Standards of Excellence
Standards of Excellence | Accreditation Categories | Requirements of Eligibility | Criteria for Accreditation
NAPCIS member schools have as their mission the salvation of souls and academic excellence. Students who attend a school accredited by NAPCIS will profit from a program and curriculum designed to realize the school\’s mission. The study of math, science, literature, history, and language while training students in the reflective activity that requires no further purpose, is a means to an end. Education should train students to think intelligently, reason critically and wisely, and to express themselves with clarity and competence. The responsibility, therefore, of the educated person is the responsibility of influence and the proper use of that influence in the personal, professional, and social sphere in which he/she lives.
The school adheres to the tenets of the Catholic Faith in recognition of and obedience to the Pope and Magisterium.
The Board of Trustees, administration and faculty demonstrate the practice of the Catholic Faith in their daily lives and annually sign a profession of Faith to the Holy Roman Catholic Church and an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium.
The school has an established and documented philosophy of education in agreement with the Catholic Faith.
Catholic moral teaching is featured, supported, and rewarded in the life of the school.
The school has clearly defined goals and objectives consistent with the expressed philosophy and academic program of the institution.
The goals and objectives of the school are stated in a manner corresponding to the way in which the curriculum is actually organized and taught.
The school defines and enforces policies and procedures regulating all administrative and academic actions.
The curriculum content is informed by the Catholic tradition of excellence and demonstrated sound practices of education.
The administration and faculty have the education and experience appropriate to the positions they fill and the duties they perform.
The school defines and enforces admission requirements which prepare students to fully participate in the learning experience of the institution.
The school evaluates student progress in learning all elements of curriculum content.
The school facilities, equipment, and materials support and enhance the educational experience of the institution.
The school demonstrates sound fiscal practices and processes which include long-range planning strategies to support its academic program with adequate staffing, facilities, equipment, and materials.
The school demonstrates a defined organizational structure that supports the corporate and academic operations of the institution.
The school ascertains how well it is meeting its defined religious and academic goals by a means of evaluation that is an ongoing, systematic review and assessment of student progress, personnel, curriculum, management and finances, facility and equipment.
AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM
Candidacy for Accreditation is a pre -accreditation status which allows a school to establish a formal and publicly recognized relationship with the NAPCIS Accreditation Commission. Schools must have met the Requirements for Eligibility. Candidate status may be granted for a period of up to three years. It may be renewed after the three-year period with re-application.In the “Candidacy for Accreditation” category, a school is in the preliminary stage, progressing towards accreditation. This category does not ensure that the school will become accredited. In addition, a school is required to provide annual reports that describe its progress towards or compliance with NAPCIS accreditation requirements.A school may apply for Candidacy anytime after completion of its first year of operation as an educational entity. A school in approved candidacy status may use the following phrase in promotional literature, “Approved Candidate for Accreditation: National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools.”
Accreditation by NAPCIS follows after a period of Candidacy for Accreditation. It is granted to schools which show that they have complied with the Requirements of Eligibility and Standards and Criteria for Accreditation, which includes the Standards of Excellence, have provided the required documentation, completed an approved self-study process; have had an on-site evaluation of their institutional performance based on their self-study; and operate on a level of quality consistent with stated purposes and available resources.Full accreditation status is granted for a term of six years. During the six-year term, the school is required to provide annual reports describing satisfactory continuation in this category. The annual reporting procedure will be established and directed by NAPCIS. Accreditation may be terminated anytime if a school does not demonstrate continuing compliance with all Standards of Excellence and accreditation requirements.
The following Requirements of Eligibility must be met by schools applying for Candidacy for Accreditation and maintained for all accreditation categories of NAPCIS.
- The school attests in writing to: (a) its commitment and intent to comply with the Standards and Criteria of NAPCIS; (b) its understanding of and agreement to the fact that NAPCIS, at its discretion, may make known to any agency or member of the public that may request such information the nature of any action, positive or negative, regarding its status with NAPCIS; and (c) its agreement to disclose to NAPCIS, at anytime, all such information as NAPCIS may require to carry out its evaluating and accrediting functions.
- For Candidacy for Accreditation, the school has completed its first full year of operation as an educational entity.
- The school has achieved and maintained Active or Provisional Membership Status in NAPCIS for one year
NAPCIS Accreditation is based on the premise that a school is best evaluated in terms of its own stated purpose and objectives and its demonstrated success in fulfilling its purpose and objectives. NAPCIS member schools demonstrate a higher standard of education than public institutions and must be, therefore, accountable to a higher standard in the accreditation process.
A school accredited by NAPCIS demonstrates to its families and to the public the highest standards of religious and academic education.
NAPCIS Accreditation testifies to the excellence of educational quality, operation, administrative and teacher competence.
NAPCIS Accreditation is the school\’s public declaration of accountability to families, foundations and community institutions that are interested in supporting quality educational programs.
NAPCIS measures of accreditation consist of Requirements for Eligibility and Criteria for Accreditation, which include the NAPCIS Standards of Excellence. NAPCIS grants or reaffirms accreditation only to those member schools which comply with these standards and criteria.
Criterion I: Integrity, Mission, and Objectives
A. The Catholic Faith
1.1 The school adheres to the Catholic Faith as set forth in the Catechism of the Catholic Church and other documents of the Magisterium.
1.2 The Board of Trustees, administrator, faculty, and staff are required to take an Oath of Fidelity to the Magisterium and make a Profession of Faith to the Holy Roman Catholic Church. A signed copy is kept in the personnel file.
1.3 The Board of Trustees, administrator, faculty, staff, parents, and students are in agreement with the Oath of Fidelity and with the tenets of the Catholic Faith in so far as they define the Catholic identity of the school. Religious education is directed toward ensuring the adherence and participation of the students, including non-Catholic students, an effort supported fully by their parents.
1.4 The administrator, faculty, and staff demonstrate the practice of the Catholic Faith, especially in the action of prayer, which initiates and directs all activities in the school. Religious services and activities are directed toward ensuring the adherence and participation of the students, including non-Catholic students an effort supported fully by their parents.
B. Educational Philosophy
1.5 The school has an established and documented philosophy of education.
1.6 The philosophy statement is readily available in printed school publications, which include the parent/school handbook.
1.7 The philosophy is consistent with the educational program. Faculty, staff, and students are aware of the educational philosophy and demonstrate its implementation.
1.8 The philosophy is in agreement with the Catholic Faith.
1.9 All advertising, recruitment materials, and public relation promotions accurately reflect the school; its philosophy and operation; its offerings and accomplishments.
C. Goals and Objectives
1.10 The school has clearly defined goals and objectives, available in writing and consistent with the expressed educational philosophy and the academic program.
1.11 The faculty, staff, and students are aware of and demonstrate the school\’s goals and objectives.
1.12 The facilities and equipment reflect the school\’s purpose.
1.13 The school\’s board and administration have a regular process of review of the school\’s goals and objectives, which includes an evaluation of the school\’s success in fulfilling its purpose.
1.14 The goals and objectives of the school are consistent with the Catholic Faith.
D. Policies and Procedures
1.15 The school has a written policy and procedural manual or handbook for all administrative and academic actions.
1.16 The policies and procedures of the school are subject to a process of regular review and evaluation.
1.17 The policies have been established according to the organizational structure of the school and have been accepted and implemented by the administration.
1.18 The policies and procedures are consistent with the philosophy of the school, its educational goals and objectives and with the Catholic Faith.
1.19 The school expects faculty, staff, and students to adhere to the standards of Catholic moral teaching in all its particulars.
1.20 These standards are in school publications and are known, accepted, and demonstrated by faculty, staff, and students.
Criterion II: Curriculum
2.1 The curriculum implements the objectives and goals of the school.
2.2 Where national and state standards reflect sound educational principles, the school\’s courses, content, and method of instruction meet or surpass these standards.
2.3 Curriculum content in all its particulars is reviewed and approved by the administration.
2.4 Curriculum content is informed by the Catholic tradition of excellence and demonstrated sound practices of education.
2.5 Course syllabi are available for all core subject areas.
2.6 Faculty demonstrates proficiency in understanding and implementing the school curriculum and particular course syllabi.
2.7 Class content, course syllabi, and plans are subject to a process of regular review by the faculty and administration.
Criterion III: Faculty
3.1 The school has a defined policy and procedure for selection of faculty and staff.
3.2 The administrator, faculty, and staff demonstrate the practice of the Catholic Faith and have the education and training appropriate to positions they fill.
3.3 Each member of the faculty should be involved in ongoing education and development for professional and personal growth.
3.4 School personnel records are maintained. These records contain the employee application and contract, the signed Profession of Faith and Oath of Fidelity, documentation of academic professional experiences, health records, and updated emergency forms. Access to all personnel files is confidential and open only to the administration and the employee.
3.5 The school maintains in the personnel files all state and local requirements for school personnel: TB test, fingerprint clearance, etc.
3.6. The school is aware of and implements all state and local Child Abuse and Protective Laws.
3.7 Personnel policies are in writing; accepted and signed by all members of the faculty and staff.
3.8 The faculty and staff demonstrate commitment to the school and its program.
3.9 A process of professional supervision and evaluation, defined and implemented by the administration, is understood and accepted by the faculty and staff of the school.
3.10 A process for addressing grievances is understood and accepted by the administration, faculty, and staff of the school.
3.11 Salaries and benefits are sufficient to provide appropriate living conditions for each member of the faculty.
Criterion IV: Students
4.1 The school has clearly stated admission policies.
4.2 The school documents and assesses educational achievement in verifiable and consistent ways, such as grades and grade point averages.
4.3 The school has a defined policy and procedure for the maintenance and storage of student files. These cumulative records should contain immunization history, emergency information, and school transcripts. The confidentiality of these records is defined and understood and access is limited to faculty, staff, and parents.
4.4 The school has clearly defined policies regarding suspension and dismissal of students.
4.5 The school has a student handbook that describes students\’ responsibilities.
4.6 A process for addressing grievances is understood and accepted by the administration, faculty, staff, parents, and students of the school.
4.7 The school demonstrates that goals for student services are consistent with the school\’s purposes.
4.8 The school has a clearly defined policy and procedure for the refund of any tuition or fees.
4.9 A secondary school prepares an annual college profile of their graduates to include: S.A.T. scores and/or A.C.T. scores; college acceptances (four-year/two-year); scholarships.
Criterion V: Facilities
5.1 The facilities support and enhance the educational experience of the students.
5.2 The facilities are designed to foster understanding of and adherence to the school\’s philosophy, goals, and objectives.
5.3 The facilities meet all state and local standards and codes for health and safety.
5.4 The facilities are efficiently used during the school day.
5.6 The school has first priority on all facilities controlled by the school.
5.7 The facilities are adequately maintained.
5.8 All equipment, educational and non-educational, used in the school curriculum, activity, and operation should meet established safety standards.
5.9 Equipment and materials are sufficient and appropriate to fulfill curricular and operational objectives of the school.
5.10 The school has a library or plan of action to establish one within its facility.
5.11 The faculty and staff have specific procedures for encouraging and guiding the students\’ use of local public libraries.
Criterion VI: Governance
6.1 The school demonstrates a defined organizational structure that supports the corporate and academic operations of the school.
6.2 The organization identifies a Board of Trustees who demonstrate the practice of the Catholic Faith and are responsible for the establishment of policy regulating the operation of the corporate and academic program of the school.
6.3 The Board of Trustees will have defined policies in the areas of:
– selection of curriculum;
– selection of staff;
– admission policies, and
– discipline policies.
6.4 The organization identifies an administrator to implement the policies in the daily operations of the school, as defined by the Board.
6.5 All positions in the organization – board member, administrator, faculty, staff – have a defined job description.
6.6 All members of the organization understand and implement the responsibilities and requirements with regard to the position they fill.
6.7 A process for addressing grievances is understood and accepted by the Board of Trustees, administrator, faculty, and staff of the school.
6.8 The administration, faculty, and staff understand and support the organizational structure of the school.
B. Financial Management
6.9 Income is sufficient to meet expenses.
6.10 Current and projected budgets display a consistent cash flow for operational expenses with attention to debt retirement and capital acquisition.
6.11 The school has sufficient funds to support its academic program with adequate staff, facilities, equipment, and materials.
6.12 The school has a process for planning and review of development opportunities.
6.13 A long-range (3-5 year) planning process, which takes into account both income and expenses, exists or is in development.
6.14 A yearly budget is prepared by the administration for review and approval by the Board of Trustees.
6.15 The budget follows and is presented in an acceptable accounting format.