STANDARDS FOR ACCREDITATION
1. Philosophy and Objectives
A. The institution shall have a well-defined educational philosophy and statement of its
B. Both statements shall reflect a professional perspective of education and an
understanding of student growth and development.
A. The business structure shall be clearly defined and maintenance of all necessary
documents shall comply with local and state requirements.
B. Each organization shall have a governing body, school board or committee, which
shall be responsible for the development of general policy, direction, and financial
stability of the institution.
C. The governing body, school board or committee shall maintain printed materials
available to the general public of its structure, internal policies and procedures. All
legally binding decisions and/or contracts shall be properly documented. Policies
and procedures shall show professional ethics and high standards.
D. The governing body, school board, or committee should delegate executive and
administrative functions to the chief executive officer who shall be recognized as the
head of the organization.
E. A complete range of grades being served is required for accreditation (K-6, 8-12, etc)
or one or more specific programs, e.g. all honor's programs, art, math or science. An
institution must have a minimum of 100 students for accreditation. The organization
shall have completed three full years prior to the visiting committee's self-study
F. Records of all finances shall be kept accurately and shall be available for audit by an
independent auditor from outside the organization. The governing body should
approve the budget. The budget should be realistic and adequate based on the
institution's size and goals. Finances shall not become a hindrance to the educational
goals of the institution. The organization's financial resources should be sufficient to
fulfill its programs.
G. Facilities and offices shall be suitable for the purposes of the institution's programs
and shall meet legal requirements and shall be well maintained.
1. Schools are required to maintain the following records:
a. A listing of faculty with their addresses and qualifications.
b. Verification of licenses, degrees or credentials.
c. Criminal record summary (fingerprinting check) for those school employees
who do not have valid teaching credentials but have contact with students.
d. For private schools, a list of all costs associated with education (e.g. costs for
enrollment, curriculum, books, testing, assessment, conferences and other item)
e. Accurate, complete financial records.
2. Information regarding the appropriate state requirements relative to the number of
school days in a year, and the number of hours per day students are expected to
study must be provided to enrolling students.
3. Schools shall adhere to all state laws regarding child abuse reporting and health
and safety code requirements.
1. Upon enrollment or admission, the student and the adult who will be responsible
for ensuring the child is properly educated must meet with a
teacher/representative of the school to discuss:
a. Student's prior school experience and records.
b. An informal assessment of current student accomplishments and skills to
determine the appropriate curriculum.
c. Formal assessment and testing if deemed necessary.
d. Review of curriculum (formal or informal) to ensure the parent and/or student
fully understands their responsibilities.
e. The responsibilities of each member of the educational partnership: the teacher,
the parent or other adult, and the student.
f. For private schools, financial arrangements for paying for the curriculum,
administrative enrollment and/or other services.
g. When and where to call for assistance.h.For public schools, adherence to district
or state mandated enrollment/admission requirements.
2. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA - federal), as amended in
1990, requires that all students identified as disabled be provided special education
and related services in the least restrictive environment as indicated in their
Individualized Education Program (IEP). Within the structure of the home
education center, the provision of these services may be contingent upon the nature
of the services and the severity of the disabling condition. At the time of enrollment,
the following consideration must be reviewed:
a. type of disability; eligibility under federal and state criteria;
b. intensity of the required services;
c. provider of services, i.e. district of residence or home education center;
d. IEP specifications, i.e. duration and frequency;
e. special credential or license requirements.
f.The determination of placement within the home education setting and the
services provided must be consistent with the IEP.
C. Student Records - Schools must maintain accurate and complete records for their
students. Specific provisions must be made for ensuring the safety, security and
confidentiality of all student records.
1. Requirements - The following items are required for cumulative file records.
a. Legal name of student.
b. Date of birth.
c. Verification of birth date (e.g. copy of birth certificate or passport).
d. Sex of student.
e. Name and address of parents of minor students
1. Address of student, if different from parents.
2. Annual verification of the name and address of parents and student.
f. Entering and leaving date of each school year.
g. Subjects taken during each year, semester, summer session or quarter.
h. Grades or credits, if given.
i. Grades or credits towards high school graduation.
j. Verification of, or exemption from, required immunizations.
k. Date of high school graduation, or passing the CHSPE or GED or equivalent.
l. IEPs, standardized test results or any other records of assessment.
m. Attendance records.
n.Report of Health Examination for School Entry or Waiver of Health Check up
for School Entry within 90 days of entering the first grade.
o. Cumulative records from prior schools.
a. Cumulative files must be maintained with access limited to those who need to
know or use the information for legitimate school and student purposes. For
example, records may be stored in locked files cabinets or a locked
b. Computerized student records must be backed up when major changes occur (e
.g. at the end of grading periods, end of the school year) or on a regular schedule (e.g. monthly) For safety reasons, the backed up data must be maintained at a
separate physical site from the school's administrative office. Access to
computerized student records must be limited to those with a need to know or
use the information through use of passwords of other control methods.
a. When a student enrolls, the school must request records from prior educational
institutions, if any, within 30 days of enrollment. If records are not received
within a further 30-day period, a follow-up request must be made.
b. Upon the departure of a student from the school, when another institution
requests in writing for the transfer of the student's cumulative records, records
must be mailed within 30 days.
4. Long Term Maintenance
a. Permanent records of graduated or no longer enrolled students should be kept
by the school.
b. If the school goes out of business, the records will be maintained by the
individual or organization listed on the most recent affidavit, or transferred to
the local public school system. Also, every effort should be made to give a copy
of pupils' permanent records to the pupils' parents.
c. If the school is purchased or otherwise transferred to another educational
institution, records will be transferred to that organization.
d. Public schools should follow California Education Code guidelines concerning
the maintenance and disposition of student records.
4. Instructional Program
A. Course of Study
1. The school shall have a defined course of study as detailed below:
2. General supervision and ongoing assessment of the Instructional Program will be
made by a qualified teacher (qualifications as determined by school policy, board
policy, and/or legal mandates).
1. The school will have a curricular program with written course descriptions and
objectives that meet state requirements, and the student's needs, abilities and
interests while at the same time providing all students with suitable courses of
study consistent with the school's philosophy, goals and objectives.
2. There will be adequate and appropriate instructional and other resources to
implement the curricular program.
3. The curriculum shall support a wide variety of programs utilizing up-to-date
information and providing accessibility to all students. Instructional strategies
such as independent study and self paced learning may be used to meet the
learning styles of students of all ages and produce a high academic achievement
and meet individual learning objectives.
4. The curriculum shall be the object of on-going cooperative evaluation involving
the administration, faculty, parents and students.
1. Human Resources - The school will have qualified staff to create, implement and
supervise its instructional program (qualifications as determined by school policy,
board policy, and/or legal mandates).
2. Service Resources - The school will have a plan for student support services that
identifies the needs, interest, aptitudes and goals of all students and provides these
students with appropriate educational, career, personal and social guidance and
other necessary student support services.
3. Network Guide and Communication - There will be a strong communications
network supporting staff interaction and accountability including the involvement
of parents, students and community.
D. Standards for Graduation
1. The school shall have a standard for graduation consistent with the goals,
objectives and philosophy of the school, while at the same time meeting state
1. The school will be staffed by persons capable of teaching and meet state minimum
requirements for teachers of private schools. Public school must follow legal
mandates with regards to staffing.
2. The school will have qualified faculty members working cooperatively to create an
environment in which effective learning takes place.
1. The teachers shall meet and communicate on a regularly scheduled basis and
receive continuous staff training.
1. The school shall provide ongoing opportunities for teacher education and
2. Teachers shall be encouraged to pursue continuing education.
A. Enrollment Assessment
1. Academic - At time of enrollment, the skills, academic background, abilities,
interests, and learning needs of each student must be assessed in order to
determine an appropriate educational program for the student.
a. Prior to enrollment or within the first month, the following records of the student
(if any) should be obtained from prior academic institutions and reviewed:
1. Past school records
2. Current achievement records
3. Results of formal/informal tests or other assessments that may be available
4. Individual Education Plans, if any
b. To determine the provision of an appropriate curriculum, if any, the
administrator may conduct informal assessments of a student's ability (e.g.
in reading, writing or mathematics). These informal assessments may be
documented for the student's file.
2. Learning Needs and Styles - Professional and/or informal assessment tools will be
used to better determine the student's special learning needs and/or styles,
3. Special Education Needs - Professional assessments are to be made, where
appropriate, to ensure students with special needs are provided programs
appropriate to those needs.
B. Development of Independent Study Course/Goals
1. At the initial consultation, the student, parent, and/or other person responsible for
the student's education will be provided with a comprehensive explanation of
independent study. This includes:
a. Providing the student/parent/teacher with an explanation of the roles and
responsibilities of the student, parent, and/or teacher.
b. Ensuring the curriculum options are explained
c. Documenting the learning goals to be accomplished during the next review
period, and the timetables for accomplishment.
d. Describing the support available from the program.
C. Standards for Assessment
1. Each school shall have standards for verifying student's progress and adherence to
the independent study program. Meetings, tests, report cards, transcripts, portfolio,
A. Any exceptions to the standards of accreditation must be presented in writing to
the Accreditation Council for consideration. Each organization is unique and may
have legitimate reasons for exceptions.