Policy Details Page

Policy 2020

The Board recognizes its responsibility for the improvement and growth of the educational program of the schools, as part of a students’ journey to become a responsible, respectful, and safe global community member. It is the goal of Tacoma Public Schools that all adopted instructional materials and course designs be aligned with the District’s Strategic Plan Goals and Benchmarks. To this end, the course designs will be evaluated, adapted and developed on a continuing basis. The Board recognizes the benefits of physical, digital, and technology-enabled instructional materials to support student learning as part of our commitment to a Whole Child education for every student, every day. Instructional materials shall be selected to ensure alignment with state learning standards and enable all students to (1) master standards, (2) think analytically, logically, and creatively to integrate technology literacy and fluency as well as different experiences and knowledge to form reasoned judgement and solve problems, and (3)  achieve college and career readiness.



For the purpose of Policy 2020 and Regulation 2020R, the following definitions will apply:

Course Design is the process that includes identifying and sequencing essential content supporting students’ mastery of state learning standards through in-person and digital experiences that leverage the learning management system. Course design involves providing appropriate instructional materials, professional growth, and support systems for teachers as they implement the course.

 Instructional Materials are all physical, digital, and technology-enabled materials designed for use by students and their educators as learning resources to help students learn. These instructional materials, used to help students master state learning standards, may include print, digital applications, textbooks, assessments, educational media, and technology hardware that supports student learning. Instructional materials are free of stereotyping and gender, race, class, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability, religious, cultural, and other forms of bias, recognizing that under certain circumstances biased materials may serve as appropriate resources to present contrasting and differing points of view, and biased materials may be employed in order to teach students about bias, stereotyping, and propaganda in historical or contemporary contexts. The Washington Models for the Evaluation of Bias Content in Instructional Materials, published by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) should be consulted in the selection process to further to the goal of eliminating content bias: https://www.k12.wa.us/CurriculumInstruct/InstructionalMaterialsReview.aspx.

They may carry different licensing types from open to all rights reserved. For the purposes of this policy, there are five categories of instructional materials:

1.       Core Instructional Materials are the primary instructional resources for a given course. They are District-approved and provided to all students to help master, and demonstrate mastery of, learning standards and provide instruction towards course requirements.

2.       Alternative Core Materials are the primary instructional resources for a given course that are used with a subset of students. These materials are intended to replace approved core materials and may be used for specialized course offerings or flexible learning environments.

3.       Intervention Materials are designed to support strategic or intensive intervention for students who are at risk of not mastering established learning standards. Intervention materials are used with students to accelerate progress toward particular learning goals based on targeted instruction, systematic assessment, decision-making, and progress monitoring.

4.       Supplemental Materials are used in conjunction with the core instructional materials of a course. These items extend and support instruction. They include, but are not limited to, books, periodicals, visual aids, video, sound recordings, computer software and other digital content.

5.       Temporary Supplemental Materials are those items used in conjunction with the core instructional materials of a course that are of interest or value for a short period of time and are chosen within District-established guidelines. They are not intended to supplant the adopted curriculum nor be used on a regular instructional basis. Examples might include timely articles from relevant, reliable sources, websites, or news broadcasts. The use of temporary supplemental materials for time periods of over one year requires consideration of the material as either part of the core instructional material for a course or supplemental material for the course depending on the nature and scope of the material.


Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) is the body that makes core instructional materials adoption recommendations to the School Board based on Superintendent-established procedures.


District Content Development Committee (DCDC) A body established whenever it is contemplated that the School Board may be asked to conduct a content area core instructional materials adoption.  The DCDC serves as an advisory body to the IMC.  The IMC will make all final determinations as to recommending the adoption of any core instructional materials.  


Course Design

The Superintendent or designee will establish procedures for course design that:

  • Provide for the regular review of selected content areas and implementation of any suggested changes.
  • Provide for involvement of community representatives and staff members at appropriate times.


Selection and Adoption of Instructional Materials

The primary objective in selecting instructional materials is to implement, enrich and support the educational program of the schools to support student learning. All instructional materials will be selected in conformance with:

  1. Applicable state and federal laws;
  2. Goals and/or learning standards of the District and state;
  3. The hardware integration, technology compliance expectations, and the enterprise environment, including, as appropriate Single Sign On and integration with the learning management system; and


  1. Procedures established by the Superintendent or designee and the Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) which address the criteria detailed in the corresponding Regulation2020R.


In compliance with the laws and regulations of the State of Washington, the Superintendent shall appoint members to an Instructional Materials Committee (IMC) to make recommendations to the Board regarding the adoption of core instructional materials and to hear complaints regarding the instructional materials used by the District.

The Board is responsible for the adoption of all core materials used in the District.

The Superintendent, or designee, will establish procedures for core material, alternate core, and intervention material selection and adoption using criteria around evidence-based practices.

The Superintendent will ensure that a listing of all core instructional materials used within the school curriculum is maintained in the District and is available for public review either in-person or online.

The intent of the Board is that the Superintendent delegate responsibility for examining, evaluating, and selecting all supplemental and temporary supplemental materials to the professional staff of the District. This includes preparing all student reading lists. Staff will rely on reason and professional judgment in the selection of high-quality supplemental materials that align to state learning standards and are appropriate for the instructional program and developmental level and interests of their students. 


Cross Reference:

Board Policy 3111 – Non-Discrimination and Equity



Legal References:

RCW 28A.150.230 District school directors' responsibilities


RCW 28A.320.230 Instructional materials — Instructional materials committee


RCW 28A.320.170 Tribal history and culture [as amended by SSB 5433]


RCW 28A.405.060 Course of study and regulations —Enforcement — Withholding salary warrant for failure


Chapter 28A.640 RCW Sexual Equality


WAC 180-44-010 Responsibilities related to instruction


WAC 392-190-055 Textbooks and instructional materials — Scope — Elimination of bias



Management Resources:

2015 - December Issue



Washington State Schools Directors’ Association (WSSDA) model Policy 2020 adopted with modifications.

Adopted Date: 9/05/2013

Revised Date: 6/24/2021

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