Key Action I.5

Procure and distribute materials

What is the goal?

The goal of this key action is to procure all necessary materials and get them into teachers’ hands before training.

Why this key action is important

There is nothing more frustrating than being asked to try something new, but not being given the resources you need for it to be successful. Providing materials later than promised will undermine confidence in the leadership team’s support. On the flip side, there is nothing more fun than getting the materials, opening them, and leafing through them for the first time. Once the decision on the curriculum has been made, the first question teachers will ask is “When do I get my materials?” Leaders have a lot of options for how they can obtain different materials today. This is good because it can free up funds, but it can also complicate decision-making. Getting this step right — a step that is historically a pain for all involved — is a refreshing change and deeply investing for all involved. Hopefully you have worked this into your timeline already. If not, don’t worry. Get your information together, make decisions, and communicate realistic expectations for delivery that you can meet or beat.

Explanation of language

We use the word ​procure​​ to describe the process of obtaining materials. We use the word ​distribute ​​to include all actions needed to get materials into teacher and student hands. The term ​open education resource (OER) refers to materials that are in the public domain and freely available online with costs only associated with printing the resources. We use the words ​vendor/distributor​​ to refer to anyone—a developer or printer or third party—that produces and shares materials.


guiding questions

notes & resources

  • 1.
    Who needs to be engaged in our procurement planning?
  • 2.
    What is our procurement process?
  • This step may involve a different set of people than the Selection Team. Procurement Responsibilities outlines all the tasks in the procurement process and provides a template to organize everyone’s responsibilities.
  • Every district/charter network will have a different context for these decisions due to factors such as funding availability and local requirements. Stay informed of the IMTA allocation schedule, House Bill 1605’s impact on IMTA, and rules for how to use allotment funds. Bidding processes, board approvals, contracting options, and grant funding requirements should be thought through upfront.
  • It is also worth investigating TEA grant opportunities such as Strong Foundations that support districts, networks, and schools in planning and implementing high-quality materials.
  • 3.
    For our selected curriculum, what are all the possible resources we might need?
  • 4.
    What are the priority resources?
  • 5.
    What are the options for how we could print or procure each resource?
  • 6.
    What is the unit cost for each option?
  • 7.
    What enablers (i.e. technology) will we need?
  • In the past, textbooks were consistently purchased directly from the publisher/developer. Today, leaders have more options available to them, particularly for OER materials. The TEA provides freely available OER instructional materials and limited free license materials. Visit the TEA Available Instructional Materials page for more information, and stay informed on House Bill 1605’s impact on IMTA formula funding.
  •  Be sure to explore all options, as they can save significant costs. The resource Procurement Considerations gives additional information that can support procurement decisions.
  • The Materials Procurement Organization Template can help you organize the list of all possible materials.
  • In certain cases (more often for ELA materials), you will need to decide which units you are going to teach in order to make the procurement decisions. If that is the case, skip to Key Action II.2: Determine the plan for assessment and grading and return to this step as soon as you can determine the units.
  • 8.
    What’s the total number of materials needed?
  • Remember to account for special education teachers, emergent bilingual student teachers, homebound teachers and students, and any alternative school or alternative program teachers and students.
  • Including extras in your initial order saves future coordination due to misreported student numbers, new students coming to the school, or migration between schools.
  • 1.
    What are we are going to purchase now?
  • 2.
    Which materials do we want to procure as soon as possible? When do we think that will be?
  • 3.
    What will be the recurring costs? (Which materials are reusable, and which will be reordered each year?)
  • Go back to the Procurement Considerations resource and make final decisions about purchasing.
  • Depending on the structure of the materials, it may be helpful to order the first unit quickly so that materials arrive sooner, and stagger the purchase of additional units.
  • 4.
    How will we track all purchases through delivery?
  • 5.
    When will we need to follow up with vendors/distributors?
  • Tracking Materials Orders is a tracking template for all materials with a sample calendar to track when to follow up with vendors/distributors.
  • 1.
    What will each stakeholder group want to know about the materials timeline?
  • 2.
    What are the key messages we want to share about the materials arrival?
  • 3.
    How do we plan to proactively communicate this information? Who will deliver the communication? When?
  • 4.
    What questions do we expect we will get? How will we answer them?
  • Ensure that you can underpromise and overdeliver on the timeline.
  • Go back to your Selection Plan to review your stakeholder lists.
  • For each stakeholder group, identify the key information that you want to communicate.
  • Email Communicating Materials Ordering and Distribution is a sample email that you can adapt.
  • Role playing (which can be awkward but equally useful) can help make sure all parties are on the same page as questions come up.
  • 1.
    Where will we store the materials before distribution can occur?
  • 2.
    How will we inventory materials once they arrive?
  • 3.
    How will we inventory and track materials once they are distributed to schools?
  • 4.
    What information does each teacher need to record? How will they record it?


This workbook is designed to help a school or system leadership team work through the implementation process together. Assemble your team, print or download the workbook, find your starting point, and dig in together.

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