Instructional Materials Overview
The selection of core instructional materials is governed by School Board Policy 2520. The policy provides a guide for the selection, adoption, purchase, and procedures for parents/guardians/or residents to challenge adoption and/or existing materials.
In accordance with current legislation in HB 1467 -Public Participation in the Instructional Materials Review Process, requires that each district school board that holds meetings of committees convened for the purpose of selecting instructional materials for recommendation to the district school board must be noticed and open to the public, and must include parents of district students. Click here for Parental Rights Webpage for Florida Department of Education. Additionally, the bill modifies the requirement that each school district publish on its website a list of all instructional materials to include those used for specified required instruction. In the sections below, each of the requirements in the bill are detailed.
Library Media Centers
In Pasco County Schools we believe that literacy is the key to unlock the big hopes and dreams of our students. School library media centers and classroom libraries play a critical role in supporting the mission and vision of Pasco County Schools. It is our aim to provide libraries that include materials that build knowledge, support state standards, are age/grade appropriate and engaging and relevant to students.
Click here to find materials located in your school's library media center collection. (MIND)
Although materials are carefully selected there can arise differences of opinion regarding suitable materials. Custodial parents and legal guardians may request restricted access to library media center materials for their student by completing the annual consent form located in myStudent and provided each year at registration. This form can be updated anytime throughout the school year.
Instructional Materials Challenge Process
Parents/Guardians or residents with objections to existing instructional materials will work directly with the teacher and school administration to discuss their concerns.
To facilitate a successful resolution parents should provide the school with the following information:
- Name of Teacher
- Name of Course
- Date range of content assignment
- Copy of assignment if available
- Details of the concern
Once the above information has been collected by a school representative, the building administration will respond within 48 hours. This time will allow for the administration to research the inquiry and schedule a conference to address the concern.
The principal or designee will then have an opportunity to explain the reason(s) for the use of the material and to answer questions the parent or resident has about the selection.
In the event that the complainant is not satisfied with the school-based conference and proposed resolution
In the event that the complainant is not satisfied with the school-based conference and proposed resolution, the following steps shall be taken.
- The complainant shall fill out the form titled Request for Review of Instructional Materials available on the district website, and complete the form in its entirety including a signature. The form will go to form will be sent to Director for the Office for Leading and Learning, the instructional materials challenge committee, and the appropriate area superintendent.
- The completed form and the material(s) in question shall be studied by a materials review committee appointed on an ad hoc basis by the Office for Leading and Learning. The committee shall consist of two (2) administrators from similar schools; two (2) teachers in the appropriate subject area/grade; one (1) teacher from another subject area/grade; a learning design coach; a guidance counselor; one (1) student from the appropriate grade level or who is accomplished in the specific subject area (senior high school only); one (1) lay person from School Advisory Council; and two (2) representatives designated by the Director, Office for Leading and Learning.
- The committee shall meet within thirty (30) school work days of receipt by the principal of the Objection of an Individual Assignment or Existing Instructional Materials form.
- The committee will solicit professional written reviews of the materials and/or comments from appropriate audiences or resource persons.
- The committee shall read/view the material in its entirety, consider the reviews of the material, study the comments on the complainant’s Objection of an Individual Assignment or Existing Instructional Materials form, and consider one (1) or more of the evaluative criteria and render a recommendation based on a majority vote.
- Within five (5) school days of its final meeting, the committee shall prepare a written recommendation for the Principal. The committee’s final recommendation may be any or a combination of the following: (1) allow the challenged material to maintain its current status; (2) limit the educational use of the challenged material.
- Within ten (10) school days after receipt of the committee recommendation, the principal shall inform the complainant of the decision of the committee.
- Access to challenged materials shall not be restricted during the request for the review process unless the parent requests alternative materials for their child.
The complainant may appeal the decision of the committee to the Superintendent in accordance with the following provisions:
- The complainant shall notify the Superintendent of the appeal in writing.
- Within fifteen (15) school days of receipt of such request, the Superintendent and appropriate staff shall review the action taken at the school level and issue a decision. If the decision does not include further review, the complainant shall be so notified and may request an appearance to appeal directly to the Board in accordance with Board policy.
- If the Superintendent finds cause for further review, the complaint shall be submitted to a District Materials Review Committee appointed on an ad hoc basis by the Superintendent, with the following provisions:
- The committee shall consist of the Superintendent, two (2) principals at the appropriate level; the Director of the Office for Teaching and Learning; two (2) appropriate subject area specialists; two (2) teachers/coaches in the appropriate subject area/grade; one (1) student from the appropriate grade level or who is accomplished in the specific subject area (high school only); a representative from the USEP; and one (1) lay person.
- In the event that a person named above cannot be present at the committee meetings(s), the Superintendent may appoint an alternate.
- The committee shall read/view the material in its entirety, consider the reviews of the material, study the comments on the complainant’s Request for Review of Instructional Materials form, consider one (1) or more of the evaluative criteria and render a decision based on a majority vote.
- The committee shall make a recommendation to the Superintendent within thirty (30) school workdays of receipt of the complaint.
- The Superintendent or a designee shall make a decision within five (5) school workdays of receipt of the committee recommendation and send a report of that decision to the complainant and the Principal. This decision shall be final.
When challenged materials are being reviewed, each member of the various committees established for reviewing should be familiar with the following criteria, and these criteria should be applied to the evaluation of the challenged materials.
Materials Review Committee Meetings
This is notice pursuant to Florida Statute 1006.28 (a) 2 and 1014.05 (c), that the District School Board of Pasco County will convene an ad-hoc committee for the purpose of responding to a request for review for specific instructional materials not subject to adoption.
Library/Media Challenge Process
Click here to access the documents provided to members of the review team
A parent, legal guardian, or resident of Pasco County may formally object to materials made available to students in a school or classroom library, or materials included on a school or classroom reading list. An individual(s) requesting that material be withdrawn must follow the Library Media Center Materials Challenge Process.
During the challenge process, the book is only removed from the collection if the challenge is due to alleged pornographic or sexually explicit content. The book would then be removed within 5 school days of receipt of the objection and remain unavailable to students of that school until the objection is resolved. (HB 1069)
Challenge Process Steps
Parent concern about Library Media/Classroom Library selection received at school level
- Step 1: Principal facilitates a parent conference to hear and resolve the issue within.
- If resolved- no further action;
- If parent is not satisfied with outcome of conference proceed to Step 2
- Step 2. Upon closure of the school level meeting, if there is no resolution, the complainant is directed to the District Instructional Materials website. From this site, the parent/guardian will complete the 23-24 Library Media Materials Challenge to initiate the formal complaint to be heard at the district level. Once the machform is submitted, the Office for Leading and Learning is notified of the request.
- Step 3. The District Instructional Materials Committee convenes (refer to policy 2520 for committee description) within 30 days of the receipt of the complaint. School district meetings of committees convened for the purpose of resolving an objection by a parent or resident to specific materials must be noticed and open to the public in accordance with s. 286.011, F.S. and parents of students who will have access to such materials must be included in such committees. (HB 1069) The committee must read/view the title in its entirety. Professional reviews shall be referenced during the title review, and the complainants' comments will be taken into consideration. The committee shares the outcome with the principal and also provides the committee’s decision to the individual(s) in writing. The decision must reflect the majority.
- Step 4. If the parent/guardian is not in agreement with the outcome of the district committee hearing, that parent/guardian can proceed to the FLDOE Special Magistrate request process detailed in rule 6A-1.094126 This process allows the Commissioner of Education to appoint a member of the Florida Bar who is in good standing to review the complaint and determine a final judgement.
Virtual via Zoom
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Orientation to the process
Virtual via Zoom
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Committee meeting to hear concerns from petitioner
Virtual via Zoom
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