POLICY #6161(a)(b)
 
NORWICH FREE ACADEMY
SELECTION OF TEXTBOOKS, EQUIPMENT AND MATERIALS POLICY
 
The Norwich Free Academy recognizes that appropriate texts, library reference facilities, maps and globes, laboratory equipment, audiovisual equipment, art supplies, athletic equipment, current periodicals, tests and questionnaires, and similar materials are the tools of the teaching profession. The teaching staff will serve on curriculum committees and consult with the administration for the purpose of recommending improvements in curriculum and materials.
 
Instruction - Equipment, Books, Materials: Provision/Selection
It is the policy of Norwich Free Academy to provide educational materials and equipment that support and enrich the curriculum and further the achievement of the district's instruction goals.
 
The review and selection of basic textbooks (the book or set of instructional materials that serve as the foundation for more than fifty per cent of the course content shall be considered the basic textbook, referred to simply as "textbooks") will be carried on continuously through curriculum committees comprised of professionals with administrative consult in order to keep up with the great expansion of knowledge and the rapid changes going on in our world today.
 
Where applicable, all textbooks should present balanced views concerning the international, national and local issues and problems of the past, present, and future. Textbooks should:
 
1.     Provide materials to stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic and ethical values.
 
2.     Provide materials that will help students develop abilities in critical reading and thinking.
 
3.     Provide materials that will develop and foster an appreciation of cultural diversity and development in the United States and throughout the world.
 
4.     Provide for all students an effective basic education that    does not discriminate on the basis of race, age, color, religion, national origin, sex, or physical disabilities or other protected class status.
 
5.     Allow sufficient flexibility for meeting the special needs of individual students and groups of students.
 
The administration will develop and review administrative rules, outlining a procedure to select textbooks which meet the preceding criteria. This process will include:
 
1.     analysis, evaluation and recommendation by professional staff and
 
2.   the opportunity for interested citizens in the towns served by the Academy to review recommended textbooks.
 
Instruction - Evaluation of Instructional Materials
The purpose of this policy is to provide consistent, systematic standards for evaluating instructional materials proposed for use in Norwich Free Academy to ensure compliance with Connecticut General Statutes and with the regulations of the State Board of Education.
 
Limitations
It may be appropriate to require a pictorial or textual item to conform to these guidelines, for example in reprinting a story by a well-known author or in a painting by an artist which makes an important contribution to a particular instructional material. In such a situation, however, discussion material should be included indicating that, for example, a particular attitude toward women or minority groups was prevalent during a certain period in history, and how and why that attitude has changed.
 
When examining material for adverse reflection on race, creed, sex, etc., the evaluators should make a qualitative judgment with respect to stories or articles having an historical perspective. Any description, depiction, inference, label or retort found to be, by itself, an adverse reflection should not be judged out of context. Rather, the story or article should be examined for appropriate explanations, discussion or other devices included therein, or immediately attached thereto, which may overcome the impact of such offending words or pictures. The instructional material should be rejected only if, on a total basis, the story or article would, in the mind of an average student for whom the material is intended, reflect adversely upon a person because of his or her race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, sex or occupation.
 
Materials in a Series
When evaluating instructional materials which are designed to be used as a graded, nongraded or multigraded series, each component thereof shall be judged individually for compliance and without regard to the content of any other component. However, a group or sequence of materials which is designed for use exclusively within a particular single grade shall be judged on a total basis for compliance concerning adverse reflections of one's race, creed, sex, etc. For example, if a package of three different books is designed to be used as ninth grade readers and a student is expected to complete all books in that school year, any portrayal deficiencies found in one book may be balanced against any exemplary portrayal in another book. However, each of the three books must be judged separately for compliance with the adverse reflection prohibitions.
 
Specific Criteria for Evaluation of Instructional Materials
 
Male and Female Roles
 
1.     To encourage the individual development and self-esteem of each child, regardless of gender, instructional materials, when they portray people (or) animals having identifiable human attributes), shall portray women and men, girls and boys, in a wide variety of occupational, emotional, and behavioral situations, presenting both sexes in the full range of their human potential.
 
2.     Descriptions, depiction, inferences, labels or retorts which tend to demean, stereotype, or patronize must not appear.
 
3.     Instructional materials that generally or incidentally reflect contemporary American society, regardless of the subject area, must contain references to, or illustrations of, males and females.
 
4.     Mentally and physically active, creative, problem-solving roles, and success and failure in those roles, should be shared similarly between male and female characters.
 
5.     Traditional activities engaged in by characters of one sex should be balanced by the presentation of nontraditional activities for characters of that sex.
 
6.     If professional executive roles, or vocations, trades or other gainful occupations are portrayed, men and women should be represented approximately equally.
 
7.     Where life-style choices are discussed, boys and girls should be offered an equally wide range of such aspirations and choices.
 
8.     Whenever material presents developments in history or current events, or achievements in art, science, or any other field, the contributions of women should be included and discussed when historically accurate.
 
9.     Imbalance or inequality of any kind, when presented for historical accuracy, should, in the student edition of the instructional material, be interpreted in light of contemporary standards and circumstances.
 
10.  Sexually neutral language - for example, "people", "persons", "men and women", "pioneers", "they", should generally be used.
 
Ethnic and Cultural Groups
 
To project the cultural diversity of our society, instill in each child a sense of pride in his or her heritage, eradicate the seeds of prejudice, and encourage the individual development of each child, instructional materials, when portraying people (or animals having identifiable human attributes), shall include a fair representation of majority and minority group characters portrayed in a wide variety of occupational and behavioral roles, and present the contributions of ethnic and cultural groups.
 
1.     Descriptions, depictions, inferences or labels which tend to demean, stereotype, or patronize minority groups must not appear.
 
2.     When diverse ethnic or cultural groups are portrayed, such portrayal should not depict differences in customs or life-style as undesirable and should not reflect an adverse value judgment of such difference.
 
3.     Instructional materials that generally or incidentally reflect contemporary American society, regardless of the subject area, should contain references to, or illustrations of, a fair proportion of diverse ethnic groups.
 
4.     Mentally active, creative, and problem-solving roles, and success and failure in those roles, should be divided in fair proportion between majority and minority group characters.
 
5.     The portrayal of minority characters in roles to which they have been traditionally restricted by society should be balanced by the presentation of nontraditional activities for characters of that race.
 
6.     Minority persons should be depicted in the same range of socioeconomic settings as persons of the majority group.
 
7.     Depiction of diverse ethnic and cultural groups should not be limited to the root culture, but rather expanded to include such groups within the mainstream of American life.
 
8.     If professional or executive roles, or vocations, trades or other gainful occupations are portrayed, majority and minority groups should be presented therein in fair proportion.
 
9.     Whenever developments in history or current events, or achievements in art, science, or any other field are presented, the contributions of minority peoples, and particularly the identification of prominent minority persons should be included and discussed when historically accurate.
 
10.  Imbalance or inequality of any kind, when presented for historical accuracy, should, in the student edition of the instructional materials, be interpreted in light of contemporary standards and circumstances.
 
Management and Labor
 
1.   References or labels which tend to demean, stereotype, or patronize an occupation, vocation, or livelihood should not appear.
 
2.   Where appropriate, reference should be made to the role and contribution of the entrepreneur in the total development of Connecticut and the United States, and any such reference should be accurate.
 
3.   Where appropriate, reference should be made to the role and contribution of labor in the total development of Connecticut and the United States, and any such reference should be accurate.
 
Ecology and Environment
 
1.   Responsibilities of human beings toward a healthy, sanitary environment are appropriately portrayed.
 
2.   Wide use of resources, both human and physical, is actively encouraged.
 
3.   Interdependence of people and their environment is portrayed.
 
4.   The effects of solutions to environmental problems are identified.
 
5.   Appropriate means of protecting the environment are suggested.
 
Dangerous Substances
 
1.   The hazards of the use of tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, and restricted dangerous drugs are depicted in illustrations or discussion where references to these substances are included in instructional materials.
 
2.   The use of tobacco, alcohol, narcotics, or restricted dangerous drugs is not glamorized or encouraged by illustrations or discussion references.
 
Religion
 
1.   No religious belief or practice shall be held up to ridicule nor any religious group portrayed as inferior or superior.
 
2.   Portrayals of contemporary American society should, where religion is discussed or depicted, reflect its religious diversity. Except where material deals with a particular historical era, materials in art and music, where religious aspects thereof are depicted, reflect the religious diversity of contemporary American society.
 
3.   Any explanation or description of a religious belief or practice shall be presented in a manner which neither encourages nor discourages belief in the matter, nor indoctrinates the student in any particular religious belief, nor otherwise instructs students in religious principles.
 
Brand Names
 
Instructional materials shall not contain illustrations of any identifiable commercial brand names, representations or corporate logos unless such illustrations are necessary to the educational purpose of the instructional material and that purpose cannot be achieved without using such illustrations, or unless such illustrations are incidental to a scene of a general nature. If, under these exceptions, a brand name, representation or corporate logo is illustrated, prominence shall not be given to any one brand or corporation unless, in turn, such illustration is necessary to the educational purpose of instructional material and that purpose cannot be achieved without using such illustration.
 
Food
 
When instructional materials contain illustrations of foods, there shall be an emphasis on foods of high nutritive value.
 
 
Legal Reference:          Connecticut General Statues
10-221 Boards of education to prescribe rules.
10-228 Free Textbooks, supplies, materials and equipment. 10-220 Change of Textbooks.
President's Council, District 25 v. Community School Board No. 25, 457 F. 2d. 289 (1972), cert. denied Nov. 1972
 
Minarcini v. Strongsville City School District, 541 F. 2d. 577 (6th Cir.
1976)
Island Trees Union Free School District Board of Education v. Pico,
 
457 US 853 (1982)
Academic Freedom Policy (adopted by Connecticut State Board of Education, 9/9/81)
Policy Adopted:           May 12, 1993
Policy Revised:             April 21, 2009
  • #6161(a)(b)