New committee forming to allow parent, stakeholder participation in DCPS curriculum review

District forming ‘instructional materials reconsideration committee’ to review complaints from public

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Duval County Public Schools is in the market for “parents and community members” who want a hand in reviewing instructional materials used in the county’s classrooms.

“In addition to the review of elementary classroom library books currently being conducted by Duval County Public Schools certified media specialists, the district is also forming a committee of representative stakeholders to reconsider library books and supplemental materials when reconsideration of those materials is requested by a student’s parent or guardian or a resident of Duval County,” the district’s blog post said.

The 11-question survey, is available until 5 p.m. Friday, requires participants to confirm they are either a parent of a DCPS student or a resident of Duval County. The survey also asks for their relevant experience and participation in parent, teacher, or other education-related affiliations.

LINK: Participate in the survey now

Importantly, the survey requires participants to agree to “read the books or sections under review in their entirety to prepare for the review.”

The complete list of questions listed in the survey are as follows:

  1. First Name
  2. Last Name
  3. Email address used most often
  4. Phone Number with Area Code
  5. I am the parent of a student currently enrolled in Duval County Public Schools (y/n)
  6. I am not a parent of a DCPS student however I am a resident of Duval County. Please list your legal address.
  7. I am interested in participating in the District library book review process for books being purchased at the district level, or books requesting reconsideration.
    1. I agree to read the books or sections under review in their entirety to prepare for the review.
  8. Please describe any experience or expertise that you may possess related to the review, such as degrees, career or life experiences.
  9. Please indicate if you are a member of a SAC, PTSA Executive Board, or other school-based parent organizations.
  10. I feel most confident reviewing the following grade-level band:
    1. Grades K-2
    2. Grades 3-5
    3. Grades 6-8
    4. Grades 9-12
  11. If I chose to accept an invitation to participate in the media advisory council, I understand I will be required to attend the meetings and read the books or sections under review in their entirety in order to participate. Only fully completed surveys will be accepted.
    1. I agree to these conditions.

News4JAX reached out to Michelle DiBias, the district’s supervisor of instructional materials and media services -- as well as the communications team -- about the survey and how committee members will be selected, but no response was received in time for publication. This article will be updated with the district’s response when it comes in.

Districts across the state — including Duval County Public Schools — are performing a mass review of all classroom libraries and media centers after the Florida Department of Education handed down directives intended to comply with state law. The law says that all books, specifically in elementary school libraries, must be looked over by a certified media specialist who has undergone state training on the new policy.

Free speech organizations, literacy advocates and educators have blasted the state’s policy, calling the concern over “pornography” a false flag attack to satiate Gov. DeSantis’ supporters and a veiled attempt to purge progressive ideas from Florida’s schools.

Those who wish to submit a book for reconsideration can do so by following this link. To review all curriculum materials at any Duval County Public School, follow this link.

About the Author:

Joe covers education and breaking news. He is a frequent contributor to the News4Jax I-team and Trust Index coverage.