Guides for Schools

Purchasing Guidelines

Q. ARE THERE MANDATED PURCHASING GUIDELINES?

A. YES - The New York State Education Law mandates that NYSSL funds must be expended only for the purchase of instructional computer software that a student is required to use as a learning aid in a particular class in a school that the student legally attends. The DOE is further charged with the responsibility of determining and/or approving all software programs eligible for loan under this program.

The DOE has entrusted the responsibility for review and approval of software to the

New York City Department of Education
131 Livingston Street, Room 601
Brooklyn, N.Y. 11201
Attn.: Instructional Materials Review Unit

(718) 935-5441



IMRU does not endorse nor recommend how approved software is used in the classroom or school; rather, the review/approval process confirms that NYSSL and DOE standards are met.


Q. WHAT IS INSTRUCTIONAL SOFTWARE?

A. Instructional Software is defined as prepared, subject-oriented educational microcomputer programs that can be used as learning aids in a particular class in a school a student legally attends. It should also support the Chancellor's instructional initiatives as well as the ROC's educational plan.

Q.
WHAT SOFTWARE IS NOT NYSSL APPROVED?

A. You cannot use NYSSL funds to purchase software to be utilized for administrative purposes (e.g., attendance-taking programs, classroom management programs, test generators, etc).

Q.
HOW DO I GET SOFTWARE REVIEWED?
A.The DOE maintains a policy of open submittal of computer software by publishers and vendors, who must provide IMRU with a review copy and who must complete a SUBMITTAL FORM FOR SOFTWARE, provided by DCP. In addition to publishers and vendors, authorized DOE educators, such as principals and program directors, are invited to submit materials, not currently approved by the DOE, to IMRU at no charge.

Q.
ARE THERE APPROVAL GUIDELINES?

A. YES - Materials must meet the DOE's "GUIDELINES FOR THE REVIEW AND APPROVAL OF SOFTWARE" that is included with every submittal form. The materials must:

Be free of sectarian or denominational content (except as it may relate to the study of comparative religions) and free of commercial content.

Promote objectives related to the course of study, appropriate for the stated grade and reading level, and suited for the targeted audience.

Be accurate and grammatically correct, up to date, and reflects recent scholarship.

Be comprehensive and of recognized academic quality.

Avoid unnecessary emphasis on violence and other forms of anti-social behavior.

Be presented in a manner free of stereotyping any group within society.

Be easily run by students of its targeted grade level and easily managed by teachers

Be accompanied by clearly written and comprehensive instructional manuals and guides.

Include effective screen displays suited for the intended application and be effective.


Q. HOW DO I FIND OUT IF SOFTWARE IS APPROVED?

A. Only approved materials, whether NYSSL approved or only DOE approved, are listed in the MICROCOMPUTER SOFTWARE & HARDWARE Catalog in DCP's computer database (ITEM Master). DCP's electronic purchasing system will automatically prevent NYSSL disallowed software from being ordered against a NYSSL account code.
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