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D200 – Philosophy of Instruction

  • Effective: 8/27/1969
  • Revision: 1/23/2024

  1. Board Directive
    Every Jordan District student is entitled to be educated in an environment facilitated by qualified teachers, who implement evidence and research-based best practices in order to provide appropriate and productive learning opportunities, promote academic excellence, and encourage the development of college and career ready individuals and contributors to our society.
    The Board holds that one of the fundamental purposes of education is to teach students how to think critically; therefore, schools have an obligation to allow students a forum for examination and discussion of differing perspectives which arise in connection with the teaching of the Utah Core Standards. The Board recognizes that public education is a partner with parents, who play the primary role in educating their children.
  2. Administrative Policy
    The accompanying administrative policy provisions shall be followed:

    1. Instructional Principles
      1. Every student shall be considered a worthwhile, valuable individual.
      2. Every student shall be considered capable of learning which results in progress toward appropriate educational goals.
      3. Every student shall be treated with respect.
      4. Every student shall be expected to perform at a level commensurate with the student's ability, age, and rate of personal development.
      5. Every student shall be challenged to strive for the highest level of academic performance possible.
      6. Instructional environments shall encourage genuine discussion among students of varying viewpoints.
    2. Instructional Environment
      1. Instructional programs shall be offered in an atmosphere that is conducive to physical and emotional health and safety.
      2. Instructional programs shall be offered in an environment that promotes appropriate school conduct and encourages a cooperative approach to learning and the active participation of all students.
      3. Instruction shall be implemented to cultivate student interest and stimulate learning.
      4. Instruction shall include multiple strategies to address the needs of all learners and incorporate both large and small group interactions, interventions, and enrichment opportunities.
      5. Instruction shall take into account the mental, physical, emotional, social, and cultural aspects of all students.
    3. Instructional Content shall:
      1. Comply with state and federal requirements and implementation of Utah State Core Standards for the class being taught.
      2. Comply with all District policies, including Jordan School District Policy AA411 Sex Education and AA424 Literature Selection and Review.
      3. Include training in basic skills and provide opportunities for students to learn to read, write, speak, calculate, and master other practical skills needed for success in the adult world.
      4. Provide a proper understanding of American history and government, which is essential to good citizenship (Utah Code 53G-10-302 and 53G-10-204).
      5. Focus on helping students learn to reason and acquire course-related knowledge, skill, and understanding.
      6. Comply with State Board Rule R277-328 - Educational Equity in Schools which requires that instruction may not include or endorse that:
        1. a student or educator’s sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or membership in any other protected class is inherently superior or inferior to another sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected class.
        2. a student or educator’s sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or membership in any other protected class determines the content of the student or educator’s character including the student or educator’s values, morals, or personal ethics.
        3. a student or educator bears responsibility for the past actions of individuals from the same sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other protected class as the student or educator.
        4. a student or educator should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment because of the student or educator’s sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or membership in any other protected class.
      7. Allow students’ expression of personal beliefs unless the expression unreasonably interferes with order or discipline, threatens the well-being of persons or property, or violates concepts of civility or propriety appropriate to a school setting in compliance with Utah Code 53G-10-203 Expressions of Belief – Discretionary Time.
      8. Not include discussion of the teacher’s personal political affiliations or viewpoints and maintain an impartial and unprejudiced role throughout instruction.
      9. Provide opportunities for students to learn through direct personal experiences as well as through the experiences of others.
      10. Provide opportunities for students to discover the world of nature and learn about and demonstrate an understanding of a variety of cultures and societies.
      11. Encourage lifelong learning by providing opportunities for students to learn how to study as well as provide exercises in critical thinking and problem solving.
      12. Incorporate the ideals of human liberty, equality, justice, and ethical principles.
      13. Promote the values of ethical character, individual responsibility, economic sufficiency, civic usefulness, and personal health and hygiene.
    4. Instructional Responsibility
      1. Foster student progress, involvement, and coverage of appropriate content by providing instruction based on current research findings in classroom management, instructional delivery, interaction with students, instructional planning, and professional development.
      2. Education is a shared responsibility. Students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and other staff as necessary shall work cooperatively for the good of each student.
      3. Student growth and achievement shall be consistently monitored and communicated to parents through report cards, at parent/teacher conferences, and other occasions as necessary.
      4. Instructional quality shall be monitored through a variety of performance evaluations. Curriculum guides and ongoing staff training shall be provided.
      5. Instructional delivery shall provide for the development of the personal, social, academic, and vocational potentials of students.
      6. Teachers shall collaborate in Professional Learning Communities, and share resources and ideas as a way of improving instructional processes in order to sustain a focus on results, a focus on collaboration, and a focus on learning.
      7. Teachers shall provide parents with a list of books that students are expected to read in full. Parents may request and receive an alternate assignment as outlined in Utah Code 53G-10-205. Teachers must give enough notice so that parents can be involved in the process.
      8. The teacher is responsible to:
        1. Prepare lesson plans which include clear, concise goals for the study unit.
        2. Provide content that is appropriate for the age of students being taught.
        3. Provide students the option, without penalty, of an alternate assignment when requested by a parent.
        4. Emphasize the academic aspect of the content and refrain from advocating a position.
      9. Secondary teachers shall send home disclosure statements as outlined in policy AA432 – Student Attendance and Teacher Disclosure Statements.
    5. Guest Speakers (anyone not employed by Jordan School District)
      1. Guest speakers shall agree in advance to abide by the guidelines outlined in this policy, and to refrain from discussions that go beyond the course-relevant content.
      2. The teacher shall be responsible to monitor the guest presentation in its entirety and halt the presentation if course content guidelines are violated.
      3. If the guest speaker is presenting only one point of view on a many-sided issue, the teacher shall be responsible to see that students also receive information on differing viewpoints.
      4. If a guest speaker is to be invited to a classroom, the teacher shall notify the principal with a completed Guest Speaker Request Form.
      5. The teacher shall notify parents or guardians of guest speakers invited to a classroom.
      6. Principals shall notify parents in advance of any guest speakers or performers at assemblies.
    6. Process for Reporting and Resolving Concerns
      1. Parents or students with concerns regarding the implementation of this policy are encouraged to contact (in this order):
        1. Teacher
        2. School administration (assistant principal or principal)
        3. District administration (Administrator of Schools or Superintendent)
        4. Board of Education
      2. Concerns can also be reported formally through the District hotline posted on  (pursuant to Utah State Board Rule R277-113). Each concern will be investigated and a response will be provided to the degree possible. Policy violations will be addressed using appropriate administrative actions.
      3. If a parent of a student, or a secondary student, determines that the student's participation in a portion of the curriculum or in an activity would require the student to affirm or deny a religious belief or right of conscience, the parent or the secondary student may request a waiver of the requirement to participate or a reasonable alternative.
        1. The school shall promptly notify a student's parent if the secondary student makes a request.
        2. If a request is made, the school shall waive the participation requirement, provide a reasonable alternative to the requirement, or notify the requesting party that participation is required as outlined in Utah Code 53G-10-205.
      4. Parents are encouraged to contact their child’s teachers at the beginning of the year or semester with any questions or concerns about course content or with requests as outlined in Utah Code 53G-10-205.