Instructional Materials

PURPOSES OF INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

The purpose of instructional materials will be to implement, enrich, and support the educational program of the school.

Instructional materials should contribute to the development of positive social and intellectual values of the students.

The Board will provide the faculty and students in the District with such instructional materials as are educationally needed and financially feasible to make the instructional program meaningful to students of all levels of ability. In addition, the Board will ensure that all instructional materials will be made available in a usable alternative format for each student with a disability at the same time as such instructional materials are available to non-disabled students. The alternative format must meet the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) defined in federal law.

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1474(e)(3)(B)
Education Law Section 701 et seq.
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Parts 155 and 200.2

SELECTION OF LIBRARY AND MULTIMEDIA MATERIALS

A school library/library media center will be established and maintained in each school district. The library in each elementary and secondary school will meet the needs of the pupils, and will provide an adequate complement to the instructional program in the various areas of the curriculum. Each school district will also employ a certified school library media specialist, unless equivalent service is provided by an alternative arrangement approved by the Commissioner.

The Board agrees that the responsibility of the school library is:

a) To provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities and maturity levels of the students served.
b) To provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values and ethical standards.
c) To provide a background of information that will enable students to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives.
d) To provide materials on opposing sides of controversial issues so that young citizens may develop, under guidance, the practice of critical reading and thinking.
e) To provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contribution to our American heritage.
f) To place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of materials of the highest quality in order to assure a comprehensive collection appropriate for the users of the library.

In interpreting these principles, the following will apply:

a) Broad and varied collections will be developed systematically by the Library Media Specialist, based on recommendations of the professional staff and suggestions of students and parents. Final approval will be made by the building principal.
b) Qualitative standards of selection involving factual accuracy, authoritativeness, artistic quality and appeal will be applied by Library Media Specialists before purchases are made.
c) Materials will not be excluded because of the race, nationality, political opinions or religious views of the author.
d) Materials will be continuously re-evaluated in relation to changing curriculum and instructional needs. Worn out, out-dated materials will be discarded.

Education Law Section 207
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 21.4, 91.1, 91.2 

OBJECTION TO INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

Any criticism of instructional materials that are in the schools should be submitted in writing to the Superintendent. The Board will be informed. A committee, including the librarian and building principal, will be designated by the Superintendent to investigate and judge the challenged material according to the principles and qualitative standards stated in Policy #8320 — Selection of Library and Multimedia Materials.

Study of Specific Materials/Conflict with Religious Beliefs

In accordance with applicable law and regulation, a student may be excused from the study of specific materials relating to health and hygiene if these materials are in conflict with the religion of his or her parents/guardians. Alternatives may be provided that are of comparable instructional value.

Education Law Section 3204(5)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Section 135.3

CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES

Controversial issues may be studied as part of the curriculum and teachers will present these issues in their classrooms in an impartial and objective manner.

Teachers wishing to call upon outside speakers in the presentation of controversial issues are required to obtain the approval of the principal who will keep in mind the obligation for presenting opposing views as well, and who will inform the Superintendent prior to the presentation.

It is recognized that parents and citizens of the community have a right to protest to the school administration when convinced that unfair and biased presentations are being made by the teacher. In considering such protests, the Superintendent will provide for a hearing so that both parties may fairly express their views. If requested, the Superintendent’s decision may be appealed to the Board. 

TEXTBOOKS/WORKBOOKS/CALCULATORS/INSTRUCTIONAL COMPUTER HARDWARE

Textbooks

The term “textbook” will refer to a book supplied to a student for a fixed period of time for his or her personal use and basic to the study of a subject. The Board will make provision for funds to be budgeted for the purchase of textbooks and related instructional materials.

Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent, the Board will designate the textbooks to be used. Textbooks, once designated, cannot be superseded within a period of five years except by a three-fourths (3/4) vote of the Board.

Each school district has the option of participating in the National Instructional Materials Access Center (NIMAC). Whether a district does or does not participate in NIMAC, the district will be responsible to ensure that each student who requires instructional materials in an alternate format will receive it in a timely manner and in a format that meets NIMAS standards (8 NYCRR Section 200.2(b)(10)). The New York State Education Department (NYSED) recommends that school districts choose to participate in NIMAC, because this national effort to centralize the distribution of instructional materials in alternate formats will help guarantee timely provision of such materials to students.

For school districts, Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), State-operated schools, State-supported schools and approved private schools that choose to participate in NIMAC, contracts with publishers executed on and after December 3, 2006 for textbooks and other printed core materials must include a provision that requires the publisher to produce NIMAS files and send them to the NIMAC (this will not add any cost to the contract).

For more information regarding NIMAC including model contract language, Steps for Coordinating with NIMAC and an IDEA Part B Assurances Application please see:
http://www.p12.nysed.gov/specialed/publications/persprep/NIMAS.pdf.

Students will be required to pay for lost books or for excessive damage to books.

Textbooks for Resident Students Attending Private Schools

Resident students attending private schools will be supplied non-sectarian textbooks in accordance with the requirements of Education Law.

Workbooks

The term “workbook” will refer to the type of book that provides spaces to write in and is consumed each year. It is usually paper-covered and designed to be used in connection with a textbook. The Board will approve the expenditure of funds for the purchase of workbooks and manuals.

Calculators

The District can require students to provide their own “supplies” (defined as something which is consumed in use, loses its appearance and shape in use, expendable, and inexpensive). Examples include pencils, pens, paper, etc.

Calculators do not fall into this category and must be considered like classroom teaching materials for which the District is authorized to levy a tax. In addition, the District may purchase, and must still provide, calculators even if operating under a contingent budget if the calculators are required for participation in an educational program.

The New York State Education Department requires the use of calculators for intermediate and high school level mathematics and science assessments. To the extent that calculators are a necessary part of the educational program, the District must provide them. Under no circumstances should students be charged for a calculator or otherwise required to purchase one in order to participate in an educational program of the District.
(see website: http://www.emsc.nysed.gov/mgtserv/charging_for_calculators.shtml)

Instructional Computer Hardware

Loan to Students Attending Nonpublic Schools in the District

The District will loan, upon request of an individual or a group of individual students, to all students legally attending nonpublic elementary or secondary schools located in the District, instructional computer hardware which is designated for use in any public elementary or secondary schools of the State or is approved by any school authorities as such term is defined in Education Law Section 2(12).

Such instructional computer hardware is to be loaned free to such children, subject to such rules and regulations as are or may be prescribed by the Board of Regents and school authorities and will be required for use as a learning aid in a particular class or program. Instructional computer hardware containing computer software programs which are religious in nature or content will not be purchased or loaned by the District.

The District will not be required to loan instructional computer hardware to nonpublic school students in excess of that acquired in accordance with Education Law Section 753 and will be loaned on an equitable basis to children attending nonpublic schools in the District and to students with disabilities residing in the District who attend programs under the provisions of Education Law Sections 4401(2)(c),(2)(e),(2)(g),(2)(i), and (2)(l). However, the District will not be required to loan instructional computer hardware purchased with local or federal funds or with State funds, other than Instructional Computer Hardware Aid funds. 

School authorities will specify a date by which written requests for the purchase and loan of instructional computer hardware must be received by the District. Such date will not be earlier than the first day of June of the school year prior to that for which such instructional computer hardware is being requested. For a child not attending a nonpublic school prior to June first, the parent or guardian may submit a written request for instructional computer hardware within 30 days after such child is enrolled in the nonpublic school. In no event, however, will a request made later than the times otherwise provided in accordance with Education Law Section 754 be denied where a reasonable explanation is given for the delay in making the request. All nonpublic schools in the District will be notified of the specified date.

The form of request used by a lending District may provide for a guarantee by a parent or guardian
for the return of such hardware or, in the case of loss or damage, for payment of the value thereof.

20 United States Code (USC) Section 1474(e)(3)(B)
Education Law Sections 2(12), 701 et seq., 753, 754, 3602(6), 3602(26), 4401(2)(c), 4401(2)(e), 4401(2)(g),
4401(2)(i) and 4401(2)(l)
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 21.3, 100.12, 155.1(a)(4) and 175.25

USE OF COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS

It is the intent of the Board to abide by the provisions of the United States Copyright Law (Title 17 United States Code Section 101 et seq.).

All employees and students are prohibited from copying materials not specifically allowed by the copyright law, fair use guidelines, licenses or contractual agreements, or the permission of the copyright proprietor.

Any person who willfully disregards the copyright policy will be in violation of Federal Copyright Laws and District policy and will assume all liability.

A copyright officer may be appointed by the Superintendent to provide information for all personnel regarding current copyright law and to maintain copyright records. The copyright officer will also serve as the designated agent registered with the U.S. Copyright Office to expeditiously respond to any notices of claimed copyright infringement.

Regulations and procedures will be developed by the administration detailing what can and cannot be copied. Appropriate copyright notices will be placed on or near all equipment used for duplication.

Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA)
17 United States Code (USC) Sections 101 et seq., 512 and 1201 et seq.

RELIGIOUS EXPRESSION IN THE INSTRUCTIONAL PROGRAM

The Board acknowledges the importance of religion to the understanding of society and the richness of the human experience. In approaching the teaching about religion in the school, the District will be guided by three concepts when making decisions about the appropriateness of activities for inclusion in the school program: the activity should have a secular purpose; the activity should neither advance nor inhibit religion; and the activity must not foster an excessive entanglement of “government” with religion.

Nurturing the development of knowledge and respect for the rights of all cultural and religious groups is a continuing goal of the District. Students, faculty and administration are reminded of the pluralism of religious beliefs and are urged to be conscious of and respect the sensitivity of others.

Opportunities to learn about cultural and religious traditions should be provided within the framework of the curriculum. Information about religious and cultural holidays and traditions focusing on how and when they are celebrated, their origins and histories should be part of this instruction. This educational opportunity should be handled with great care, sensitivity and respect for the feelings and beliefs of individuals.

An environment should be created and encouraged where students of various ethnic backgrounds feel comfortable in sharing comments about their religious and cultural traditions. No student should be singled out to share or participate in such discussions solely on the basis of that student’s identification with the cultural/religious heritage being addressed. A student’s preference not to share or participate in such discussions should be honored and respected without penalty.

School Activities Related to Religious Holidays or Themes

School activities related to the teaching about religious holidays or themes must be consistent with, representative of, and congruent with the District’s curriculum.

In planning school activities related to the teaching about religious holidays or themes, special effort must be made to ensure that the activity is not devotional and that students of all faiths can join without feeling they are betraying their own beliefs.

In planning school activities related to the teaching about religious holidays or themes, age appropriate activities are encouraged within the framework of the curriculum. Teaching about religious and cultural holidays may include such special activities as parties and special foods, if they reinforce educational goals.

Symbols in the Schools

The purpose of using religious symbols should be to teach about religious concepts and traditions, and to convey historical or cultural content, not to promote or celebrate religious concepts, events or holidays.

Music in the Schools

The purpose of using religious music should be to teach musical concepts, to convey historical and cultural content, or to create aesthetic experiences in a setting which emphasizes artistic expression and educational value, not to promote or to celebrate a religious faith.

Curriculum Areas in Conflict with Religious Beliefs

Students will be given the option to be excused from participating in those parts of an activity, program, or area of instruction involving a religious theme which conflicts with their own religious beliefs or that of their parents/guardians in accordance with applicable law and regulations. Alternatives may be provided that are of comparable instructional value.

Implementation

Administrative regulations will be developed to implement the terms of this policy. Further, the District will vigorously publicize and disseminate this policy and accompanying regulations in order to ensure community, faculty, student, and parental/guardian awareness.

United States Constitution, First Amendment
Elementary and Secondary Education Act, as amended by the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, Section 9524 Equal Access Act, 20 United States Code (USC) Sections 4071-4074
Education Law Sections 1609(9), 1609(10), 1709(1), 1709(3), 3204(5) and 3210
8 New York Code of Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) Sections 16.2 and 109.2

Pine Bush Central School District
State Route 302, Pine Bush, NY 12566
Phone: (845) 744-2031
Fax: (845) 744-6189
Tim O. Mains
Superintendent of Schools
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