Philosophy and Objectives
I. Philosophy and Objectives
a. The school must:
i. Maintain a published philosophy by which its program is developed and maintained. All members of the school community, including faculty, staff, students, and parents, must be made aware of this philosophy.
ii. Publish a list of objectives to summarize its educational program.
iii. Hold regular faculty meetings to develop a program that meets its objectives. Each faculty meeting must be documented by the use of a written agenda and recorded minutes.
iv. Conduct professional staff evaluations of its progress in attaining its objectives.
v. Issue administrative policies and procedures to faculty and staff in a written form.
vi. Conduct written observations/evaluations of teachers to ensure that they comply with the prescribed academic program.
vii. Maintain documented evidence of professional growth and improvement of staff members through formal and informal programs of study.
II. Non-Discriminatory Policies
All member schools must publish a written statement indicating they do not discriminate in admission or employment on the basis of race, sex, religion, national or ethnic origin. It must also indicate that it follows the laws of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and therefore cannot discriminate on the basis of any disability.
III. School Leadership/Administration
a. The school’s administration shall have the autonomy to meet goals for achievement and instruction and to manage day-to-day operations effectively.
b. The school must maintain an up-to-date website and it must include non-discriminatory policies, mission statement, philosophy and objectives, school programs, calendar, extracurricular offerings. The site must provide ample information to the community about the school.
c. The school’s administration shall have a School Improvement Plan (SIP) available. The SIP must include future goals, action plans, resources involved (including personnel), action plans and timelines.
d. The school’s administration shall establish policies and support practices that ensure effective administration of the school. These shall foster a culture consistent with the school’s purpose and direction
e. The school’s administration shall actively and consistently support and encourage innovations, collaboration, shared leadership and rigorous professional growth.
f. School leadership and staff shall commit to shared values and beliefs about teaching and learning supporting challenging educational programs and learning experience including achievement of learning, thinking and life skills.
g. Supervision and evaluation processes of faculty and staff are consistently and regularly implemented by the school’s administration. The primary focus of this process is improving professional practice and ensuring student success. The results are analyzed and used to monitor and effectively adjust professional practices.
h. The school’s administration shall provide mentoring, coaching to support and induction programs consistent with the school’s values and beliefs about teaching and learning.
i. The school’s administration must monitor and communicate comprehensive information about student learning, conditions that support student learning, and the achievement of school improvement goals.
IV. Administration, Faculty and Staff Qualification and Requirements
a. The Director or Principal must be at least 25 years old and must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree and at least five years of successful administrative experience in the United States. In addition, all BISA directors must have completed required coursework and have been granted the DCF required Director’s Credential Certificate.
b. Teachers of two- to four-year-old children shall comply with any one of the following:
i. A two-year Associate of Arts Degree (AA) plus a minimum of twelve (12) hours of continuing education courses each year in childcare/early childhood education.
ii. At least three years of continuous teaching experience in early childhood education and a minimum of twelve hours of continuing education courses each year in childcare/early childhood education.
iii. In addition, both lead teachers and teacher’s assistants must have completed the Dept. of Children & Families’ 40-Hour Child Care training course. This course includes: 20 hour “Introductory Child Care Training Course,” 10 hours of “Behavioral Observation and Screening Course.” and 10 hours of “Specialized Training” in either Developmentally Appropriate Practices for Infant & Toddlers, Young Children, Elementary-Age Children, or Special Needs Children.
c. Teachers in Kindergarten through Grade 12 must have at least a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution and preferably several years of teaching experience, in addition to participating in continuing education courses.
d. All Teachers in middle and secondary schools must teach in-field and participate in ongoing yearly continuing education courses. Teachers of students with exceptionalities must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree in Exceptional Student Education (ESE) and preferably, have a Professional Educator’s Certificate in ESE.
e. Per Florida Statutes Section 1002.421, all private school employees and personnel with direct student contact must undergo a state and national background screening by filing a complete set of fingerprints with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Level II Fingerprints must be submitted electronically.
f. Childcare level employees must comply with all requirements and screenings set forth by the State of Florida’s Department of Children and Family Services (DCF).
g. Cafeteria personnel must pass the Food Handler or Food Manager On-Line Course and have their credentials on file.
h. All Employees must have on file a completed Form I-9, Employee Eligibility Verification Form.
i. All Instructional personnel and school administrators in a position that requires direct contact with students are required to read and acknowledge with their signature the new screening standards, per the State of Florida’s Ethics in Education Act.
j. The teaching faculty and administrative staff shall be of sufficient number that their work may be distributed to implement the full program of the school satisfactorily. Attention shall be given to the appropriateness of class size and teacher-student ratio insofar as they relate to acceptable teaching conditions, method and student loads. Provision should be made for the needs and interests of individual students consistent with the school’s philosophy.
k. Instructional staff members shall spend the majority of the day teaching in the field(s) in which they are credentialed.
l. Teachers must personalize instructional strategies and interventions to address individual learning needs of each student. They must use instructional strategies that require students to apply knowledge and skills, integrate content with other disciplines and use technologies as instructional resources and learning tools.
m. Teachers must participate in collaborative learning meetings to share information that can be beneficial to improve instruction and student learning. Agendas and minutes of these meetings should be made available.
n. The overall faculty should be sufficiently versatile in background, age and aptitudes to provide the school with the type of leadership and understanding needed to evoke the best from all of its students.
o. Faculty Members must participate in continuous education programs in order to enhance professional learning.