601 - Curriculum Materials Approval Procedure

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PACT Charter School


Original Creation Date:
 Unknown
Last Approved By: PACT Charter School Board of Directors
Last Approved Date: August 2, 2018
Year Reviewed: 2018-2019 


Curriculum Material Review Procedures

Faculty, parents, and students may only recommend curriculum materials that they have read or viewed.

  1. The person recommending curriculum materials should complete the top portion of the appropriate review form and place both the form and the material(s) in the Curriculum Coordinator’s box.
  2. The Curriculum Coordinator will act as the Review Coordinator. A minimum of three reviewers (the majority must be parents) will be selected for each item submitted.
  3. Reviewers will read the Elementary/Secondary Curriculum Review Policy, review proposed material and return the form with material to the Curriculum Coordinator’s box by the specified date on the form.
  4. The Curriculum Coordinator will submit the recommendations to the EPCC and SPCC co-chairs to be addressed at the next EPCC or SPCC meeting.
  5. EPCC or SPCC will discuss and has the option to Approve, Approve as Choice or Disapprove submitted materials (see Curriculum Committee Review Procedures below).
  6. The following appeal process is available:
    1. A teacher or parent may appeal a Committee decision to approve or disapprove any material under consideration.
    2. The Curriculum Coordinator will get a minimum of three additional qualified reviewers, but more than three qualified reviewers may review the material. All must have the review and evaluation completed by the meeting deadline in order to be considered at the next Programming Curriculum Committee meeting.
    3. The recommendations from the original reviewers and new reviewers will all be taken into consideration.
    4. The review form and recommendations will be kept on as part of the official recommendation to the Committee for 3 years. All recommendations and comments will be kept in electronic format (Approval List spreadsheet), which is maintained by the Curriculum Coordinator.
  7. All curriculum material, approved and disapproved, should be entered on the Reviewed Book/Music/Video list by the Curriculum Coordinator.
  8. Parents who oppose certain pieces of curriculum material for their students after they have been approved may work with the teacher to determine alternative options for their student. The options should be in the same genre, length, difficulty and time period of the class material, to the extent possible.

Reviewers’ Qualifications

  1. May be any PACT parent or any PACT faculty member who will not be likely to use the material in their own curriculum.
  2. Must agree to read the 601 - Curriculum Materials Approval Policy and Procedure that describes PACT’s mission and vision, the approval process, and the definitions for various approval options and make recommendations consistent with the PACT Mission, Vision, and Foundational Statements.
  3. Must be as objective as possible, taking into consideration the grade level and the intended purpose of the material.

Curriculum Reviewer Procedures

  1. Selected reviewers will obtain the appropriate review form and proposed curriculum material from the Curriculum Coordinator. All reviewers must read 601 - Curriculum Materials Approval Policy and Procedures each year, and indicate understanding and agreement by signature.
  2. The reviewer will provide written feedback and complete the entire review form. The review form must be signed and dated and the reviewer must recommend whether the material is appropriate for Full Approval, Approval as Choice or Disapproval.
    1. Full Approval: The reviewer recommends approval of the curriculum for whole class use (with no reservations).
    2. Approval as Choice:
      1. Elementary: The material can be used by a student as a “choice” as authorized by the parent(s). A parent notification must be sent out and signed for each student using this material.
      2. Secondary: The reviewer recommends approval of the curriculum material as a guided choice among other options. (See the Classroom and Media Center Book Collections section on page 4 for clarification).
    3. Disapproval: The reviewer believes the curriculum material should not be used by these students. The final approval/disapproval decision of material will be made by the appropriate Programming Curriculum Committee (see procedures below). Disapproval may be due to age/grade appropriateness or other reasons.
  3. Reviewer returns the form and material to the Curriculum Coordinator by the due date established in the form.

Curriculum Committee Review Procedures

  1. A decision by the Programming Curriculum Committee: Note: See Textbook addendum
    1. Individuals who wish to review material should contact the Curriculum Coordinator. The Curriculum Coordinator will regularly recruit new reviewers, and will systematically assign them so that, to the extent possible, a variety of individuals are reviewing materials for the school.
    2. The Committee will hear and discuss evaluations by the reviewers. At times it might be necessary to gather more information before a decision can be made.
    3. The Committee will then determine the final status of the curriculum material with a simple majority vote.

Limited Approval of Curriculum Materials

Occasionally, teachers will find a curriculum resource that they would like to include in a current unit of study, but time constraints prevent them from being able to submit the item for review and approval prior to its use in a timely manner in the classroom. When this occurs, the Curriculum Coordinator may have the materials reviewed through the proper procedure (outlined above), and if all three reviewers approve the resource, it may be used on a limited basis (one time only), and will need to be formally presented for approval at the next scheduled Programming Curriculum Committee meeting.

Supplemental Resource Approval

Supplemental materials are defined as items that are not part of an approved curriculum and its ancillary materials. Items selected for use in this way are limited to materials that do not represent an entire class/unit of study. In the case that an entire class/unit study is driven by current events, proposed frequently used websites/resources will be listed and approved on the course syllabus. Special education, Academic Strategies, Response to Intervention, Title I, and English Learners are programs that can include units made up entirely of supplemental materials.

It is understood that as teachers continue to research curriculum content and work to stay current in their field(s) of study, they may find resources to utilize that will enhance their classroom instruction. It would not be feasible to send each item through the curriculum approval process, so it will be the teacher’s responsibility to be sure that certain criteria are considered for each supplemental resource selected for use. The criteria include the requirement that the resource material has been read/watched in its entirety prior to classroom use, there is a clear justification for its use, and it is the most relevant way to depict the curricular content information to be covered. Teachers will be sure that the resource materials do not depict, promote or advocate substance abuse or sex; contain vulgarity or profanity, and contain graphic violence. Teachers will need to be sure that there are no copyright violations resulting from public use of the resource, that it complies with PACT’s 104 - Religious Expression Policy, and that it does not promote one political party over another. Teachers will sign a form (annually) indicating their intention to adhere to these criteria when selecting supplemental materials for classroom use (see sample at end of this document). The signature forms will be submitted to the Curriculum Coordinator.

Classroom and Media Center Book Collections

Reading material is readily available within PACT’s Media Center. In addition, each classroom has an assortment of books that are available for student use during the day. Teachers will use their best judgment as to the grade-level suitability and content of their classroom book collections according to PACT's Mission, Vision, and Foundational Statements. Teachers will not have books available in their classrooms that are on the Disapproved Booklist.

Students will be encouraged by teachers to inform their parent(s) of any books that they are reading in the classroom. If a parent considers a book inappropriate, they should first discuss any concerns with the teacher. If the parent continues to be concerned after this discussion, they may bring their concern to the Curriculum Coordinator. If the concern has not been addressed to the parent(s) satisfaction, the Curriculum Coordinator will bring the concern to the Programming Curriculum Committee to be addressed at the next Programming Curriculum Committee meeting. If determined by the Committee, the book may go through the Curriculum Materials Review Procedure and be pulled from the classroom until the appropriate Curriculum Committee has Approved/Disapproved the book.

Choice Books

Books approved as Choice Books are defined as books that can be used by a student as a choice. When used as a part of an assignment, the choice book(s) will be authorized by the parent(s) through a signed notification/permission slip for each student.

Textbooks & Curriculum Application Forms

(Teachers: Note that the approval process for textbooks may take a minimum of six weeks.)

  1. The teacher requesting the texts should work with the Curriculum Coordinator to present at least three texts for consideration, when possible. The currently-used text may be included as one of the three choices. Both the teacher and Curriculum Coordinator will complete recommendation forms.
  2. At least three reviewers (the majority of whom must be parents) should agree to look closely at the textbook choices and evaluate them for piloting. Background and/or knowledge in a particular subject area are preferred. At times it may become necessary to select reviewers from a wider base than this, because the text content to be reviewed may require specialized background knowledge. If that becomes necessary, the Curriculum Coordinator may select individuals from the extended PACT community to serve as reviewers.
  3. A period of review should be allowed for the PACT community. The textbooks under review should be available for viewing by parents or staff when a request is made to the Curriculum Coordinator at least 48 hours prior.
  4. The Programming Curriculum Committee should vote on textbook approvals for piloting.
  5. After curricula have been piloted, the Programming Curriculum Committee will make a recommendation to the Board for full implementation.
  6. All textbook recommendations will then be sent to the Board for final approval.

Videos/DVDs

  1. Elementary
    1. Videos/DVDs rated “G” or unrated documentaries do not need approval.
    2. Videos/DVDs that are unrated or rated “PG” do need approval.
    3. Approved videos/DVDs rated “PG” require signed permission slips from parent(s).
    4. Videos/DVDs rated “PG-13” or “R” will not be considered.
  2. Secondary
    1. Videos/DVDs rated “G,” “PG” or unrated documentaries do not need approval.
    2. Videos/DVDs rated “PG-13” need approval.
    3. Videos/DVDs rated “PG-13” require signed permission slips from parent(s), except during Senior-only functions.
    4. Videos/DVDs rated “R” will not be considered.
    5. A professionally-edited version of a video/DVD may be approved. When an approved, edited, video/DVD is to be shown, a note should be sent home with the student so the parent is informed that an edited version of the video/DVD will be seen in class.

Videos/DVDs should be used sparingly and only when the teacher deems it is the most effective way to deliver the information.

Music and Drama Productions

Due to the group nature of Music and Drama productions, production materials need to be approved. Works without lyrics do not need approval. If necessary, when time or need is critical, production materials may be submitted to Administration for final approval.

Software

Curriculum material that has a technology component* must:

  1. Be submitted to the PACT Technology Department to be checked regarding compatibility and licensure.
  2. Be submitted to the Curriculum Coordinator for Programming Curriculum Committee approval.

* That is any media that must be installed on a computer or interacts with a computer network to be used or viewed.

Copyright

Materials proposed for use in the school should adhere to fair use guidelines regarding purpose and character of use, nature and intended use of the copyrighted work (i.e. consumables/workbooks), amount copied, and the cumulative effect (to the copyright holder). Copyrighted materials normally associated with print also govern the use of audio, video, images, and text on the Internet. Information about copyright and fair use can be obtained from the Curriculum Coordinator.

 

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PACT Charter School
7250 East Ramsey Parkway
Ramsey, MN 55303 

Phone: 763-712-4200
Absence line: 763-712-4200, ext. 2
Fax: 763-712-4201

 

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