Each of the FAANS Accrediting Associations has its own Standards and Evaluation Procedures. Those may vary in details and emphasis from one Association to another, but they all involve on-site evaluation and periodic reevaluation by peers and Association Officers. FAANS recognizes an association for accreditation only after reviewing the Standards and Procedures of the Association.
Before an Association can be named an official FAANS accrediting body, the Association must have a history of several years of successful experience in accrediting its schools, have its processes and standards reviewed and approved by the Board of FAANS, have a successful onsite visit by FAANS representatives during one of its regular accreditation visits of a member school, have the sponsorship of two FAANS accrediting associations, and receive a majority vote of support from the Board of Directors.
For information about the Standards and Procedures for Accreditation of any FAANS member organization, go to the link for that particular organization.
Standards for Recognition as a FAANS ACCREDITING ASSOCIATION OR ORGANIZATION MEMBER
1. The accrediting association or organization must have been in existence for a minimum of ten (10) years.
2. The accrediting association or organization must have been involved in the process of accrediting its schools for a minimum of five (5) years.
3. The accrediting association or organization must have been a ‘FAANS Member” for a minimum of two (2) calendar years prior to making an application for “Accrediting Association Member” status.
4. The accrediting association or organization must have a completed application for being recognized as an “Accrediting Association Member” on file with FAANS for three (3) years. All fees must be current.
5. The accrediting association or organization must have at least ten (10) separately governed and operated accredited schools in at least ten (10) counties of Florida.
6. The accrediting association or organization must have standards and evaluative criteria clearly expressed in written form.
7. The standards of the accrediting association or organization must meet the minimum current Standards for Accrediting Associations of FAANS.
8. The accrediting association or organization must have a liaison available to the Florida Department of Education.
9. Every five (5) years, beginning with the 2009-2010 school year and every five years thereafter, each accrediting member must send to the FAANS Secretary, in electronic form, a file of its accrediting standards. In addition, substantial changes to their accrediting process must be reported to the Secretary in the year the substantial change is made.
10. The representative of each FAANS Accrediting Association Member is required annually to sign a form verifying compliance with the Standards for Accrediting Members.
11. In order to maintain the “Accrediting Association Member” status, the accrediting association or organization must meet the above requirements and all dues and fees must be current.
12. Any of the above standards may be waived or modified by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the
FAANS Accrediting Association Members.
13. Non-public schools that are accredited by these associations or organizations may not represent themselves or advertise as being accrediting members of FAANS.
MINIMUM STANDARDS FOR FAANS ACCREDITING ASSOCIATIONS
FAANS Accrediting Members must publish standards and evaluative criteria that is used to
evaluate schools and determine status of accreditation. The standards and
evaluative criteria must address each of the areas listed below.
Philosophy and Objectives:
Each accredited school shall be required to have a concise, clearly written statement of its philosophy and objectives in order to guide the academic program and the overall development of its students.
Each school shall have a curriculum consistent with its philosophy and objectives. It shall be designed to fill effectively the needs of the students enrolled. Offerings shall be organized sequentially and described in current written curriculum guides and courses of study by subject and
School Plant and Facilities:
The plant and equipment shall be suited to the purpose and adequate for the total program of each school. Evidence of conformity to local codes for school building and health, safety and sanitation must be present.
Faculty and Administrative Staff:
The school professional staff must meet criteria established by the accrediting body which are suitable to the program and mission of the school. The criteria must address the requirements of degrees and/or certification as well as criminal background checks and any other state regulation applicable to nonpublic schools for the health and safety of students as required by law.
School Calendar and Class Hours:
The school year shall have a minimum of 180 actual school days OR a minimum of 170 actual school days and the hourly equivalent of 180 actual school days determined as prescribed below:
A. Kindergarten: 540 net instructional hours
B. Grades 1-3 720 net instructional hours
C. Grades 4-12 900 net instructional hours
Transfer of Student Records/Data:
Standards shall insure the maintenance and safekeeping of accurate student records and the provision of a transcript indicating work covered by students. Defunct schools shall transfer all permanent information contained in student records to the Superintendent of Schools of the public district in which the nonpublic school was located; or if the school is a member of a nonpublic school system or association, such school May transfer such records to the central office of such system or association.
The financial resources and management of the school shall be such as to sustain an educational program consistent with its philosophy and objectives. Evidence of financial stability in the form of a Financial Statement shall be prepared annually and be available for review by the Accrediting Association during evaluations.
The centralized or decentralized library/media center should provide current, adequate reference print and non-print materials for the needs of the students, with a minimum of ten (10) books per pupil.
Health and Safety:
All schools shall meet all applicable local and state laws relating to fire protections, safety, sanitation, and health. Evidence of evacuation drills and emergency procedures must also be required. The school buildings shall comply with local and state zoning, structural, and fire codes.
All schools must have clearly defined written emergency procedures.
All schools must issue statements of non-discrimination, stating that they do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, or ethnic origin.
Laws and Regulations:
Accreditation standards must require each school to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.
The procedure established by an accrediting member for a school to achieve accredited status must include the following or its equivalent:
1. Self-Study: Schools are required to engage in a self-study process prior to being reviewed by a Visiting Committee.
2. Visiting Committee: A committee of educators from other accredited schools in Florida will visit the school and develop a report based on the self-study and the standards of the Accrediting Association.
3. Accreditation Status: On the basis of the Visiting Committee Report, the school is then granted (or not granted) accredited status for a given period.
4. Periodic Reports: An ongoing program of improvement, to include renewal of accredited status, is then conducted by accredited schools. These improvements may be documented by reports, on-site visits or periodic reviews.
"Education is a better safeguard of liberty than a standing army."
- Edward Everett