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Shared Responsibility

Littleton Public Schools
Shared Responsibility for the Use of Controversial Instructional Materials

Littleton Public Schools places a high value on providing students with a rigorous educational experience. School Board policy states that it is appropriate for schools to offer opportunities for students to address controversial topics in an intellectual manner. (LPS Board Policy INB). Therefore, as students mature, so does the content that they study in school.

Core and supplemental materials designated for instructional use must be approved by the elected members of the Board of Education. A district Literature Approval Committee, comprised of teachers, administrators and community members, receives literature recommendations from teachers. The committee reviews literature for its alignment to district curriculum, as well as for the maturity level of the students for whom the content is intended. The approval committee then decides which books to forward to the Board of Education for their discussion and action.

The LPS district also places a high value on maintaining strong partnerships with parents in monitoring challenging instructional materials. School Board policy states that parents will be informed of material that may reasonably be considered controversial. Information to parents should be sufficient to raise their attention to possible controversial material. Further, the Littleton Public Schools OPT OUT Procedure supports the parent option to request that an alternative material be selected. An effective partnership is established when teachers communicate information about challenging instructional materials and parents actively monitor the books that their children are reading. LPS teachers will provide information about instructional materials to all parents. Websites such as bookreporter.com and sparknotes.com offer brief summaries of literature for parents to review. Parents are expected to take an active role by monitoring the literature read by their student for class and communicating questions or concerns to the classroom teacher.

For more information regarding the selection and use of instructional materials, please refer to the district website for the LPS OPT OUT Procedure, along with Board policies and regulations IJK, IMA and INB. Through shared responsibility, the students of Littleton benefit from learning in a setting that values both parent choice and the use of a variety of challenging instructional materials.

Opt In/Opt Out Procedures
Littleton Public Schools
Administrative Procedures
The following information was originally discussed by the Board on April 23 and
May 9, 1995. The information was updated April 1999 and May 2000.
Parents can expect the use of consistent standards in all District schools for opting in and opting out of programs, events, or activities. Under no circumstances will students intentionally be made to feel different, nor will parents choosing to exercise their right to opt in or out be criticized for their decision.
a.       Opt-out (parent request required for nonparticipation) applies to the Board-adopted curriculum and related activities that occur regularly or as a matter of course. Opting out always requires a showing of a bona fide reason, to avoid compulsory attendance issues. Replacement classes or activities may or may not be provided at the school’s sole discretion.
1)      Parents shall be notified by the school about upcoming programs, events, or activities in sufficient time and detail to allow time to opt out if desired. Subject to district and state graduation requirements and the compulsory school attendance laws, parents may exercise the right on behalf of their child to opt out of:
      ·    Physical education upon written request from the child’s physician stating the reason for the inability to participate;
      ·    Parties or holiday activities; or
      ·    Board-adopted curriculum
      ·    Student use of the Internet for research related to the curriculum
2)      Curriculum adopted by the Board is the official curriculum of the district and comes under the opt out category. Schools will make their best efforts to identify and notify parents of the teaching materials or methods of instruction in upcoming curriculum that may reasonably be foreseen to offend the moral, ethical, religious, or political conscience of individuals, allowing adequate time for parents to review materials and opt out if desired.
3)      Student use of the Internet for purposes of research and retrieval of current information related to curricular content areas is a generally accepted practice and is considered an essential instructional tool, thus it comes under the opt out category. Schools will inform parents of the opportunity to opt out of Internet use through commonly used channels of communication.
4)      In any case where there is doubt as to whether a program, event, or activity is opt in or opt out, opt in procedures shall be used.
b.      Opt in (parent permission required for participation) pertains to school offerings that are not part of the Board-adopted or approved curriculum, are not required by law to meet compulsory attendance or credit standards, and are not generally accepted regular matters of course within the school year. For all opt-in offerings scheduled to take place during regular school hours, replacement classes or other alternatives will be provided for students who do not opt in. District employees will provide timely notice to parents about opt-in programs, events, or activities so parents can make an informed decision about whether their children will participate. Children will not be allowed to participate in the following programs, events, or activities without parent permission:
1)      Activities having a potential for increasing liability to the district, e.g. field trips, ropes course, jump rope for life, athletics, dispensing medication.
2)      Programs, activities, or materials that can be reasonably interpreted as containing religious messages, instruction in values, or controversial moral or ethical principles, or that may result in an invasion of the student’s or family’s privacy, e.g.:
                     ·    Name in the school directory;
                     ·    Playground mediation training;
                     ·    DARE;
                     ·    Programs on death, dying, divorce;
                     ·    Education movies with a PG or more restrictive rating for elementary schools; PG-13 or more restrictive rating for middle schools; and R or more restrictive rating for high schools; or
                     ·    Unrated visual materials, and/or other media that may be reasonably foreseen to cause offense to some individuals, and are not part of the Board-approved curriculum.
3)      Programs where opting in is a requirement of the law, e.g. special education or any federal program covered by PPRA, supra.
4)      One-to-one or group counseling situations when counselors, social workers, or psychologists are involved with elementary or middle school students, except as required for compliance with state and federal laws concerning the education of students with disabilities, compliance with child abuse and neglect reporting obligations, in emergency situations wherein there is a bona fide concern that the student’s safety or health is in jeopardy, and when discussing academics or discipline problems.
Current policies that specifically refer to opting in and out of programs and activities include: IHAIA; IHAM; IHAM-R; IJOA-R; IMA; IMBB; JLDAC; JRA/JRC.
Link to Book Lists



6th Grade

o         The Outsidershttp://www.sehinton.com/books/outsiders.html
o         The Westing Gamehttp://www.teenreads.com/reviews/0525471375.asp
o         The White Mountains –Epseranza Risinghttp://www.pammunozryan.com/esper.html
o         True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
o         Number the Starshttp://www.loislowry.com/number_stars.html
o         Slake's Limbohttp://www.carolhurst.com/titles/slakes.html
7th Grade
o       Goodnight Mr. Tom
o       Island on Bird Streethttp://academic.kellogg.edu/mandel/matyska_rev.htm
o       Upon the Head of a Goathttp://www.nancykeane.com/booktalks/siegal_upon.htm
o       The Cagehttp://mandelproject.us/elavsky_rev.htm
o       The Man Who Was Poehttp://www.avi-writer.com/books/poe.html
o       All Creatures Great and Smallhttp://www.geocities.com/Athens/Acropolis/3907/acgs.html
o       Hope Was Herehttp://www.kidsreads.com/reviews/0399231420.asp
o       A Long Way From Chicagohttp://www.carolhurst.com/titles/alongway.html
o       Christmas Carolhttp://www.bookrags.com/notes/xmas/
o       Grace In The Wilderness
o       Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girlhttp://teenink.com/Past/2005/December/19630.html
o       Wild Childhttp://www.iblist.com/book34711.htm
o       Visions - Collection of Short Stories (No publisher site available)
o       Connections - Collection of Short Stories (No publisher site available)
o       Sixteen - Collection of Short Stories (No publisher site available)   
o     Monster by Walter Dean Myers:
0       The Glory Field by Walter Dean Myers: http://www.glencoe.com/sec/literature/litlibrary/gloryfield.html

  8th Grade

o       Johnny Tremainhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Tremain
o       To Kill a Mockingbirdhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/To_Kill_A_Mockingbird 
o       The Call of the Wildhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Call_of_the_Wild
o       White Fanghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wihte_Fang
o       Z for Zachariahhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Z_for_Zachariah
o       April Morninghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/April_Morning
o       Touching Spirit Bear
o       Monster - http://www.teenreads.com/reviews/0060280778.asp
0      Tangerine - http://library.thinkquest.org/J001156/book%20reviews/cp_bookr5.htm
o      Stonewall's Gold - http://extras.denverpost.com/books/book497.htm
o       The Giverhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giver
o       The Million Pound Bank Note - http://www.iblist.com/book22282.htm
o       The Glory Fieldhttp://childlit.sdsu.edu/reviews/r-Myers.htm
o       The Pigmanhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Pgiman
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