be used by library staff when feasible. Gift materials will be evaluated for possible addition to the collection. Selection is an ongoing process which includes the removal of materials no longer suitable and the replacement of lost and worn materials still of educational value.

The media specialist has the responsibility to provide resources that:

  • are appropriate to the educational program and the school community,
  • enrich and support the curriculum,
  • meet the recreational and developmental needs of students,
  • will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, and aesthetic values,
  • assist in developing reading, viewing, listening and thinking skills,
  • are representative of diverse points of view in a pluralistic society,
  • are appropriate for the students for whom they are selected.

Nevis Public School endorses the Library Bill of Rights (see appendix). The media specialist will develop collections of print and non-print resources in accordance with these philosophies.

III. CRITERIA FOR SELECTION

Media specialists use educational criteria and professional judgment rather than personal opinions, values, or beliefs in the selection of resources. All materials purchased or accepted as gifts for use in the Nevis Public School Media Center will be evaluated according to the following criteria. Specific criteria are used as they apply:

  • Resources are consistent with the educational goals of Nevis Public School and the goals and objectives of specific courses.
  • Resources are appropriate for the age, interests, abilities, learning styles, social development, and maturity levels of the students.
  • Resources provide information which will motivate students and staff to examine their own attitudes and behavior, to comprehend their duties, responsibilities, rights and privileges as participating citizens in our society, and to make informed judgments in their daily lives.
  • Resources represent the diversity of religious, ethnic, political and cultural values held in a pluralistic society.
  • Resources illustrate the contributions to our national heritage and the world made by various groups in our society.
  • Resources illustrate historical and contemporary forces in society to enable users to recognize and understand social, economic and personal problems.
  • Resources provide a variety of points of view about issues, including those considered by some to be controversial.
  • Resources are selected for all student ability levels.
  • Resources are judged as a whole. The impact of an entire work will be considered, transcending individual words, phrases, and incidents.
  • Resources meet standards of technical quality and physical condition appropriate to the format and their intended use.
  • Resources are judged according to the scope, arrangement and organization, relevance of information, special features, and overall value to the collection.

In addition, the Nevis Public School Board of Education recognizes that the final decision as to what materials an individual student will be exposed to rests with that student’s parents or guardians. However, at no time will the wishes of one child’s parents to restrict his/her reading or viewing of a particular item infringe on other parents’ rights to permit their child to read or view the same material.

IV. CHALLENGED MATERIALS

Occasionally objections to materials may be made. The procedure concerning challenged materials is outlined below. Its purpose is to provide for a hearing with appropriate action, within the context of the principles of freedom of information, the student's right to access of materials and the professional responsibility and integrity of the school faculty. No materials shall be removed from The Nevis Public School before the process of review is completed.

1. All complaints to staff members or administrators shall be reported to the Media Specialist, whether received by telephone, letter, or in personal conversation.

2. The Media Specialist shall contact the complainant to discuss the complaint and attempt to resolve it informally by explaining the philosophy and goals of The Nevis Public School, as well as the materials selection criteria and process.

3. If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant shall be supplied with a letter and packet of materials consisting of The Nevis Public School’s Library/Curriculum Materials Policy and the procedure for handling objections. Included in this packet is a Statement of Concern About School Materials (copy included in appendix) which shall be completed and returned before further consideration will be given to the complaint.

4. If the Statement of Concern About School Resources has not been received by the Media Specialist within two weeks of the date indicated on the letter to the complainant, it shall be considered closed. If the request is returned, the reasons for selection of the specific work shall be reestablished by the appropriate staff.

5. While no questioned materials shall be removed from the school pending the reconsideration process, every effort will be made to restrict access to questioned materials for the child (or children) of the parent(s) or guardian(s) making the complaint, if they so desire. However, primary responsibility still lies with the student.

6. Upon receipt of a completed Statement of Concern form, the CEIC (Curriculum Educational Improvement Committee) will consider the complaint. This committee consists of elementary and secondary teachers, the media specialist, administrators, students, parents, school board members and members of the community.

7. CEIC shall meet to discuss the material and determine if it conforms to the principles of selection outlined in the Nevis Public School Library/Curriculum Materials Policy, following the guidelines outlined in the Instructions to the CEIC Committee (appended). They shall prepare a report on the material containing their recommendations on disposition of the matter. In answering the complainant, the committee director shall explain the selection philosophy, give the guidelines used for selection of the specific material under consideration, cite authorities used in reaching the decision, and make recommendations.

8. The written decision of the committee will be forwarded to the superintendent, who will inform the Board of Education and the complainant of the committee’s decision.

9. If the complainant is dissatisfied with the decision, a request may be submitted to the superintendent requesting the Board of Education or a sub committee of the Board of Education to review all of the proceedings. The Board of Education has the right to review and adopt the findings of the CEIC Committee in the absence of clear and convincing proof that the Committee's findings were capricious or arbitrary. The Board's adoption of the Committee's findings shall be administratively final, binding and conclusive.


SAMPLE LETTER

Date ..........

Dear : ..........

We appreciate your concern over the use of __________________________________ in the Nevis Public School . We have developed procedures for selecting materials, but realize that not everyone will agree with every selection made. To help you understand the selection process, we are sending copies of our:

If you are still concerned after you review this material, please complete the Statement of Concern About School Resources form and return it to me. You may be assured of prompt attention to your request.

If I have not heard from you within two weeks from the date of this letter, I will assume you no longer wish to file a formal complaint.

Sincerely,

..........

Media Specialist

STATEMENT OF CONCERN ABOUT SCHOOL RESOURCES

Please return this form to the Media Specialist (librarian).

Date_____________________________

Name______________________________________________

Address_________________________________________________________________

Phone_____________________________________________

Resource type: ___Book ___Magazine ___Newspaper ___Audiovisual ___Other

Title___________________________________________________________________

Author/Producer___________________________________

Please respond to the following questions. If you need more space, please attach additional pages.

What brought this resource to your attention?

Did you read/hear/view the entire work? ___Yes ___ No

If not, which part did you read or view?

Specifically, what part of the work did you find objectionable, and why? (Please cite pages, frames, sections, etc.)

Would you like to recommend this work for another age group?

Have you read our district’s Library/Curriculum Materials Policy?

What do you suggest the school/library do about this material?

Signature_______________________________________________

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