Florida Private School Education
The Florida Department of Education does not accredit, regulate, approve, or license K-12 private schools. Additionally, the Florida Department of Education does not officially recognize any of the various agencies that accredit private schools.
Section 1002.42, Florida Statutes, requires K-12 private schools to register with the department by completing an annual survey each year and explicitly provides that submitting annual survey data and being listed in the directory of private schools Should Not Be Used By Any Private School To Imply Approval Or Accreditation By The State.
There are many organizations with widely variant quality standards and program requirements that accredit private schools. Requests for information about the accreditation of a specific school should be directed to the school staff or its designated accrediting agency. The Acceptance Of Diplomas From Private Schools Will Be Subject To The Requirements Of The Receiving Educational Institution Or Employer.
While, As Stated, The Florida Department Of Education Does Not Officially Recognize Any Of The Various Accrediting Agencies That Accredit Private Schools, Several Accrediting Organizations Have Been Listed In The Florida Statutes In Conjunction With The Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK) Program And A Number Of Accrediting Associations Are Recognized By The Florida High School Athletic Association For Purposes Of Membership.
Section 1002.55,(3)(B)1., Florida Statutes, States That A Private School Participating In The VPK Program Must Be Accredited By An Accrediting Association That Is A Member Of One Of The Following Associations Of Accrediting Organizations:
According To The Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) Bylaws Article 3 Related To Membership, A Senior High School Or Middle/Junior High School Located In The State Of Florida May Become A Member If The School Is Accredited By An Agency Approved By The FHSAA.
More information is available on the FHSAA Web site at: http://www.fhsaa.org/departments/membership/accrediting-agencies
AdvancEd is the primary accreditation agency for private schools in Florida. Private schools are accredited as public schools.
AdvancED serves as the accrediting agency for more than 30,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in more than 70 countries. AdvancED encompasses three US-based accreditation agencies — the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges.
Why Accreditation is important for private schools?
FCPCS strongly encourages all private schools to seek accreditation from SACS CASI. Accreditation is a sure way for private schools to improve their standards of operation and their public image. Accreditation is extremely valuable to private schools for the following reasons:
AdvancED serves as the accrediting agency for more than 30,000 public and private schools and districts across the United States and in more than 70 countries. AdvancED encompasses three US-based accreditation agencies — the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
Accreditation Is One Of The Requirements For Private Schools To Receive Capital Outlay Funds.
The Large Majority Of Private Schools Seeking AdvancEd Accreditation Consequently Achieve Measurable Improvements In Student Achievement Through The School Improvement Plan.
Accreditation Is An Excellent Marketing Tool To Inform The Community-At-Large That Your School Has Met And/Or Exceeded Quality Educational Standards.
Accreditation Is An Important Factor For Private High School Students. Most Colleges And Universities Require Students To Graduate From Regionally Accredited High Schools. In Addition, Students Who Apply For Sports Programs, Federal State Grants And Scholarships, And Military Programs Must Graduate From An Accredited School.
private schools accredited by AdvancEd also enjoy the benefits of belonging to an extensive network of accredited institutions, including access to numerous resources designed to support and facilitate school improvement.
How does Accreditation process work?
The process of accreditation begins with an external and internal review, and culminates in a five-year comprehensive school improvement plan that is approved by AdvancEd. The process is very similar to the Continuous Improvement Model used in Florida, in which the continuous use of data analysis determines classroom instruction.
After application for accreditation:
The First Step Involves A Visit From An AdvancEd Representative To Conduct An Inventory Of Every Aspect Of The School’s Operations. This Is Called The “Readiness Visit.” The Representative Meets With The School Administration To Review The Vision, Mission And Current Goals And Objectives Of The School To Determine If They Are Appropriate.
Based On The Information Gathered Once The Readiness Visit Is Completed, The School Develops A Comprehensive School Improvement Plan That Covers The School’s Vision, Profile, Plan, And Results. This Encompasses Aspects Of The School’s Operations, Including Student Achievement, Instruction, Professional Development, Financial Management, Business Operations, And Parental Involvement.
Once The School’s Governing Board Approves The Plan, The AdvancEd Review Committee Returns To The School. During This Visit, The Committee Conducts Additional Interviews With Administrators, Teachers, Staff, Students, Parents, Business Partners, And Other Stakeholders, And Gives A Presentation To The School On Its Findings.
Soon After This Visit, The AdvancEd Review Committee Recommends The School For Accreditation For The Next Five Years Or Requires The School To Make Improvements To Its Plan. The School Is Put On Probation Until The Improvements Are Made. If A School Is Put On Probation, An Additional Visit By The Accreditation Team Might Be Required.
The Criteria For Improvement Include FCAT Student Achievement Data And/Or Plans For Interventions That Will Lead To Improvement. If The School Fails To Continue To Meet The AdvancEd Standards, The School Will Receive Deficiencies And Could Be Placed On A Status Of Warned Or Probation. Until Those Issues Are Resolved
ISSTA and the Accreditation Process
At ISSTA, we place great emphasis on being compliant with the Florida Department of Education and the Florida Consortium of Public private Schools. We seek to educate with innovation, and advance with motivation.