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English Textbook Policy  

1. Background:

IBSH students are provided with an official book list, and they buy their own books. All of the policies listed below spring from the following underlying factors:

  • English textbooks are hard to find in Taiwan, so must be purchased far in advance.
  • Parents appreciate being able to buy used textbooks from the previous year, in order to save money.
  • IBSH is undertaking a curriculum review cycle, as part of our WASC school improvement plan. Textbooks (including novels) that change outside of the review cycle will undercut the standards alignment, curriculum maps, and common assessments.
  • Western teachers come and go frequently at international schools without a baseline of consistent curriculum, students end up with gaps in their knowledge and skills.

2. Timeline

Textbooks, including novels, should only be changed once per 5 years, in correspondence with the Curriculum Review Cycle, as part of our WASC School Improvement Plan. The current curriculum review cycle is as follows:

·    2011-2013: Humanities: English, Western Social Studies, Middle School, Elementary

·    2013-2015: Math, Science

·    2015-2016: Chinese, Chinese Social Studies, Electives

3. Approval

All textbook changes should be made with the approval of 5 administrators:

²  Department Chair
²  Curriculum Coordinator
²  Academic Affairs Coordinator
²  Teaching Materials Coordinator
²   Dean

4. Process

The process of textbook changes is as follows:

(1) During the subject curriculum review year, teachers discuss textbook changes within department as part of department meetings and curriculum review meetings, taking into consideration the questions a and b in item #3 below. The department should be in consensus.

(2) The department chair will take the final list of proposed textbook changes to the administrators listed above. This proposal must be made by March 1 in the subject curriculum-review-cycle years. After this deadline, the booklist may not be changed until next cycle.

(3) In March, the relevant administrators will meet on the proposed textbook changes. They will evaluate the proposals based on the following factors:

a. Do the new books fit into the curriculum maps and adopted standards?

b. Do the new books support development of the ESLRs?

(4) In April, students begin ordering their new textbooks. They will receive the books in August.

5. Flexibility in Teaching Materials

(1) All teachers are required to implement the standards, curriculum maps, and common assessments that have been created by their department. However, these tools are designed to be as basic as possible, to allow for plenty of teacher flexibility. As long as it help students to understand the required curriculum, meet the required standards, and master the common assessments, teacher may have flexibility on what supplementary materials needed outside the official curriculum.

(2) Adding books to the students’ official curriculum list is not encouraged; however, adding one outside reading book per semester that teachers require their students to purchase is allowed.

(3) Should (2) be the case, once the teacher has consulted with the administrators listed above, he/she will send a letter home to the parents explaining the cost of the book, and how teacher think this book enriches the curriculum and supports the adopted standards and ESLR’s.


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