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Learning Commons Policies & Procedures

Montessori Community School Learning Commons Procedures and Policies



Purpose


The purpose of the policy and procedures document is to provide a guide for the operation of the Montessori Community School Learning Commons. This manual will be updated with changes, as necessary.


Mission Statement of the Charleston County School District


The mission of CCSD, a dynamic system of challenging educational choices, is to increase student achievement overall and close the achievement gaps in order to prepare all students to compete in a global economy and make a positive contribution to our community and nation.


Mission Statement of Montessori Community School


We are dedicated to providing quality Montessori education and child development with the cooperative involvement of family, faculty and the community.


Mission Statement of the Montessori Community School Learning Commons


The mission of the Montessori Community School Learning Commons (Library) is to support the school curriculum. The role of the teacher librarian is to select and curate digital and print resources, and assist students in the critical use of these resources as they pursue their academic and personal interests.


Objectives


The goals of the teacher librarian are:


1. To teach students to access, evaluate, and use information.


2. To maintain a well-balanced collection of media appropriate to the needs of the school.


3. To provide assistance in locating and using instructional materials.


4. To promote instruction in information literacy to students and faculty.


5. To provide instructional materials that will stimulate growth in factual knowledge and literary appreciation.

6. To manage a planned program and a welcoming environment.



Learning Commons Hours of Operation


The MCS Learning Commons  is open from 7:45 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. every school day. Students must come with a purpose for learning and teacher permission. Faculty members are welcome to browse and pick up materials in person or notify a librarian of needs via email, phone or student messenger.


Student Conduct


Student patrons of the learning commons must follow the established rules of acceptable behavior listed below. Failure to comply will result in the following consequences.


Rules


1. Use a quiet voice so as not to disturb other learning commons patrons.


2. Take care of all learning commons materials.


3. Keep hands, feet, and objects to self.


4. Leave food and drink outside the learning commons.


5. Follow CCSD Acceptable Use Policy when using computers or iPads.


6. Sign in at circulation desk upon arrival and sign out upon exit.


7. Listen and follow directions from all MCS staff.



Consequences


1. Verbal warning from learning commons staff member.


2. If a student continues misbehavior, the student will be asked to return to  class and the teacher will be notified. Students may first be separated from other classmates when visiting with a group.

3. If misbehavior is severe, the student will be asked to return immediately to class. The teacher will be notified.



Scheduling


Other students are discouraged from visiting the library during scheduled classes. Teachers should refer to the library schedule and avoid sending students during these class times.


Primary


Primary classes have a weekly fixed time to visit the learning commons for 30 minutes. These students may checkout one book for a period of two weeks.


Lower Elementary


Lower elementary classes have a weekly fixed time to visit the learning commons for 45 minutes. These students may checkout two books for a period of two weeks. Teachers are encouraged to schedule additional time for activities/lessons to enhance what students are doing in the classroom and foster information literacy. Additional time should be pre-scheduled with the library media specialist in order to ensure needed materials are readily available and other classes can be notified of the arrangement.


Upper Elementary and Middle School


There is no fixed schedule for upper elementary and middle school students. Teachers are encouraged to plan class lessons which include research and reference materials and to schedule time for classes to meet in the library and/or computer lab. Teacher and librarian collaboration beforehand assures the best use of resources and time. Students may visit the library individually to use computers or internet, to check out books, or to browse between the hours of 7:45 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Teacher permission is needed during class times. Checkouts are for two weeks and are limited to two books per student unless special requests are made. With teacher permission, students may use the library for study, make-up tests or small-group meetings.



Learning Commons Advisory Committee


A learning commons advisory committee is formed at the beginning of each school year. Members include a volunteer teacher from each learning environment level. The committee will meet throughout the year to discuss library issues, programs, and activities. Throughout the year, all staff members are asked to submit suggestions for library, media and technology purchases.


Programs and Services


Faculty members needing any of the following services or needing additional information regarding these services and programs are encouraged to contact the library staff at any time.


Book Fairs


Google Apps for Education


Ellison Machine


Laminating


Computers/Internet


Professional Development


Information Literacy Skills


Equipment Repairs and Troubleshooting


Technology Integration


Learning Commons Web Page


iPad Apps



Management


Library materials are circulated using the Destiny program. A web-based part of the program provides an online catalog to look up learning commons materials.  A website (http://montessori.ccsdschools.com/directory/learning_commons) provides access to classrooms and homes for the online catalog, Mackinvia, MyOn, links to pertinent educational sites, and a learning commons blog featuring upcoming events and important informaiton.


Books


Primary students may checkout one book per library visit. The loan period is two weeks. Students in lower elementary through middle school  may checkout two books for a period of two weeks. Special permission for more materials may be granted when necessary for an assignment.


Reference Materials


Reference materials are to be used by students in the learning commons. Teachers may borrow reference materials for use in the classroom when necessary.


Faculty Checkouts


Faculty may checkout unlimited numbers of materials as long as needed. Materials and equipment must be signed out at the circulation desk if taken outside the learning commons. Items should be returned after use so that others may use them.


Overdue Books


Overdue notices will be printed out and distributed to students at school at the end of each month. To help students learn to be responsible, no new loans will be permitted until overdue materials are returned.


Lost and Damaged Books


If a book is lost or damaged, the book must be paid for before additional books can be checked out. Materials that are more than 30 days overdue may be marked as lost. Lost book fines will be canceled upon the return of materials in good condition. No refunds will be given for materials that are found after payment. Debts remaining at the end of the school year will be turned in to the office and become a part of the student’s permanent file. Any items checked out at the time a student withdraws from school must be returned or paid for upon withdrawal.


Selection Policy


The MCS Learning Commons strives to provide patrons with materials that will enrich and support the educational program of the school. It is the responsibility of the learning commons to provide a wide range of materials on different levels of difficulty, with diversity of appeal, and representing different points of view. The inclusion of any item in a collection does not necessarily mean that the learning commons or school advocates or endorses the contents of that item.


The needs of the MCS Learning Commons are based on knowledge of the curriculum and of the existing collection. These needs are given first consideration in the selection of materials used to enhance the classroom curriculum. The learning commons staff adheres to CCSD’s policy regarding selection of materials.



Selection Criteria


Along with the guidelines outlined in the district’s policy, the following criteria are recommended as a guide to selecting the best resources for the learning commons:

  • literary and artistic excellence  

  • lasting importance or significance to a field of knowledge

  • support of the curriculum and the educational goals of the school

  • favorable reviews found in standard selection sources

  • favorable recommendations by educational professionals based on preview and examination of materials

  • reputation and significance of the author, illustrator, or publisher

  • timeliness of the material

  • contribution to the diversity of the collection on controversial issues

  • contribution to multicultural awareness

  • appeal to the library patrons

  • suitability for intended use

  • return on investment commensurate with need


Request for Media Center Purchases


Because the learning commons strives to support the instructional and interest needs of the patrons, faculty members, students, and parents are strongly encouraged to take an active role in material purchases. Requests for purchases are always welcome.