The intent of the Irvine Unified School District is to provide a wide range of learning resources with varying levels of difficulty, diversity of appeal, and the presentation of different points of view, all of which meet student and teacher needs.

To this end, it is the responsibility of the professional staff to:

  • provide materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, while taking into consideration the varied interests, abilities, learning styles and maturity levels of the students served;
  • provide materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge, literary appreciation, aesthetic values, and societal standards;
  • provide materials representing various positions on controversial issues so that young citizens may have an opportunity to develop, under guidance, the practice of critical analysis, and to make informed judgments in their daily lives;
  • provide materials representative of the many religious, ethnic, and cultural groups and their contributions to our national heritage and the world community;
  • provide a comprehensive collection appropriate to the school community.

While selection of instructional materials and learning resources involves many people (administrators, teachers, students, community persons, library/media specialists, resource center personnel), the responsibility for coordinating the selection of supplemental instructional materials and school learning resources and making recommendation for acquisition rests with the principal and professional personnel.

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS – BASIC TEXTBOOKS: A volume intended for use by pupils as a basic source of study material for the completion of a subject or course. (Requires Board approval)

INSTRUCTIONAL MATERIALS – SUPPLEMENTAL TEXTBOOKS: A volume intended to be used as a supplement to a basic textbook. Supplemental textbooks are usually provided as classroom sets. (Requires Board approval)

LEARNING RESOURCES: A volume intended to support basic or supplemental textbooks. Learning resources may include, but are not limited to novels, poems, primary and secondary sources, newspaper articles, etc. (Does NOT require Board approval)

Criteria for Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials:

In recommending textbooks or other instructional materials for adoption by the Board of Education, the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that such materials:

1. Are aligned to any applicable academic content standards adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE) pursuant to Education Code 60605 and/or Common Core Standards adopted pursuant to Education Code 60605.8

For grades K-8, the Superintendent or designee shall select instructional materials from among the list of materials adopted by the SBE and/or other materials that have not been adopted by the SBE but are aligned with the state academic content standards and/or the Common Core Standards. (Education Code 60200, 60210)

For grades 9-12, the Superintendent or designee shall review instructional materials in history-social science, mathematics, English/language arts, and science using a standards map in order to determine the extent to which the materials are aligned to state academic content standards.

2. For grades 9-12, are provided by publishers that comply with the requirements of Education Code 60040-60052,60060-60062, and 60226 (Education Code 60400)

3. Do not reflect adversely upon persons because of their race or ethnicity, gender, religion, disability, nationality, sexual orientation, occupation, or other characteristic listed in Education Code 220, nor contain any sectarian or denominational doctrine or propaganda contrary to law (Education Code 51501, 60044) (cf. 0410 - Nondiscrimination in District Programs and Activities)

4. To the satisfaction of the Board, are accurate, objective, current, and suited to the needs and comprehension of district students at their respective grade levels (Education Code 60045)

5. With the exception of literature and trade books, use proper grammar and spelling (Education Code 60045)

6. Do not expose students to a commercial brand name, product, or corporate or company logo unless the Board makes a specific finding that the use is appropriate based on one of the following: (Education Code 60048, 60200)

a. The commercial brand name, product, or corporate or company logo is used in text for an educational purpose as defined in guidelines or frameworks adopted by the SBE.

b. The appearance of a commercial brand name, product, or corporate or company logo in an illustration is incidental to the general nature of the illustration.

7. If the materials are technology-based materials, are both available and comparable to other, equivalent instructional materials (Education Code 60052)

8. Meet the requirements of Education Code 60040-60043 for specific subject content

9. Support the district's adopted courses of study and curricular goals

10. Contribute to a comprehensive, balanced curriculum

11. When available, include options for lighter weight materials in order to help minimize any injury to students by the combined weight of instructional materials

The Board of Education encourages the use of supplementary instructional materials to enrich the curriculum and enhance student learning. Such materials shall be aligned with district goals, curriculum objectives, and academic standards and shall supplement and not supplant the use of Board-adopted basic instructional materials that serve as the primary learning resources.

Whenever a district employee proposes to use a supplementary resource which is not included in the approved learning resources of the district, he/she shall preview the material to determine whether, in his/her professional judgment, it is appropriate for the grade level taught and is consistent with district criteria for the selection of supplementary instructional materials.

Instructional Materials and Learning Resource Complaint Procedure

The Board of Education uses a comprehensive process to adopt district instructional materials that is based on selection criteria established by law and Board policy and includes opportunities for the involvement of parents/guardians and community members. Complaints concerning the content or use of instructional materials, including textbooks, supplementary instructional materials, library materials, or other instructional materials and equipment, shall be properly and fairly considered using established complaint procedures.

Any resident or employee of the school district may formally challenge learning resources used in the district’s educational program on the basis of appropriateness. The purpose of the complaint procedure is to consider the opinions of those persons in the schools and the community who are not directly involved in the selection process.

Notwithstanding a sincere approach to expressed concerns, no parent has the right to determine reading, viewing, or listening matter for students other than his/her own children. Further, it should be understood that the major criterion for the final decision in the case of a learning resource in the district is the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use.

Parents/guardians are encouraged to discuss any concerns regarding instructional materials with their child's teacher and/or the school principal. If the situation remains unresolved, a complaint may be filed using the process specified in the administrative regulation.

The district shall accept complaints concerning instructional materials only from staff, district residents, or the parents/guardians of children enrolled in a district school.

When deliberating upon challenged materials, the Superintendent and/or designee shall consider the educational philosophy of the district, the professional opinions of teachers of the subject and of other competent authorities, reviews of the materials by reputable bodies, the teacher's stated objectives in using the materials, community standards, and the objections of the complainant.

When any challenged instructional material is reviewed by the district, it shall not be subject to further reconsideration for 12 months, unless the Superintendent determines that reconsideration is warranted.

Step 1: Informal Complaint

If a staff member, district resident, or parent/guardian of a student enrolled in a district school has a complaint regarding the content or use of any specific instructional material, he/she shall informally discuss the material in question first with the teacher.

If the complaint is not resolved through a one-to- one informal discussion, the principal shall arrange an informal meeting which will usually involve the school’s media specialist or librarian, a department chair, and/or teacher.

The topics of informal discussion (with written back up if available) typically include

  • an explanation of the school’s selection procedure
  • an explanation of the philosophy and goals of the school district and/or the media center, and/or a specific course or program
  • the particular place the questioned material occupies in the educational program and its educational usefulness

Step 2: Formal Complaint

If the complaint is not resolved informally, the complainant shall be supplied with the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Learning Resources form which shall be completed and returned before further consideration will be given to the complaint.

Complainants shall sign all complaints and provide identifying information so that the district is able to make a proper reply. Anonymous complaints will not be accepted.

During the investigation of the complaint, the challenged material may remain in use until a final decision has been reached. In accordance with the procedure for handling complaints, no questioned materials shall be removed from the school pending a final decision. However, pending the outcome of the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Learning Resources, access to questioned materials will be denied to the child (or children) of the parents making the complaint, if the parents so desire. Based on a review of the standards to be addressed and the length of time related to instruction using the materials, the teacher shall assign the student an alternate material of equal merit as appropriate.

Upon receipt of a completed Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Learning Resources form, the principal of the school involved will reach out to district office administrators to collaboratively address any remaining concerns.

Step 3: District Determination

The Superintendent or designee shall determine whether a review committee should be convened to review the complaint. If the Superintendent or designee determines that a review committee is not necessary, he/she shall issue a decision regarding the complaint. The Superintendent or designee and/or review committee shall meet to consider the Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Learning Resources, evaluate the appropriateness of the material for its intended educational use, and prepare a written report on the material containing recommendations on disposition of the matter.

Step 4: Appeal to the Board of Education

If the complainant is still not satisfied, he/she may ask the Superintendent to present an appeal to the Board of Education which shall make a final determination of the issue. The Board of Education may seek assistance from outside organizations such as the American Library Association, the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, etc., in making its determination.

Request for Reconsideration of Instructional Materials and Learning Resources

Legal Reference:

18111 Exclusion of books by governing board
51510 Prohibited study or supplemental materials
51511 Religious matters properly included
51933 Sex education materials
60050 Social content review of instructional materials
60060-60062 Requirements of publishers
60200.7 Suspension of state instructional materials adoptions
60226 Learner verification of instructional materials
60400 Adoption of high school instructional materials
60605.86-60605.88 Supplemental instructional materials aligned with Common Core Standards

Adopted: April 9, 1973
Revised: October 2010
Revised: February 20, 2013
Revised: February 7, 2017