3000 - Educational Program

3200 Selection of Instructional Materials

In order to help fulfill the educational goals and objectives of the school system, the board strives to provide instructional materials that will enrich and support the curriculum and enhance student learning. Instructional materials should be representative of the rich diversity of our nation and appropriate for the maturity levels and abilities of the students.

Instructional materials constitute all materials, whether print, non-print, digital or any combination thereof, used in the instructional program. For purposes of this policy, instructional materials will be divided into two categories: textbooks and supplementary materials.


Textbooks are systematically organized materials comprehensive enough to cover the primary objectives outlined in the standard course of study for a grade or course. Formats for textbooks may be print, non-print or digital media, including hardbound books, softbound books, activity-oriented programs, classroom kits and technology-based programs or materials that require the use of electronic equipment in order to be used in the learning process.

State-approved textbooks will be used as the primary means to help students meet the goals and objectives of the Common Core State and North Carolina Essential Standards, unless the board approves alternative materials. The central curriculum committee or a school through its school improvement plan may submit a request for the use of alternative textbooks. The request should identify how the committee or school has ensured that the curriculum will continue to be aligned with the standard course of study and to meet the educational goals of the board.


Supplementary materials are instructional and learning resources which are selected to complement, enrich or extend the curriculum. Such resources include, for example, specialized materials selected to meet diverse needs or rapidly changing circumstances, library materials, digital resources, the school system’s media collection, classroom collections and teacher-selected resources for individual classes.

1. Objectives for Selection of Supplementary Materials

The procurement of materials must be accomplished in accordance with law, including the First Amendment of the United States Constitution; board educational goals; board purchasing and accounting policies; and established selection guidelines, including the Library Bill of Rights of the American Library Association. The objectives for the selection of supplementary materials are as follows:

a. to provide a wide range of materials that will enrich and support the curriculum, taking into consideration the individual needs and varied interests, abilities, socio-economic backgrounds, learning styles and developmental 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 comprehend their role as citizens in society and to make intelligent judgments in their daily lives;

d. to provide resources representing various points of view on controversial issues so that students as young citizens may develop, under guidance, the skills of critical thinking and critical analysis;

e. to provide resources representative of the many religious, ethnic and cultural groups in our nation and the contributions of these groups to our American heritage; and

f. to place principle above personal opinion and reason above prejudice in the selection of material of the highest quality in order to ensure a comprehensive collection appropriate for all users.

2. Process and Criteria for Selecting Supplementary Materials

The responsibility for the selection of supplementary materials is delegated to the professional staff under the direction of the superintendent and will be made primarily at the school level with the involvement of a school media and technology advisory committee. The committee shall be appointed by the principal and will include the school library media coordinator, the instructional technology facilitator, teachers and instructional support personnel representing various subject areas and grade levels, and parents. Students also should be involved when feasible.

The selection process used by the committee will include: (1) an evaluation of the existing collection; (2) an assessment of the available resource and curriculum needs of the school; and (3) consideration of individual teaching and learning styles. In coordinating the selection of resources, the committee should use reputable, unbiased selection tools prepared by professional educators and should arrange, when possible, for firsthand examination of resources to be purchased. When examining proposed materials, the committee should consider the following factors:

a. the material’s overall purpose, educational significance and direct relationship to instructional objectives and the curriculum and to the interests of the students;

b. the material’s reliability, including the extent to which it is accurate, authentic, authoritative, up-to-date, unbiased, comprehensive and well-balanced;

c. the material’s technical quality, including the extent to which technical components are relevant to content and consistent with state-of-the-art capabilities;

d. the material’s artistic, literary and physical quality and format, including its durability, manageability, clarity, appropriateness, skillfulness, organization and attractiveness;

e. the possible uses of the material, including suitability for individual, small group, large group, introduction, in-depth study, remediation and/or enrichment;

f. the contribution the material will make to the collection’s breadth and variety of viewpoints;

g. recommendations of school personnel and students from all relevant departments and grade levels;

h. the reputation and significance of the material’s author, producer and publisher; and

i. the price of the material weighed against its value and/or the need for it.

3. Materials Brought in by Teachers

Principals shall establish rules concerning what materials may be brought in by teachers without review. Principals are encouraged to involve teachers in establishing these rules.


To ensure that the supplementary media collection remains relevant, the media and technology professionals, assisted by the media and technology advisory committee, shall review materials routinely to determine if any material is obsolete, outdated or irrelevant. The school media and technology advisory committee should remove materials no longer appropriate and replace lost, damaged and worn materials still of educational value. The superintendent may establish regulations that provide additional standards for removing supplementary materials to meet the educational needs of the school system. Requests by parents to remove supplementary media materials due to an objection to the materials will be reviewed pursuant to policy 3210, Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instructional Materials.


Supplementary materials offered as a gift will be reviewed pursuant to the criteria outlined in this policy; policy 8220, Gifts and Bequests; and any regulations established by the superintendent. Gift material may be accepted or rejected by the board based upon such criteria.


Challenges to materials will be addressed pursuant to policy 3210, Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instructional Materials.

Legal References:
U.S. Const. amend. I; N.C. Const. art. I, § 14; G.S. 115C-45, -47, -81, -98, -101; Impact: Guidelines for North Carolina Media and Technology Programs, North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (2005); The Library Bill of Rights, The American Library Association (1996)
Cross References:
Goals and Objectives of the Educational Program (policy 3000), Parental Inspection of and Objection to Instruction Materials (policy 3210), School Improvement Plan (policy 3430), Gifts and Bequests (policy 8220)
Monday, 05 November 2012
Last Updated: