NORTHFIELD CITY BOARD OF EDUCATION FILE CODE: 6161.1
Northfield, New Jersey
GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION AND SELECTION OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS
A “textbook” is the principal source of instructional material for any given course of study, in whatever form the material may be presented, which is available to or distributed to every student enrolled in the course of study.
“Library resource materials” and “supplemental instructional materials” are all those sources of information for the use of students that have not been designated as textbooks and generally must be shared by individual students.
- Textbook Selection
- A textbook selection committee(s) will be named annually by the Director of Curriculum of each school.
- The Director of Curriculum will appoint to the committee no fewer than three teaching staff members, who represent a range of interests and backgrounds.
- The Director of Curriculum will appoint to the committee no fewer than three teaching staff members, who represent different subject areas or departments in the school.
- The Director of Curriculum will chair the committee.
- Textbook and Supplemental Instructional Materials Recommendation Procedures
- Any teaching staff member may request the textbook selection committee’s consideration of a possible textbook or supplemental instructional material.
- The textbook selection committee will investigate current textbooks or supplemental instructional materials on the market.
- A textbook or supplemental instructional material recommended for screening should be read and/or examined by each of the textbook selection committee members or, in a departmentalized school, by the appropriate subject area representatives. The committee members should have examined, wherever possible, at least three other books or supplemental instructional materials similar in nature to the textbook or supplemental instructional material recommended for adoption.
- Each textbook selection committee member should submit to the chairperson a written evaluation of the textbook or supplemental instructional material.
- The committee chairperson will also read and examine each recommended textbook or supplemental instructional material.
- The committee chairperson or the person initiating the request for consideration will prepare an evaluation report for submission to the Superintendent.
- The Superintendent will forward the recommendation to the board. He/she may first convene the textbook selection committee or confer with the chairman of the committee to discuss the evaluation report and the merits of the recommended textbook or supplemental instructional material.
- Library Resource Materials Recommendation Procedures
- While selection of library resources materials involves many people, including library/media specialists, teachers, students, supervisors, administrators, and community persons, the responsibility for coordinating and recommending the selection and purchase of library resource materials rests with the certificated library/media personnel. All recommendations will be forwarded to the Curriculum Director or designee for consideration. The Curriculum Director will make a recommendation to the Superintendent, who after review will submit to the Board of Education for final approval.
- Review of Textbooks and Supplemental Instructional Materials Currently In Use
- Each textbook and supplemental instructional material that has been in use in the district for five years or more will be evaluated annually by the textbook selection committee for its continuing usefulness. In addition, any teaching staff member may recommend the review of a textbook or supplemental instructional material currently in use and used for less than five years.
- The textbook selection committee will consider:
- The length of service of the current textbook or supplemental instructional material,
- The copyright date,
- The average condition of the textbooks or supplemental instructional materials currently in use,
- The cost of replacements,
- The merits of the textbook or supplemental instructional material in the light of the standards by which new textbooks or supplemental instructional materials are measured, and
- If review has been especially requested, the reason for the request.
- A recommendation to retire a textbook or supplemental instructional material will be forwarded to the Superintendent with a full report of the committee’s findings. Any such recommendation should be accompanied by the committee’s suggestion for a replacement textbook or supplemental instructional material.
- Review of Library Resource Materials Currently In Use
- The Library Media Specialists will evaluate the continuing effectiveness and utility of library resource materials and recommend to the Superintendent (for recommendation to the Board) the removal of those materials that no longer meet the standards set forth in this policy. Any other request for the removal of resource materials will be governed by Policy No. 6161.2 on public complaints.
- Standards of Review
In the review of any suggested textbook or supplemental instructional material, the textbook selection committee shall consider:
- The reliability and reputation for scholarship of its author and publisher;
- Whether the content of the textbook or supplemental instructional material:
- Relates to the course of study in which it will be used,
- Can be read and understood by the students for which its use is intended,
- Is accurate and up to date,
- Clearly distinguishes fact from opinion,
- Is well organized and presented,
- Includes helpful and thoughtfully prepared indexes, graphic materials, references, bibliographies, glossaries, and appendices, and
- Is biased.
- The ways in which a proposed textbook or supplemental instructional material improves on the book or supplemental instructional material it replaces;
- Whether the proposed textbook’s or supplemental instructional material binding, paper, and typeface are appropriate and durable;
- The cost and probable life of the proposed textbook or supplemental instructional material;
- Whether the presentation of any controversial subject is objective and suitable to the maturity of the students for whose use the book or supplemental instructional material is intended;
- The experience other schools and/or districts may have had with the use of the proposed textbook or supplemental instructional material; and
- The textbook’s or supplemental instructional material compliance with the district’s affirmative action plan for school and classroom practices, as set forth in Policy No. 6121.
In the review of any suggested library resource materials:
- Educational goals of the local school district, individual student learning modes, teaching styles, curricula needs, faculty and student needs, existing materials and networking arrangement should be considered in selecting library resource materials.
- Library resource materials should:
- Be relevant to today’s world;
- Represent artistic, historic, and literary qualities;
- Reflect problems, aspirations, attitudes and ideals of a society;
- Contribute to the objectives of the instructional program;
- Be appropriate to the level of the user;
- Provide a stimulus to creativity;
- Be of a quality and durability appropriate to their intended uses and longevity
Adopted: October 2009
Updated: February 2023