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Leading Educational Excellence in Florida’s Independent Schools

Policies &

All in-service activities must follow guidelines and be approved by FCIS’s Director of Professional Development.

1. Eligibility

In-service will be made available to both certified and noncertified personnel. Participants who wish to obtain component points for recertification (teachers/instructional support/administrators) must have a Florida Professional Certificate with active status.

Points can only be earned within the last five years of one’s validity period.

2. Renewal of Professional Certificate

To renew a certificate as an employed teacher, instructional support member, or administrator, the following are necessary:

Renewal Requirements


The applicant must renew online and pay the fee.

3. Earning Credit

There are several ways in which a Professional Certificate may be renewed:

College Credit

Six (6) semester hours of college credit, including at least one (1) semester hour in teaching students with disabilities (SWD), must be earned during each renewal period to renew your certificate.

In-service Points

Complete 120 in-service points. One hundred (100) of those hours may be in educational related/subject areas. Twenty (20) in-service points must be in teaching students with disabilities.


Complete a combination of college credit and in-service training. One semester hour of college credit=20 in-service points.

Subject Area Test

Take and pass a subject area test specific to the coverage area. One passing numerical score on the subject area test is equivalent to three (3) semester hours of college credit. A subject area test may be combined with either college credit or in-service points to equal the equivalency of six (6) semester hours of college credit.

4. Credit Transfer Procedures

In-service credit may be transferred to or from the Florida Council of Independent Schools.

Credit must be earned during the last 5 years of the validity period of the individual’s certificate.

5. Procedural Points

  1. All in-service components must be from the approved components of the FCIS Professional Learning Catalog (PLC) (formerly Master In-Service Program or MIP).
  2. All program components must be at least two (2) points.
  3. One hour of workshop time is equivalent to one in-service point.
  4. All in-service activity must be an FCIS-approved in-service component listed in the Professional Learning Catalog.
  5. Points must be earned 5 years prior to the expiration date. For example: If the expiration date is 6/30/22, the points must be earned between 7/1/17-6/30/22.
  6. No specific in-service component (activity) can exceed sixty (60) points.
  7. No individual can receive more than sixty (60) points for any one component during any one validity period.

6. Criteria for In-service Components

A. A professionally qualified individual (group) is to be the organizer and/or consultant.

B. There must be clearly defined objectives and a stated means of evaluation.

C. Activity should have 2/3 actual contact hours and no more than 1/3 independent activity hours.

D. In-service activities must be relevant to subject matter or designed to improve professional competency.

E. Activities not eligible for in-service points include:

  1. Business, committee, or advisory meetings, caucuses, etc.
  2. Registration, recordkeeping, etc.
  3. Breakfast, lunch, dinner (without speaker)
  4. Testing/screening students
  5. Chaperoning of students

7. Professional Learning Catalog Direction

A. Appointment of Director

The FCIS Executive Committee will hire or appoint a Director of Professional Development to serve the in-service needs of the FCIS District.

B. In-service Offerings Review

The Director shall review the in-service offerings for the membership on a yearly basis.

C. Activity Evaluation

There shall be written evaluation of all workshops and/or in-service programs at the end of such programs by teachers attending. A summary of such evaluations shall be made available when requested by the FCIS Executive Committee.

D. Scheduled Activities

Instructionally sound and administratively necessary activities (faculty meetings/in-service programs) as determined by the school administrator may be assigned to teachers during the school day or in after school in-service programs. The scheduling of these meetings will be at the discretion of each individual member school’s policies.

E. Member Enrollment

The Director of Professional Development will encourage member school’s enrollment in the local, state, and national in-service programs available through other school districts. It will be the responsibility of the FCIS member school to provide sufficient information concerning the in-service program to the FCIS Director of Professional Development as well as the appropriate in-service number for proper credit.

8. Needs Assessment — District Program Evaluations

A. Program Review

Each year the Director of Professional Development is required to review the Program’s performance and to state for the annual report goals, need statements, short term objectives, and strategies for the continuing upgrading and revision of the member’s in-service program. These goals and need statements are summarized through the evaluation information received from the individual teachers and non-certified personnel throughout the member schools and through annual evaluation survey forms filled out by the participating member schools.

B. Director Responsibilities

  1. The development of new program offerings
  2. The evaluation and upgrading of existing programs
  3. The cultivation of in-service programs in new member schools

C. Evaluations

Evaluations will be gathered in a number of ways, including member school administrators’ input, individual teacher evaluations, in-service presenters’ evaluations, and research recommendations.

D. In-service Training Reports

At FCIS Administrator meetings, in-service training reports will be presented for the information of the member schools. At that time, those schools in session will have the opportunity to suggest new directions for FCIS In-service.

E. Needs Assessment

Through a survey interview format, a formal needs assessment will be provided for each member school desiring in-service education for their faculty and staff. This needs assessment will be updated on a regular basis as determined by the FCIS Director of Professional Development. This will serve as an invaluable link to the changing needs of individual schools.

F. Performance Evaluation

As administrators detect needs in individual teachers, recommendations for certain in-service activities may be made, or if a general need is felt, this is communicated to the Director for analysis and the development into new In-service Components in the Catalog.

G. Student Data

FCIS’s PLC will design in-service components and programs that relate directly to the needs of the student population in the member schools. Student data as provided by member schools will serve as an information database for program revision.

H. Objective Assessment of In-service Presenter, Participants, and Programs

FCIS In-service personnel conduct the following evaluations that contribute to successful in-service activities:

  1. Evaluations of In-service Participants and their skills
  2. Evaluations of In-service Presenters and Programs
  3. Evaluations of materials, methods, and training sites
  4. Evaluations of component effectiveness in the educational setting

I. Planning

Planning is a cooperative, district-wide undertaking. All member schools are encouraged to communicate with the Director of Professional Development to identify training needs in a particular discipline. This information becomes a database from which new in-service components are designed and implemented. The Needs Assessment procedure provides additional information of the in-service database.

J. Organization

The in-service program for Florida Council of Independent Schools must by its very nature be decentralized. Member schools must be responsible for individualizing their faculty’s in-service program. The FCIS Director of Professional Development offers assistance in program implementations, record maintenance/update, liaison with the State Department of Education, and in-service information. Collaborating schools provide input throughout the year. Coordination of these activities is the responsibility of the FCIS Director of Professional Development, who maintains close ties with the participating member schools. The Director reviews policies for the following:

  1. Scheduling in-service activities
  2. Timing and methods of in-service/certification information
  3. Providing in-service opportunities for member schools
  4. Serving teachers

K. Policies

The policies governing the FCIS Professional Learning Catalog originate from three sources:

  1. Certification laws and DOE regulations
  2. Florida Council of Independent schools In-service Plan for Recertification of Teachers
  3. Director of Professional Development decisions in areas in which the Director has the authority to advise or make decisions.

L. Evaluation

  1. Total Program: The number of participants involved in the total program is calculated and is studied for balance in terms of content, academic level represented, and priority levels set by individual schools. This Total Program Review builds a composite profile of the state-wide in-service design indicating the needs being met during that calendar year.
  2. Individual Programs: Each in-service activity is evaluated by each participant in order to gather feedback on the participants’ perception of its appropriateness and usefulness; quality of materials presented; preparation and expertise of the consultant; and adequacy of facility and equipment. These records are filed and are available on request. The FCIS Director of Professional Development receives a summary of each evaluation of the program, noting the strengths and weaknesses.
  3. Participant Evaluation: Each participant is evaluated on a pre-and post-performance measure to determine increase in knowledge and skills. Follow-up in the classroom is sometimes used also.
  4. Component Evaluation: Components are reviewed by the personnel most frequently using them to determine their continuing research currency and/or need for revision. A component review/revision cycle will be conducted annually to keep pace with the advances in educational research and methodology. Each component shall remain in the plan for at least 5 years.
  5. Follow-up: Some programs, such as Teaching Techniques for Reading in the Classroom, use classroom observation as a follow-up method. Other programs require a shadowing/mentoring follow-up program that may run several weeks. Some programs in educational methodology will require the teacher to develop lesson units, present them, and evaluate them with a peer coach.

M. Program Review and Revision

This program is reviewed annually as in-service needs for the next year are identified. These needs may result from new educational methodologies, new research, and new technology being developed at individual member school sites. The needs of the participating member schools are the engine that moves the FCIS In-service Program.

Each component shall remain in the plan for at least five years. A component which is not used, as indicated by the number of participants requesting it or its suitability when evaluated from a research perspective, may be removed after consultation with the person or persons who initiated the component and with the Director of Professional Development; or it may be updated, by additions or deletions, to conform to current needs.

Amendments may be made as needed with the approval of the FCIS governing board. Data from in-service evaluations may also result in a change in details of the program: a change of emphasis, extension of skills and knowledge, and inclusion of related ideas and activities.

9. State-determined Priorities for In-service Education

During the initial year of implementation, FCIS will review the Professional Learning Catalog to determine if the following State-Determined Priorities are being adequately met. If not, the appropriate components will be upgraded to more fully integrate these priorities.

  1. Identification, assessment, and prescription of instruction for exceptional children
  2. Competencies in the identification, assessment, and prescription of instruction for child abuse and neglect prevention and for substance and alcohol abuse prevention
  3. Instruction for multi-cultural sensitivity in the classroom
  4. Components to assist in the certification of teachers of limited English proficiency students
  5. A study of the middle grades
  6. Understanding students in the middle grades
  7. Organizing interdisciplinary instruction in the middle grades
  8. Developing critical thinking and creative thinking in students in the middle grades
  9. Counseling functions of the teacher in the middle grades
  10. Developing creative learning materials for the middle grades
  11. Planning and evaluation programs in the middle grades