Everything Parents Should Know About the State Regulations for Florida Private Schools Part 2
As a parent, putting your child on the path to success starts with their enrollment in a private school that supports Step Up For Students in Clearwater, FL. Step Up For Students empowers parents to choose the best education setting for their child. Participating schools are required to be in good standing with the state Department of Education. They must also maintain full compliance with the scholarship statute and all state regulations.
In part one of this two-part series, we discussed the state regulations that all private schools must abide by. Now, we will cover additional considerations pertaining to recordkeeping, reports, and health and safety requirements. As one of the Step Up For Students participating schools in Clearwater, FL, that adheres to all state regulations, we believe that all parents should be cognizant of this information so that they can play the role of compliance officer to ensure their child is in a professionally regulated educational setting that gives their child the opportunity to maximize their potential.
All private schools are required to maintain a record of student enrollment and daily attendance. This record should be available for inspection by the local superintendent or attendance assistant at all times. Before a child is admitted to a pre-kindergarten or kindergarten program, the private school must first collect evidence of the child’s age, such as the child’s birth record or certification of baptism.
Furthermore, private schools must submit an Immunization Annual Report of Compliance (Department of Health Form 684) if they enroll either kindergarten or 7th grade students. Private schools must also submit a database survey form with the Florida Department of Education. This form includes the name of the private school, address, phone number, type, administrative officers, enrollment by grade or special group, number of graduates, number of instructional and administrative personnel, number of school days, and other various data points.
Health and Safety Requirements
Your child will spend approximately 6.5 hours at school every day. When you factor in extracurricular activities, clubs, and sports, this number can grow. You want to be certain that your child is safe whenever they are on school grounds. One way to do this is by ensuring that your child’s private school is compliant with all health and safety requirements, including:
- Within one year of enrollment, private schools must collect a certification of school-entry health examination unless parents or guardians submit a written statement objecting to this requirement due to religious beliefs.
- Before a student can be admitted to a private school, the school must first collect a certification of immunization (Department of Health Form 680) as deemed mandatory by the Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services. All students must be immunized against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, rubeola, rubella, pertussis, mumps, and tetanus. Private schools are also required to screen for scoliosis. Once again, there are exemptions for students whose parents object on religious grounds.
- Private schools featuring a kitchen that prepares and serves their own food are required to comply with the minimum sanitation standards established by the Department of Health.
- The chief administrative officer at every private school must submit fingerprints to the state for processing. Fingerprints are also checked to see if the chief administrative officer has a criminal background. Any person that has been convicted of an immoral or nefarious crime is barred from owning or operating a private school. School employees may be subjected to the same process, too.
- The Department of Children and Families’ central abuse registry and tracking system must be used to report suspicion of child abuse or neglect.
Do you feel that your child could benefit from a new learning environment? Lakeside Christian School is one of the top Step Up For Students participating schools Clearwater, FL. Our small class sizes, individualized approach to education, and close-knit educational community helps our students succeed throughout their time here and beyond.
If you would like to learn more about Lakeside Christian School, an affordable private school that accepts Step Up For Students in Clearwater, FL, please give us a call at (727) 239-7808 or schedule a tour of our campus.