Administrative Procedure 280: Textbooks and Other Resource Materials

Legal References

Education Act Section 264 Duties of Teacher: Textbooks; Education Act: Section 265 Duties of Principal: Textbooks; R.R.O. Reg. 298 Operation of Schools: Section 7 Textbooks; R.R.O. Reg. 298: Section 11 Duties of Principals - Supervise Instruction; Ontario Curriculum Grades 1-8; Ontario Secondary Schools Grades 9-12; Trillium List; Ontario Schools, Section 2.2.1; Ontario’s Education Equity Action Plan, 2017

Related References

Administrative Procedure (AP) 142 Religious Accommodations; AP 204 Program Planning; AP 208 The Design of Board Documents; Form 280A Request for Reconsideration of Textbooks, Library Materials or Resource Material

1. Definitions

1.1 Textbook is defined as a comprehensive learning resource that is in print or electronic form, or that consists of any combination of print, electronic, and non-print materials collectively designed to support a substantial portion of the overall expectations of the Ontario curriculum for a specific grade and subject in elementary school or for a course in secondary school. Such a resource is intended for use by an entire class or group of students.

1.2 Supplementary resources are defined as resources that support only a limited number of curriculum expectations, or the curriculum expectations in a single strand, outlined in the curriculum policy document for a specific subject or course or in the frames of the Kindergarten program. Such a resource may be intended for use by an entire class or group of students. Examples are levelled texts, novels, dictionaries, atlases, and computer software and instructional guides.

2. Procedures for Textbook Use

2.1 The Trillium List contains the titles of those textbooks that are approved by the Ministry for use in Ontario schools. The textbooks on the Trillium List have been subjected to a rigorous evaluation to ensure that they conform to Ministry standards. Only textbooks that appear on the Trillium List may be used in schools. The Trillium List will be updated regularly and is available at

3. Procedures for Use of Supplementary Resources

3.1 Principals, in conjunction with school staffs, are responsible for the selection and evaluation of supplementary resources.
3.2 These decisions should be developed in the belief that they should provide equally for:

3.2.1 The professional judgments of educators in providing programing to meet legitimate educational objectives which have been formulated in accordance with Ministry of Education guidelines and expectations; and
3.2.2 The diversity of all students; and
3.2.3 The legitimate moral concerns of parents/guardians and students, as they may perceive them.
3.3 The following statement shall be communicated with students and families, either on websites or in the school handbook:
Avon Maitland District School Board Textbook and Supplementary Resources A list of textbooks and other course materials are available upon request to the principal. Concerns regarding any resources should be brought to the attention of the principal. Requests for substitution must be made in writing to the principal well in advance of the date the textbook or material is to be used.

3.4 All inquiries or concerns related to the use of any textbook or other resource materials are to be referred to the principal of the school where the textbook or material is used.

3.5 Form 280A Request for Reconsideration of Textbooks, Library Materials or Resource Materials is to be sent to or given to the complainant for completion and submission to the school principal.

3.6 The principal will arrange with the complainant and, where appropriate, the teacher to discuss the complainant’s point of view and the school rationale for using the textbook, library materials or other resource materials.

3.7 If the complainant is still not satisfied, the principal must offer a substitute book or assignment. Such substitutions are to be handled promptly, and routinely. The student is to be offered not only another title, but also an alternative teacher-directed unit of study, and evaluation without recrimination.

3.8 Where it is not considered possible to offer a substitute book or assignment but the complainant insists on a substitution, the principal shall advise the parent of the right to appeal by notifying the Superintendent of Education.

3.9 The Superintendent of Education shall hear the complaint and may, if they so choose, request the principal to be in attendance. Such hearing(s) will be conducted in closed session. At the conclusion of the hearing, the Director of Education shall make the final decision.
Amendment September 2019