It’s important that early on in your adoption plan (Step 2 of Key Adoption Steps: Develop Your Process), you determine with your team how the final selection and recommendation will be made. There are multiple approaches to doing this, but the end goal is the same: that everyone on your committee, as well as other stakeholders, understand what approach your team use to make the final decision. Transparency is key here and communicating how the decision will be made is critical. Clearly articulating how the final decision will be made gives members of the committee a clear understanding of their roles, how their work will contribute, and how they can later share the committee’s process with others. Whatever approach you choose, start your process by having a conversation about the needs you are addressing with the new materials and the evidence you collected during your investigation (Step 4: Investigate the Materials).
Making Your Decision has two parts. Part 1: Decision-Making Options provides descriptions of three approaches you could choose for how to make your decision, sample pros and cons of each option, and a space for you and your committee to record your own ideas, pros, and cons. Part 2: Sample Consensus Protocol provides an example of how committees that choose the consensus approach can structure its process.
The first section of this resource can be used as a conversation starter when your committee is establishing how you will make a final decision (Step 2: Develop Your Process). There may be more than these three approaches to making a decision, but these are the three that we generally see when we are working with districts. If you have additional approaches to decision-making in your district, feel free to add those and discuss the pros and cons.
For the second section, this is a sample that teams can use or adapt. We have seen districts take a variety of approaches to this protocol; however, the most important aspect is making sure the group understands what it means to come to consensus. Facilitation and planning is key to the success of this process, and teams should be careful to select a facilitator who understands the process and will ensure all voices are heard.