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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Highline Public Schools
15675 Ambaum Blvd. SW Burien, WA 98166

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Procedure 2020 - CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT & INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS

Course Design, Selection, and Adoption of Instructional Materials
District course design and core instructional materials should be regularly reviewed to ensure their ongoing alignment with state law, learning and teaching standards, research-based best practices, graduation requirements, and board priorities, and to ensure continuous improvement of student outcomes. All students will receive high quality core instruction and, as appropriate, strategic and intensive intervention and extension supports matched to student needs. 

This document details the review processes to be followed in Highline Public Schools to ensure that all courses are part of rigorous and intentional pathways leading to success in college, career, and citizenship for all students.

A. Course Design-New and Existing 

Existing Courses
The superintendent or designee will establish a regular cycle of course design, review, and development that includes examination by review committees composed of district subject area experts and, as appropriate, external content area experts. This review cycle should be based on student need, changing demographics and funding.  The cycle should cover each content area to ensure current course relevance. The course design process should review:

  • Relevance, rigor, and alignment to state learning standards;
  • Alignment to District Strategic Plan;
  • Efficacy of core and intervention instructional materials that support student learning; and
  • Processes and resources used to assess student progress and address teacher professional learning.

Recommendations of this review may lead to:

  • Affirmation of continued use of current processes and instructional materials;
  • Establishment of a timeline for completion of recommended tasks;
  • Creation and assignment of tasks to subcommittees as required to select, write, or revise the course design;
  • Recommendation of new instructional materials selection to the Instructional Materials Committee;
  • Design of course implementation and staff development plans;
  • Identification of projected budget needs in accordance with established timelines; and/or
  • Maintained communications with impacted stakeholders.

New Courses or Major Modifications to Existing Courses
New course offerings or major course modifications that propose significant changes to course objectives or scope will be reviewed by the Superintendent or designee prior to being scheduled to ensure that the course is rigorous, utilizes appropriate instructional materials, and is a carefully considered part of the school’s college and career pathways.

When the implementation of new or modified courses requires the adoption of new instructional resources, those resource recommendations will be forwarded to the Instructional Materials Committee for consideration by the process outlined below.

B. Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials
For the purposes of this procedure, instructional materials used in the school district will be classified as core, intervention, supplemental, and temporary supplemental, and shall be selected according to the procedures that follow. The principal is responsible for ensuring the continuing familiarity of his/her certificated staff with the requirement of this policy and procedure. The district office will provide such technical assistance as may be necessary to accomplish this.

Roles and Responsibilities in the Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials

Instructional Material Type

Role

Certificated Teaching  Staff

Principal

Superintendent

Instructional Materials Committee (IMC)

School Board

Core material

Input

Input

Establish adoption procedure

Recommend

Adopt

Alternative core

Input

Input

Designate selector

 

 

Intervention

Input

Input

Designate selector

 

 

Supplemental

Input

Input

 

 

 

Temporary Supplemental

Select
within district guideline [1]

Designate selector

 

 

 

[1] Guidelines include, but are not limited to, instructional frameworks, district policy, state standards, professional guidelines, and professional practice standards.

Instructional Material Delivery Formats
Instructional materials may be delivered in many formats, and may include textbooks, technology-based materials, or other educational media.

Open Educational Resources
Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching and learning resources that reside in the public domain or have been released under an intellectual property license that permits their free use and re-purposing by others. A wide variety of free, high quality instructional content is available from supplemental to core instructional materials. OER are subject to the same selection and adoption procedures as other instructional materials outlined in this document.

Technology-based Resources
When instructional materials are technology based, district educational technology staff should be consulted regarding the technological impacts of the suggested program. Equity of access for students and teachers must be considered for all core materials delivered in digital formats.

C. Core Instructional Material Selection

Instructional Materials Committee
The Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) is formed to establish and monitor such procedures as may be necessary for the evaluation and recommendation of core materials used by the district in conformance to stated criteria. The committee will act upon requests for core material approval and will evaluate and act upon citizens’ requests for reconsideration of core materials.  When actively meeting, the IMC shall make regular reports to the School Board on their process and progress.  See Section E, below, for a description of the structure and roles of the IMC members.

IMC composition and practice will follow these guidelines:

  • At least three (3) and at least one-third (1/3) of the total members of the District’s Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) will be non-supervisory certificated instructional staff members.
  • The Association will recommend to the District Superintendent names of staff members for potential membership on the IMC.
  • The District will publish the names of IMC members on the District website.
  • HEA membership on the IMC will be staggered so that half of the HEA members will have served the prior year.

At a minimum, the IMC will:

  1. Develop and oversee an established timeline for cycle of course and instructional material review;
  2. Appoint adoption committees for review and selection of new core instructional materials as needed;
  3. Review the recommendations of adoption committee and recommend new core instructional materials to the Board;
  4. Review and define various types of instructional materials (e.g. “core curriculum” and “supplemental instructional materials”) in District administrative procedure and the process for approval for such;
  5. Receive, consider and act upon written complaints regarding district instructional materials; and
  6. Screen materials for bias prior to adoption.

Criteria for Selection of Core Instructional Materials
Core instructional materials shall be selected based upon the degree to which they:

A.      Demonstrate likelihood of impact as shown by scientific or evidence-based research;

B.      Enable implementation of the district’s developed goals and priorities and meet state standards and College Readiness requirements;

C.      Provide sufficient flexibility to meet the varied needs and abilities of the students served;

D.      Provide clear and appropriate differentiation components for English Language Learners, students who qualify for special education, students with academic opportunity gaps, and students identified as highly capable;

E.       Where appropriate, present balanced but differing views of issues, controversial or otherwise, in order that students may develop critical analysis and informed decision-making skills;

F.       Demonstrate consideration of appropriate format(s) (including technological, visual, and/or auditory components);

G.      Support an equitable access to learning and learning materials for all students; including the provision of appropriate, high-quality accessible instructional materials to all students with disabilities who require them; and

H.      Are free of stereotyping and gender, race, class, and other forms of bias, recognizing that under certain circumstances biased materials may serve as appropriate resources to present contrasting and differing points of view, and biased materials may be employed in order to teach students about bias, stereotyping, and propaganda in historical or contemporary contexts. The Washington Models for the Evaluation of Bias Content in Instructional Materials, published by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) should be consulted in the selection process to further to the goal of eliminating content bias: https://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/InstructionalMaterialsReview.aspx

Recommendation of Core Instructional Materials
The IMC will receive recommended district material proposals through superintendent-assigned staff. Core material will be reviewed according to superintendent-established procedures to ensure compliance with the above selection criteria and by using instructional material evaluation tools listed on the OSPI website: https://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/InstructionalMaterialsReview.aspx

Based on their evaluation, the IMC will recommend instructional materials to the board for adoption.   Core materials will be approved by the Board prior to their use in the classroom, with the exception of materials beings used for field-testing, as described below.

Field-Testing
The Superintendent or designee may consider the use of field-testing as part of the adoption process. Field-testing can provide a flexible opportunity to investigate the effectiveness of curricular approaches, instructional materials, and/or assessment resources through careful experimentation for an identified purpose based on student needs. 

Trial-use core instructional material of an experimental, field-test nature may be authorized for use by the superintendent for a period of no more than one school year prior to adoption through the formal process.

D. Procedure for Challenging Instructional Materials
When a parent/guardian or employee challenges any instructional materials used or restricted from use in the schools, the following steps should be taken:

  1. Concerns should first be discussed with the certificated teacher and/or the school principal. All parties are urged to resolve the concern at this level.
     
  2. If the concerns cannot be resolved through discussion at the school level, the following steps will be taken and the challenged instructional material will continue to be used until a decision is rendered:
    1. If the challenged instructional material is supplemental in nature, at a parent/guardian’s written request to the principal, the supplemental material may be asked to be withdrawn from their student. The principal shall facilitate a meeting of the complainant(s) and appropriate school staff.  Following the meeting, the principal shall respond with a written decision. If warranted by the scope of the supplemental material, an appeal may be submitted to the Superintendent, or designee requesting review by the Instructional Materials Committee and a written decision.
    2. If the instructional material is core, alternative core, intervention or extension material, the parent/guardian or employee may register a request for reconsideration with the Superintendent or designee. This request will be forwarded to the Instructional Materials Review committee. The IMC will review the challenge and establish a timely process for public consideration of the challenge if appropriate.

Instructional material reconsideration decisions will be made by majority vote of the IMC and will be final. Decisions of the committee will be delivered in writing to the Superintendent, complainant, and affected staff within ten (10) school business days.

E. Structures and Roles
Board of Directors: Approves final recommendations for core materials.

Superintendent:  Appoints members of the Instructional Materials Committee, approves the annual plan and priorities for review and/or adoption of curriculum and instructional materials and course approvals and/or modifications. Recommends adoptions to the board.

Superintendent Designee: The superintendent shall ensure there is an appointed administrator charged with oversight of curriculum for the district.  The Executive Director supervises the regular and ongoing review of coursework and curricula, and the preparation of new courses for review by the Instructional Materials Committee (IMC), serves as chair of the IMC, and ensures that materials adoptions follow procedure, including developing criteria used to evaluate curriculum and instructional materials for review, and ensuring a process for public comment and complaint.

Instructional Materials Committee (IMC): The IMC is appointed by the Superintendent. Its purpose is to review course design and instructional materials on a regular schedule, to create and oversee adoption committees as needed, and to and approve the final recommendation for core instructional materials as needed.  To that end, the IMC may create and oversee adoption committees as needed to research and review potential instructional materials.  The IMC will ensure that adoption committees consider a wide range of resources, including digital resources, and that they consider principles of Universal Design for Learning in reviewing and recommending instructional materials.

The IMC’s chief responsibility is to ensure that the district’s coursework aligns with standards, state law, board policies, and the district’s strategic goals, and to ensure that any adoption processes are complete and comprehensive.  If a materials adoption is required, the IMC will also approve screening criteria to identify and eliminate bias based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, disability or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal.

The IMC is comprised of the Executive Director of Instruction and Innovation, content area administrators, as well as HEA members.  At least three (3) and at least one-third (1/3) of the total members of the District’s Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) will be non-supervisory certificated instructional staff members.

  • The Association will recommend to the District Superintendent names of staff members for potential membership on the IMC.
  • The District will publish the names of IMC members on the District website.
  • HEA membership on the IMC will be staggered so that half of the HEA members will have served the prior year.

At a minimum, the IMC will:

  1. Develop and oversee an established timeline for cycle of course and instructional material review;
  2. Appoint adoption committees for review and selection of new core instructional materials as needed;
  3. Review the recommendations of adoption committee and recommend new core instructional materials to the Board;
  4. Review and define various types of instructional materials (e.g. “core curriculum” and “supplemental instructional materials”) in District administrative procedure and the process for approval for such;
  5. Receive, consider and act upon written complaints regarding district instructional materials; and
  6. Screen materials for bias prior to adoption.

The IMC shall meet no later than fall of each school year to review the superintendent’s annual priorities for coursework, curriculum, and materials review, and to develop a meeting schedule for the year. 

The IMC forwards any recommendation to the Superintendent/designee after an expert committee completes a thorough process of review.

Adoption Committees, overseen by the IMC, may be comprised of representative members of the district’s professional staff (including representatives from the district’s content committees), and may also include family representatives, community members, and outside experts, provided that family members shall make up less than one half of the total membership of the committee.  Adoption committees shall serve until the adoption process is complete.

F. Assurances
Bias Review
In order to prevent bias, content area advisory teams will use the approved rubric to screen instructional materials prior to their pilot in classrooms or consideration for recommendation by the IMC.

Review by Family/Community Members
A variety of learning materials will be available for immediate perusal at any time in the central office, and displays of learning materials may be provided in schools during family meetings, conferences, and other public meetings throughout the school year.  Families are encouraged to learn about their students’ courses and learning materials in order to support their success.

Access For All
Highline School District is committed to ensuring that all students have access to all approved and adopted instructional materials and to core content learning.  For this purpose, instructional materials may not be selected unless the district can provide free and appropriate access for all students. 

Highline School District 401
Adopted by the Superintendent: August 1985
Revised by the Superintendent: 5.90, 5.11, 6.14; 9.15, 01.16