Policy 603    Instructional Arrangements
 
603.1 Instructional Materials Selection
The board has sole discretion to approve instructional materials for the school district. This authority is delegated to licensed employees to determine which instructional materials, other than textbooks, will be utilized by and purchased by the school district.

In reviewing current instructional materials for continued use and in selecting additional instructional materials, licensed employees will consider the current and future needs of the school district as well as the changes and the trends in education and society. In the case of textbooks, the board will make the final decision after receiving a recommendation from the superintendent.

The instructional material selected will be those which:

  • Support the educational philosophy, goals and objectives of the school district;
  • Consider the needs, age, and developmental levels of the students;
  • Stimulates growth in factual knowledge and literary appreciation;
  • Increase an awareness of the rights, duties, and responsibilities of each member of a multicultural society;
  • Foster respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and difference of opinion;
  • Are within the school district's budget.

Legal Reference: Iowa Code §§ 279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (2003).

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; February 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: December 10, 1990

 

603.2  Objection to Instructional Materials
Members of the school district community may object to the instructional materials utilized in the school district and ask for their use to be reconsidered.

It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to develop administrative regulations for reconsideration of instructional materials.

Legal Reference:  Iowa Code Section 279.8; 280.3, .14; 301 (2003).

Date of Adoption:   July 11, 2005

Reviewed:  March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

603.2RP Reconsideration of Instructional Material
A. A member of the school district community may raise an objection to instructional materials used in the school district's education program despite the fact that the individuals selecting such material were duly qualified to make the selection and followed the proper procedure and observed the criteria for selecting such material.

1. The school official or employee receiving a complaint regarding instructional materials will try to resolve the issue informally. The materials will remain in use pending the outcome of the reconsideration procedure.

a. The school official or employee initially receiving a complaint will explain to the individual the board's selection procedure, criteria to be met by the instructional materials, and qualifications of those persons selecting the material.

b. The school official or employee initially receiving a complaint will explain to the individual the role of the objected material in the education program, its intended educational purpose, and additional information regarding its use. In the alternative, the employee may refer the individual to the director of instruction who can identify and explain the use of the material.

2. The employee receiving the initial complaint will advise the building principal of the initial contact no later than the end of the school day following the discussion with the individual, whether or not the individual has been satisfied by the initial contact. A written record of the contact is maintained by the principal in charge of the attendance center. Each building principal shall inform employees of their obligation to report complaints.

3. In the event the individual making an objection to instructional materials is not satisfied with the initial explanation, the individual is referred to the principal or to the director of instruction of the attendance center. If, after consultation with the principal or director of instruction, the individual desires to file a formal complaint, the principal or director of instruction will assist in filling out a Reconsideration Request Form in full and filing it with the superintendent.

B. Request for Reconsideration

1. A member of the school district community may formally challenge instructional materials on the basis of appropriateness used in the school district's education program. This procedure is for the purpose of considering the opinions of those persons in the school district and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

2. Each attendance center and the school district's central administrative office will keep on hand and make available Reconsideration Request Forms. Formal objections to instructional materials must be made on this form.

3. The individual will state the specific reason the instructional material is being challenged. The Reconsideration Request Form must be signed by the individual and filed with the superintendent.

4. The superintendent will promptly file the objection with the reconsideration committee for re-evaluation.

5. Generally, access to challenged instructional material will not be restricted during the reconsideration process. However, in unusual circumstances, the instructional material may be removed temporarily by following the provisions of Section B.6.d. of this rule.

6. The Reconsideration Committee

a. The reconsideration committee is made up of eight members.

  • One licensed employee designated annually by the superintendent.
  • One media specialist designated annually by the superintendent.
  • One member of the administrative team designated annually by the superintendent.
  • Three members of the community appointed annually by the board.
  • Two high school students, selected annually by the high school principal.

b. The committee will meet at the request of the superintendent.

c. Special meetings may be called by the board to consider temporary removal of materials in unusual circumstances. A recommendation for temporary removal will require a two-thirds vote of the committee.

d. Notice of committee meetings is made public through appropriate publications and other communications methods.

e. The committee will receive the completed Reconsideration Request Form from the superintendent.

f. The committee may review the selection process for the challenged instructional material and may, to its satisfaction, determine that the challenge is without merit and dismiss the challenge. The committee will notify the individual and the superintendent of its action.

g. At a subsequent meeting, if held, interested persons, including the individual filing the challenge, may have the opportunity to share their views. The committee may request that individuals with special knowledge be present to give information to the committee.

h. The individual filing the challenge is kept informed by the reconsideration committee secretary on the status of the Reconsideration Request Form throughout the reconsideration process. The individual filing the challenge and known interested parties is given appropriate notice of meetings.

i. At the second or a subsequent meeting the committee will make its final recommendation. The committee's final recommendation may be to take no removal action, to remove the challenged material from the school environment, or to limit the educational use of the challenged material. The sole criterion for the final recommendation is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use. The written final recommendation and its justification are forwarded to the board, the individual and the appropriate attendance centers. The superintendent my also make a recommendation but if so, it should be independent from the committee’s.

Following the board’s decision with respect to the committee's recommendation, the individual or the chairperson of the reconsideration committee may appeal the decision to the board for review. Such appeal must be presented to the superintendent in writing within five days following the announcement of the superintendent's decision. The board will promptly determine whether to hear the appeal.

j. A recommendation to sustain a challenge will not be interpreted as a judgment of irresponsibility on the part of the individuals involved in the original selection or use of the material.

k. Requests to reconsider materials which have previously been reconsidered by the committee must receive approval of two-thirds of the committee members before the materials will again be reconsidered. Completed and filed Reconsideration Request Forms are acted upon by the committee.

l. If necessary or appropriate in the judgment of the committee, the committee may appoint a subcommittee of members or nonmembers to consolidate challenges and to make recommendations to the full committee. The composition of this subcommittee will approximate the representation of the full committee.

m. Committee members directly associated with the selection, use, or challenger of the challenged material are excused from the committee during the deliberation of the challenged instructional materials. The superintendent may appoint a temporary replacement for the excused committee member, but the replacement is of the same general qualifications as the member excused.

n. Persons dissatisfied with the decision of the board may appeal to the Iowa Board of Education pursuant to state law.

Date of Adoption: July 11, 2005

Reviewed: March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

 
Amended:
 
 
 
603.2F                        RECONSIDERATION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
 
RECONSIDERATION REQUEST FORM
 

 

REVIEW INITIATED BY:

 

DATE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

City/State

 

Zip Code

 

Telephone

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

School(s) in which item is used

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Relationship to school (parent, student, citizen, etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BOOK OR OTHER PRINTED MATERIAL IF APPLICABLE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Author

 

Hardcover

 

 Paperback

 

Other

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Publisher (if known)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Date of Publication

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AUDIOVISUAL MATERIAL IF APPLICABLE:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Producer (if known)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type of material (filmstrip, motion picture, etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PERSON MAKING THE REQUEST REPRESENTS: (circle one)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Self

 

Group or Organization

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name of group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Address of Group

 

 

 

 

                                                     

 

1.

What brought this item to your attention?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.

To what in the item do you object?  (please be specific; cite pages, or frames, etc.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3.

In your opinion, what harmful effects upon students might result from use of this item?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.

Do you perceive any instructional value in the use of this item?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.

Did you review the entire item?  If not, what sections did you review?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6.

Should the opinion of any additional experts in the field be considered?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

No

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If yes, please list specific suggestions:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.

To replace this item, do you recommend other material which you consider to be of equal or superior quality for the purpose intended?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8.

Do you wish to make an oral presentation to the Review Committee?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

(a)       Please call the office of the Superintendent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(b)       Please be prepared at this time to indicate the approximate length of time your presentation will require.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

No

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dated

 

Signature

 

 

603.3 Homework
It shall be the policy of the Mount Pleasant Community School District to encourage and require as homework those extra-class activities and assignments which may properly be considered as extensions and enrichment of the regular classroom instructional program. The purpose of homework assigned and encouraged will include: research and exploratory activities, sharing and discussing ideas, reviewing and summarizing materials studied, becoming acquainted with the library and other sources of reference material, organizing the thoughts and thinking processes of pupils in preparation for classroom activities, and making up incomplete course or subject assignments.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; February 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

603.4 Field Trips and Excursions
The Board of Directors recognizes that a properly planned, well-conducted and carefully supervised field trip is a vital part of the curriculum of any classroom. As such, student trips of significant educational value are to be encouraged.

Field trips shall have the approval of the building principal in advance of the trip. Consent of the pupil's parent or guardian is required in advance of any excursion involving the use of public or private transportation services.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; February 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

603.5 Outside Resource People
The Board of Directors recognizes that one of the greatest resources of the school system is to be found in the people of the community who have special knowledge and particular talents to contribute to the school program. The Board of Directors, therefore, encourages the use of community resources and citizens to assist in furthering the educational program. Use of outside personnel and resources shall be under regulations as approved by the Superintendent. 

As a matter of courtesy as well as a method of providing knowledge of the presence of these outside resource people, the classroom teacher shall notify the principal at least one week in advance of the expected attendance of the speaker.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; February 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

603.6 Teaching Controversial Issues
A "controversial issue" is defined as an area of significant academic inquiry about which substantial segments of the citizens of this community, state or nation hold sincere conflicting points of view.

It is the belief of this school board that controversial issues should be fairly presented in a spirit of honest academic freedom to the end that individual students may recognize the validity of other points of view but can learn to formulate their own opinions based upon dispassionate, objective, unbiased study and discussion of the factual basis underlying the controversy.

It shall be the responsibility of the instructor to present fully and fairly the opportunity and means for students to study, consider and discuss all sides of controversial issues, including but not limited to political philosophies.

It shall be the responsibility of the instructor to protect the right of the student to study pertinent controversial issues within limits of good taste, allowing the expression of their personal opinions without jeopardizing their relationships with their instructors, peers or school.

It shall be the responsibility of the instructor to refrain from advocating partisan causes, sectarian religious views or selfish propaganda of any kind through any classroom or school device; however, an instructor shall not be prohibited from expressing a personal opinion as long as the student is encouraged to reach his own decision independently.

 

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; Feb. 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended:

 

603.7 Class Size
The size of each class shall depend upon the nature of the instructional program needed to assist each student in their development as lifelong learners.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; February 12, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: March 12, 2001

 

603.8 Internet - Appropriate Use
Because technology is a vital part of the school district curriculum, the Internet will be made available to employees and students. Appropriate and equitable use of the Internet will allow employees and students to access resources unavailable through traditional means.

Students will be able to access the Internet through their teachers. Individual student accounts and electronic mail addresses may be issued to students grades 4-12. If a student already has an electronic mail address, the student may, with the permission of the supervising teacher, be permitted to use the address to send and receive mail at school.

The Internet can provide a vast collection of educational resources for students and employees. It is a global network which makes it impossible to control all available information. Because information appears, disappears and changes constantly, it is not possible to predict or control what students may locate. The school district makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of information received on the Internet. Although students will be under teacher supervision while on the network, it is not possible to constantly monitor individual students and what they are accessing on the network. Some students might encounter information that may not be of educational value. Student Internet records and access records are confidential records treated like other student records. Students Internet activities will be monitored by the school district to ensure students are not accessing inappropriate sites that have visual depictions that include obscenity, child pornography or are harmful to minors. The school district will use technology protection measures to protect students from inappropriate access.

Employees and students will be instructed on the appropriate use of the Internet. Parents will be required to grant permission to allow their students to access the Internet. 

In compliance with federal law, this policy will be maintained at least five years beyond the termination of funding under the Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) or E-rate.

 

Legal References: Iowa Code § 279.8 (2009).

Date of Adoption: July 14, 1997

Reviewed: Oct. 11, 1999; Feb. 12, 2001; Dec. 10, 2001; May 13, 2002; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: November 11, 1999; January 14, 2002; June 10, 2002; Dec. 14, 2009; Aug. 11, 2011; Aug 13, 2012

 

RP603.8 Internet - Appropriate Use Regulation
 

I. Responsibility for Internet Appropriate Use.

A. The authority for appropriate use of electronic Internet resources is delegated to the licensed employees.

B. Instruction in the proper use of the Internet will be available to employees who will then provide similar instruction to their students.

C. Employees are expected to practice appropriate use of the Internet, and violations may result in discipline up to, and including, discharge.

II. Internet Access.

A. Access to the Internet is available to teachers and students as a source of information and a vehicle of communication.

B. Students will be able to access the Internet through their teachers. Individual student accounts and electronic mail addresses may be issued to students grades 4-12.

  1. Making Internet access available to students carries with it the potential that some students might encounter information that may not be appropriate for students. However, on a global network, it is impossible to control all materials. Because information on the Internet appears, disappears and changes, it is not possible to predict or control what students may locate.
  2. It is a goal to allow teachers and students access to the rich opportunities on the Internet, while we protect the rights of students and parents who choose not to risk exposure to questionable material.
  3. The smooth operation of the network relies upon the proper conduct of the end users who must adhere to strict guidelines which require efficient, ethical and legal utilization of network resources.
  4. To reduce unnecessary system traffic, users may use real-time conference features such as talk/chat/Internet relay chat only as approved by the supervising teacher.
  5. Transmission of material, information or software in violation of any board policy or regulation is prohibited.
  6. System users will perform a virus check on downloaded files to avoid spreading computer viruses.
  7. The school district makes no guarantees as to the accuracy of information received on the Internet.

III. Permission to Use Internet - Annually, parents will grant permission for their student to use the Internet using the prescribed form.

IV. Student Use of Internet.

A. Equal Opportunity - The Internet is available to all students within the school district through teacher access. The amount of time available for each student may be limited by the number of available terminals and the demands for each terminal.

B. On-line Etiquette.

  1. The use of the network is a privilege and may be taken away for violation of board policy or regulations. As a user of the Internet, students may be allowed access to other networks. Each network may have its own set of policies and procedures. It is the user's responsibility to abide by the policies and procedures of these other networks.
  2. Students should adhere to on-line protocol:

a. Respect all copyright and license agreements.

b. Cite all quotes, references and sources.

c. Remain on the system long enough to get needed information, then exit the system.

d. Apply the same privacy, ethical and educational considerations utilized in other forms of communication.

3. Student access for electronic mail may be through the supervising teacher's account or their own account. Students should adhere to the following guidelines:

a. Others may be able to read or access the mail so private messages should not be sent.

b. Delete unwanted messages immediately.

c. Use of objectionable language is prohibited.

d. Always sign messages.

e. Always acknowledge receipt of a document or file.

C. Restricted Material - Students will not intentionally access or download any text file or picture or engage in any conference that includes material which is obscene, libelous, indecent, vulgar, profane or lewd; advertises any product or service not permitted to minors by law; constitutes insulting or fighting words, the very expression of which injures or harasses others; or presents a clear and present likelihood that, either because of its content or the manner of distribution, it will cause a material and substantial disruption of the proper and orderly operation and discipline of the school or school activities, will cause the commission of unlawful acts or the violation of lawful school regulations.

D. Unauthorized Costs - If a student gains access to any service via the Internet which has a cost involved or if a student incurs other types of costs, the student accessing such a service will be responsible for those costs.

V. Student Violations--Consequences and Notifications.

Students who access restricted items on the Internet are subject to the appropriate action described in board policy or regulations or the following consequences:

  1. First Violation - A verbal and written "Warning" notice will be issued to the student. The student may lose Internet access for a period of three (3) weeks at the discretion of the supervising teacher. A copy of the notice will be mailed to the student's parent and a copy provided to the building principal.
  2. Second Violation - A verbal and written "Second Violation" notice will be issued to the student. A copy of the notice will be sent to the student's parent and a copy provided to the building principal. The student will forfeit all Internet privileges for a minimum period of nine weeks.
  3. Third Violation - A verbal and written "Third Violation" notice will be issued to the student. A copy of the notice will be sent to the student's parent and a copy provided to the building principal. The student will forfeit all Internet privileges for the balance of the school year.

Date of Adoption: August 20, 1974

Reviewed: March 9, 1992; February 12, 2001; May 14, 2001; July 11, 2005; March 8, 2010; Aug. 11, 2014

Amended: March 9, 1992; June 11, 2001; April 4, 2002; Dec. 14, 2009