I. What is FCIS? The Florida Council of Independent Schools (FCIS) is one of the largest independent school organizations in the United States. FCIS is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and an affiliate of the Council for American Private Education (CAPE). FCIS is a founding member of the Florida Association of Academic Non-Public Schools (FAANS). FCIS offers many important services to its member schools, but the most important is to provide accreditation.2. What does it mean to be accredited by FCIS? FCIS is recognized as a premier accrediting body in Florida statutes. To be a member of FCIS, a school must be FCIS accredited or a new school must have the status of New-School Candidate and be in the process of obtaining accreditation. Membership in FCIS is conferred only by decision of their Board of Directors. FCIS accredidation is based on compliance with FCIS Standards. Compliance with FCIS standards is evaluated on a five year cycle by a peer committee This process is recognized and accredited by the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS). There are co-accreditation agreements with Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and Florida Kindergarten Council (FKC).
When a school has been accredited by FCIS, a parent can feel confident that the school has been evaluated and was found to meet a very high level of standards and maintains its mission. FCIS is very strict in school’s adhering to their standards and engaging in best practices for Independent Schools.
How does the process work?
Accreditation is a self-evaluation process and each school spends approximately two years preparing for their FCIS evaluation. The reaccreditation team is comprised of colleagues from other Florida independent schools. The team spends two to three days on campus reviewing all facets of a school’s life. The evaluation committee studies the philosophy and mission of the school, academic and ancillary programs, library/media facilities, technology integration, instructional resources, facility and safety, and qualifications of the administrative team and faculty. Schools which successfully meet all FCIS standards, are deemed to be financially stable and to provide quality education are then granted accredited membership.
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