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6161.1 Evaluation and Selection of Instructional Materials


Northfield, New Jersey X Monitored


Policy X Other Reasons


The Northfield City Board of Education believes that textbooks should support and enrich the curriculum and make possible the achievement of the district’s instructional goals. The Superintendent of Schools shall develop procedures for continual review of new texts, supplemental instructional material, and library resource materials being offered and evaluation of those already in use to ensure that the textbooks, supplemental instructional materials, and library resource materials used in this district are up to date in the factual matter they present and further the district’s instructional goals. Textbooks, supplemental instructional materials, and library resource materials should be judged by additional standards which shall include, but not be limited to:

A. Does the material reflect the district’s affirmative action/equity policy, which prohibits the teaching or encouragement of bias based on any categories listed in law or board policy?

B. Does it help students develop abilities in critical reading and thinking?

C. Does it provide effective basic or advanced education for the students for whom it is intended?

The review process shall:

A. Be conducted by teaching staff members, particularly those teachers who will be using the materials as an integral part of the instructional program;

B. Include a written review of the material which shall reflect the consensus of the teaching staff;

The Superintendent shall develop administrative rules outlining a procedure for the selection of textbooks, supplemental instructional materials, and library resource materials that meets the above criteria. Textbooks, supplemental instructional materials, and library resource materials used within the district should be sufficient in quantity and scope to meet the needs of every student in the district.

The board, by law, makes the final textbook, supplemental instructional material, and library resource material selection decision. However, prior to final adoption, the recommendations resulting from each review will be given thorough consideration.

Any citizen who objects to the final selections made by the board should follow the procedures outlined in regulation 6161.2 Complaints Regarding Instructional Materials.

Animal Dissection

Animal dissection is not required and alternative education to be provided:

The board, by law, will allow students to refuse to participate in animal dissection.

  1. The board will offer an alternate education program for a course or portion of a course involving dissection of animals.
  2. A public school student from kindergarten through grade 8 may refuse to dissect, vivisect, incubate, capture or otherwise harm or destroy animals or any parts thereof as part of a course of instruction.
    1. “Alternative education project” means the use of video tapes, models, films, books, computers, or any other tools which provide an alternative method for obtaining and testing the knowledge, information, or experience required by a course of study.
    2. “Animal” means any living organism that is an invertebrate, or is in the phylum chordata or organisms which have a notochord and includes an animal’s cadaver or severed parts of an animal’s cadaver.


  1. The school shall notify students and their parents or guardians at the beginning of each school year of the right to decline to participate in the activities enumerated in subsection a. of this section and shall authorize parents or guardians to assert the right of their children to refuse to participate in these activities. Within two weeks of the receipt of the notice, the students, parents or guardians shall notify the school if the right to decline participation in the enumerated activities will be exercised.
  2. Any student who chooses to refrain from participation in or observation of a portion of a course of instruction in accordance with this section shall be offered an alternative education project for the purpose of providing the student with the factual knowledge, information or experience required by the course of study. A student may refuse to participate in an alternative education project which involves or necessitates any harmful use of an animal or animal parts.
  3. A student shall not be discriminated against, in grading or in any other manner, based upon a decision to exercise the rights afforded pursuant to this act.

Adopted: No Date

NJSBA Review/Update: December 2009; December 2010, February 2023

Readopted October 24, 2011

Key Words

Evaluation, Instructional Materials, Selection of Instructional Materials, Evaluation of Instructional Materials

Legal References: N.J.S.A. 18A:4‑25 Prescribing minimum courses of study for public schools; approval of courses of study

N.J.S.A. 18A:33‑1 District to furnish suitable facilities; adoption of courses of study

N.J.S.A. 18A:34‑1 Textbooks; selection; furnished free with supplies; appropriations

N.J.S.A. 18A:35-1 et seq. Curriculum and Courses

N.J.A.C. 6A:7‑1.4 Responsibilities of the district board of education

N.J.A.C. 6A:23A-20.1et seq. Purchase and Loan of Textbooks

N.J.A.C. 6A:32-14.1 Review of mandated programs and services


Comprehensive Equity Plan, State Department of Education


Cross References: *1312 Community complaints and inquiries

*2224 Nondiscrimination/affirmative action

*5145.4 Equal educational opportunity

6000 Concepts and roles in instruction

*6010 Goals and objectives

*6121 Nondiscrimination/affirmative action

*6140 Curriculum adoption

*6141 Curriculum design/development

*6142.1 Family life education

*6144 Controversial issues

*6161.2 Complaints regarding instructional materials

*6163.1 Media center/library

*Indicates policy is included in the Critical Policy Reference Manual.

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