FCC Standards and Benchmarks CommentaryThis document addresses what fully meets level of compliance for each accreditationbenchmark. Suggestions, comments, questions, and/or necessary evidence are explained. Thisis a supplement that school personnel could use as the benchmarks are reviewed anddiscussed. Other documents that should be used include the FCC Rubrics with SpecificEvidence and the Domain Guidelines.Benchmarks Each benchmark has a detailed rubric to determine the level of compliance. On the resources page of the website, there is a rubric with specific evidence. Honest review of current practice and evidence (since the last site visit – Year 3 or 7) The goal is to get to fully meets. Most schools are at partially meets – very acceptable. ***Cannot be fully accredited, if not meeting a benchmark (level 1).*** (New thisyear) Continuous improvement – make a plan to improve Use the comment boxes Brief description of what this looks like at your school Tell your story – what do you want reviewers to know Attach necessary evidence More does not equal better or higher ratings Make sure it is related to the narrative in the rubric Don’t overwhelm or underwhelm the reviewers Every benchmark under review must have evidence Year 1: Mission and Catholic Identity Year 2: Governance and Leadership Year 3: All Domains Year 4: Academic Excellence Year 5: Operational Vitality Year 6: All Domains as preparation for Year 7 site visitDomain A: Mission and Catholic IdentityStandard 1: Catholic mission statement and it’s useAn excellent Catholic school is guided and driven by a clearly communicated mission thatembraces a Catholic Identity rooted in Gospel values, centered on the Eucharist, and committedto faith formation, academic excellence and service.1.1 Catholic mission statementLevel 3: The governing body and the leader/leadership team ensure that the mission statementincludes the commitment to Catholic identity.To determine compliance:1. Remove the school’s name from the mission statement2. Read the statement with just the name “school”3. Can a Christian school use it? – level 24. Can a non-Christian school use it? – level 15. Could it only be used by a Catholic school? – level 3
6. Is the primary purpose education in the faith? level 41.2 Mission statement used in planningLevel 3: The governing body and the leader/leadership team use the mission statement as thefoundation and normative reference for all planning. Major planning efforts explicitly referencethe mission at the beginning of planning and throughout.Evidence of mission statement use on a regular basis – meeting agendas, minutes1.3 Regular review of the mission statementLevel 3: The school leader/leadership team regularly calls together the school's variousconstituencies (including but not limited to faculty and staff, parents, students, alumni(ae)) toclarify, review and renew the school's mission statement. Regular annuallyVarious constituencies more than the facultyIs it Catholic?How is it used? Part of SAC, PTO, faculty, and student council meetings Integral part of classroom lifeHow is it taught?How is it lived?How is it reviewed? Word wall (one word) or phrase catholic-schools.html1.4 Mission statement displayed everywhereLevel 3: The mission statement is visible in public places and contained in official documents In all classrooms, throughout campus Publications Website and Social Media EmailsEasy to exceed this benchmark because the main difference between meeting and exceeding isthat it is highly visible and included in documents, websites, and social media, as well as inevery classroom and throughout the campus.1.5 Stakeholders know and understand the mission statement
Level 3: All constituents know and understand the mission. School leaders work to ensure thatevery group of constituents can articulate and explain the mission. Can students recite and explain the mission statement?Can the staff?Can the parents?Evidence of use in the classrooms?Standard 2: Catholic curriculum and it’s useAn excellent Catholic school adhering to mission provides a rigorous academic program forreligious studies and catechesis in the Catholic faith, set within a total academic curriculum thatintegrates faith, culture, and life.2.1 Religious education curriculum and instruction meets diocesan requirementsLevel 3: Religious education curriculum and instruction meets the religious educationrequirements and standards of the (arch)diocese. The requirements are evidenced in courseexpectations, grade level expectations, and course content. Are curriculum standards used in religion classes? (Using a textbook does not meanstandards are used.)Are the standards tracked?Vertical team meetingsIs an assessment used?Level 4 – Religious education curriculum and instruction at all levels in each course and in eachunit meets or exceeds the religious education requirements and standards of the (arch)diocese.The requirements are evidenced in every course and unit. Courses are vertically aligned,scaffolded, and rigorous to ensure continuous growth in the knowledge of religion for allstudents.If there is a curriculum for religion classes, standards are tracked, vertical team meetings occur,and an assessment is used, the school has evidence of a level 4.2.2 Religion classes integral part of the academic programLevel 3: Religion classes are an integral part of the academic program in the assignment ofteachers, amount of class time and the selection of texts and other curricular materials. Schoolleaders consistently program religion courses with the same level of attention given to othersubjects. All students are provided a religion class every day. Is religion taught 5 days a week to all students (Mass may count as 1 Religion class)?Do the teachers have catechist certification documented?Class schedules are used as evidence, as well as catechist certification, curriculumstandards, and lesson plans2.3 Faculty meet catechetical requirements
Level 3: Faculty who teach religion meet (arch)diocesan requirements for academic andcatechetical preparation and certification to provide effective religion curriculum and instruction. Do all staff members have basic catechetical certification? Appropriate document shouldbe kept in staff files.Spreadsheet of staff members: Name, position, date of hire, background screening, safeenvironment training, catechetical certification, FL certification2.4 Academic excellence in all subjectsLevel 3: The school's Catholic identity requires excellence in academic and intellectualformation in all subjects including religious education. In keeping with its Catholic identity, theschool sets clearly articulated standards for and expectations of academic and intellectualexcellence in all subjects, including religious education. Does the mission statement or philosophy reference academic excellence?Clearly articulated standards within subject areas?Clearly articulated expectations for students and academic excellence?Handbooks normally contain the information and evidence needed for this benchmark.2.5 Using the lens of scripture and Catholic intellectual traditionLevel 3: Faculty use the lenses of Scripture and the Catholic intellectual tradition in all subjectsto help students think critically and ethically about the world around them. Is the faculty fluent in scripture? Catholic intellectual tradition (religion and science canco-exist, the search for all that is good and true)?How are these brought into ALL 1.pdfEvidence in lesson plans and student work product2.6 Catholic culture and faith evidentLevel 3: Catholic culture and faith are expressed in the school through multiple and diverseforms of visual and performing arts, music and architecture. Any visitors to the school (includingparents/guardians, staff, students, and others) readily identify signs and symbols of Catholicculture and faith. How can a visitor tell it is a Catholic school? Classroom? Hallway? Program? Assembly?What makes it Catholic?2.7 Catholic social teachings part of the curriculum and instructionLevel 3: The theory and practice of the Church's social teachings are essential elements of thecurriculum. Every student receives planned instruction in the Church's social teaching. There are seven themes of Catholic Social Teachings. Religion curriculum do not alwaysinclude all seven. Need evidence in lesson plans and student work products.
PLANNED instruction; EVERY student; CST is part of the curriculum at all grade levels –this is different from Christian Service ion.htmlStandard 3: Catholic faith life in actionAn excellent Catholic school adhering to mission provides opportunities outside the classroomfor student faith formation, participation in liturgical and communal prayer, and action in serviceof social justice.3.1 Regular liturgyLevel 3: Every student is offered timely and regular opportunities to learn about and experiencethe nature and importance of prayer, the Eucharist, and liturgy. Every student is offered theopportunity to participate in the Mass at least weekly. To fully meet, must have weekly liturgyTo exceed, students must be involved in the design3.2 Regular retreats and spiritual activitiesLevel 3: Every student is offered timely, regular, and age-appropriate opportunities to reflect ontheir life experiences and faith through retreats and other spiritual experiences. To meet, all grade levels must have a retreat (time outside of class to focus on theirrelationship with God).What other spiritual experiences are offered?Is time given for reflection?3.3 Christian service programLevel 3: Every student participates in Christian service programs to promote the lived reality ofaction in service of social justice. Intentional connection to Gospel values and Catholic faithteachings are offered as rationale for engaging in service. Christian service program includes all grade levelsThe “why” of Christian service must be in evidence and articulated by studentsCorporal Works of Mercy or Catholic Social Teachings or Scripture Passages could beused as the focus of the Christian Service Program, explaining the rationale behind theservice. Put these on the flyer, email, bulletin board, FB post, etc.Create a reflection sheet for the whole class or individual:http://www.stkiliancong.org/Project Reflection 2017-2018.pdf3.4 Role models of faith and service
Every student experiences role models of faith and service for social justice among theadministrators, faculty and staff. Being a role-model for faith and service is a consideration inhiring. This is an expectation of the school. How are staff role models in faith? In service?Need evidence that being a role model of faith and service is an expectation of theschool - new staff orientation; staff handbook, meeting minutesStandard 4: Catholic faith formation for the adultsAn excellent Catholic school adhering to mission provides opportunities for adult faith formationand action in service of social justice.4.1 Faculty retreatsLevel 3: The leader/leadership team provides retreats and other spiritual experiences for thefaculty and staff on a regular and timely basis. Faculty retreats are offered at least once a yearand, additionally, there are regular opportunities for spiritual experiences throughout the year. Annual faculty retreat (evidence: retreat program or flyer)What other spiritual experiences are offered?4.2 Assist parents as primary educatorsLevel 3: The leader/leadership team assists parents in their role as the primary educators oftheir children in faith. Supports are intentional and consistent. Are parents recognized as the primary educator? How are they supported in this role?How are parents included in faith education, in particular?Programs offered? Parents surveyed?Is this primary role mentioned throughout handbook, presentations, meetings, etc.: All that the school provides is meant to complement the efforts of parents in providingsimilar faith development experiences at home. When both the family and the schoolcommunity make continuous efforts to assist students in the formation of their faith,students grow in and become committed to their faith, and the Church is strengthened inits mission of proclaiming the Gospel. We Believe: Parents are the first and primary educators of students.Examples of partnerships Invited to participate in organizations, planning meetings, conferences Surveyed to determine programming offered Faith-formation programs promoted4.3 Collaborate with institutions to provide opportunities for parents to grow in faithThe leader/leadership team collaborates with other institutions (for example, Catholic Charities,Catholic higher education, religious congregation-sponsored programs) to provide opportunitiesfor parents to grow in the knowledge and practice of the faith. How does the school help parents grow in faith? Are they invited to programs?
Does the school promote parish/diocesan adult faith formation opportunities?4.4 Adults participate in Christian service programAll adults in the school community are invited to participate in Christian service programs topromote the lived reality of action in service of social justice. Participation is the norm. Defined Christian service program?Are adults part of the Christian service program at all levels?Looking at 3.3 and 4.4:Define/Design a Christian service program – schoolwide, classroom, club, etc.How will students be involved?How will staff be involved?How can parents and families be involved?Can the parish be involved?Include the connection to CWM, CST, or Scripture passageInclude reflectionGreat Examples in many schools Traditions Each grade level has a job within the larger project Each grade level has their own project of focus Connections made to local organizations or needsTo fully meet these two benchmarks, it has to be much more than just collections that takeplace.4.5 Adults visibly support faith lifeEvery administrator, faculty, and staff member visibly supports the faith life of the community.This is a clear expectation for every administrator, faculty and staff member. Staff members at school Masses? Prayer services?Staff members at parish Masses? Events?Need evidence that this is an expectation: part of job description or staff handbook?Domain B: Governance and LeadershipStandard 5: Governing Body and Its ResponsibilitiesAn excellent Catholic school has a governing body (person or persons) which recognizes andrespects the role(s) of the appropriate and legitimate authorities, and exercises responsibledecision making (authoritative, consultative, advisory) in collaboration with the leadership teamfor development and oversight of the school’s fidelity to mission, academic excellence, andoperational vitality.5.1 Governing body, council/board functionsLevel 3: The governing body, representing the diversity of stakeholders, functions according toits approved constitution and by‐laws. Diversity – gender, culture/ethnicity, skillsets
Does the school advisory council have bylaws? When was the last time they werereviewed? Do the bylaws follow diocesan policy?Is membership public knowledge?Meeting agendas/minutesSchool Advisory Board Bylaws: up to date & in alignment with diocesan expectations Membership: diverse, term limits, posted Active board: Regular meetings – minimum quarterly with committee meetings inbetween or monthly without committees Orientation – at the beginning of each year (recommitment meeting, if noone is new) Progress – Goal setting; plans implemented Evaluation – Self-evaluation each year (plan evaluations)5.2: Systematizes policies and succession planningLevel 3: The governing body systematizes the policies of the school’s operations to ensurefidelity to mission, and continuity and sustainability through leadership successions. There aresystems in place that ensure the ability of the school to operationalize the policies. There isplanning for leadership succession on all levels. Policies in place, public knowledge – handbooksDo policies align with the mission, with practice?Leadership succession – written plans in place that address day-to-day information,replacement plans, substitutes, policies, passwords, etc.5.3: Relationship with the bishopLevel 3: The governing body, in collaboration with or through the actions of theleader/leadership team, maintains a relationship with the Bishop marked by mutual trust, closecooperation, continuing dialogue, and respect for the Bishop’s legitimate authority. Bishop invited to the schoolSchool promoting and participating in the bishop’s initiativesNot a picture of the bishop’s picture on the wall (The bishop’s picture on the wall doesnot constitute a relationship with him)5.4: Relationship with the superintendentLevel 3: The governing body, in collaboration with or through the actions of theleader/leadership team, maintains a constructive and beneficial relationship with the diocesanEducation Office consistent with diocesan policy pertaining to the recognition of Catholicschools by the Bishop. Meetings with the superintendent/associateAttending diocesan meetingsParticipation in committeesImplementing diocesan policies
Exceeds the Benchmark: The governing body, in collaboration with or through the actions of theleader/leadership team, continuously fosters a mutual, productive and beneficial relationshipwith the Diocesan Education Office, working to support the work of the central office, adoptingand integrating initiatives from the central office and working in collaboration with other schoolsin the community. The governing body supports the work of the leadership team as members ofdiocesan working groups. All work is monitored for consistency with all diocesan policiespertaining to Catholic schools.In addition to everything from level 3: Ensure all work, policies, and procedures are in alignment with diocese Evidence of collaborating with other diocesan schools5.5: Relationship with the pastorLevel 3: In the case of a parish school, the governing body, in collaboration with theleader/leadership team, maintains a relationship with the canonical administrator (pastor ordesignee of Bishop) marked by mutual trust, close cooperation, and continuing dialogue. Weekly principal and pastor meetingsParticipation in parish meetingsPastor’s involvement with the schoolIn the case of non-parish schools, this benchmark should be left blankExceeds the benchmark: In the case of a parish school, the governing body, in collaborationwith the leader/leadership team, fosters and develops a continuous working relationship with thecanonical administrator (pastor or designee of Bishop) marked by regular, positive interactions,shared goals, mutual trust, close cooperation and continuing dialogue that is productive,sustained and focused on the future of the school.In addition to everything from level 3: Shared goals and vision are evident Visible team, noted by stakeholders5.6: Governing body training and evaluationLevel 3: The governing body engages in formation and on-going training and self-evaluation foritself and the leadership team to ensure the faithful execution of their respective responsibilities.Formation and self-evaluation occur on a regular schedule and utilize at least one measure ofaccountability for each group. Does the school advisory council participate in trainings? Does it complete selfevaluations?Is the principal evaluated on a regular basis? Does the principal complete a selfevaluation?Standard 6: Leadership team and its responsibilitiesAn excellent Catholic school has a qualified leader/leadership team empowered by thegoverning body to realize and implement the school’s mission and vision.
6.1: Leadership hold Florida certificatesLevel 3: The leader/leadership team meets national, state and/or (arch)diocesan requirementsfor school leadership preparation and licensing to serve as the faith and instructional leader(s)of the school. The principal has a Florida Administrator’s Certificate (professional certificate witheducational leadership on it). Assistant principals have at least a Florida teaching certificate. Administrators have the current Florida certificates described6.2: Leadership articulate clear visionLevel 3: The leader/leadership team articulates a clear mission and vision for the school andengages the school community to ensure a school culture that embodies the mission and vision. What is the administration’s vision for the school? How is it articulated? (This is notsimply the mission statement of the school.)Is this a shared vision?Is it in alignment with the mission and school culture?6.3: Oversight of personnelLevel 3: The leader/leadership team takes responsibility for the development and oversight ofpersonnel, including recruitment, professional growth, faith formation, and formal assessment offaculty and staff in compliance with (arch)diocesan policies and/or religious congregationsponsorship policies. Regular observations – multiple ones for each faculty member each year, should includesimple walk-throughsAnnual evaluation for each faculty member each yearIndividual professional development plans written by the teacher in consultation with theprincipalSchool-wide professional development plansFaith formation of staffExceeds the benchmark (level 4): The leadership team adopts and initiates personnel policiesas designed and endorsed by the governing board in accordance with the designatedoverarching personnel policies. Recruitment includes a search process providing access to adiverse population, and new hires are made in collaboration with all on the leadership team.Professional growth plans for all faculty and staff are developed and reviewed at least yearlyand delineate the benchmarks for performance appraisals. The planning process and thebudget intentionally and visibly support professional development opportunities. Formalassessment is designed to reflect the goals and objectives delineated in the professionaldevelopment plans. Assessment is both formative and evaluative. Data gathered during theassessments is used to make personnel decisions. To exceed the benchmark, the individual professional development plans must betailored to the teacher, written by the teacher in consultation with the principal. Meetingsmust take place regarding the plans and whether or not they have been metsuccessfully. These plans are used in the formal evaluations.
The recruitment process must be a well-developed plan as described in the rubric.Evidence in the budget for professional developmentPartially meets the benchmark (level 2): The leader/leadership team is not included in thedevelopment of processes for the oversight of personnel but is required to exercise oversight forthe faculty and staff. Levels of compliance exist but are not measurable, or the leadership teamis neither consistent nor uniform in the adoption and application of personnel policies. Formalassessment procedures are in place but are implemented in an inconsistent fashion, orprocedures for formal assessments are in place but not for all personnel. Professionaldevelopment is ad hoc and offered as a choice with no overall plan for professional growth andfaith formation. If every teacher is not evaluated on an annual basis, the school partially meets thebenchmark.If observations do not happen on a regular basis throughout the school year, thebenchmark is partially met.If professional development is not a thoroughly developed plan, the benchmark ispartially met. (A list of professional development opportunities is not a through plan.)6.4: Networks of collaborationLevel 3: The leader/leadership team establishes and supports networks of collaboration at alllevels within the school community to advance excellence. The leaders/leadership teamensures that the school’s scheduling, budget, and work demands support a culture ofcommunity and collaboration. How do staff members collaborate? How is that supported?How do committees collaborate? How is this supported?How do organizations and clubs collaborate?What is the expectation regarding professional networking and collaboration?6.5: Use of school-wide data for improvementLevel 3: The leader/leadership team directs the development and continuous improvement ofcurriculum and instruction and utilizes school-wide data to plan for continued and sustainedacademic excellence and growth. What data is collected? Evidence is much more than the test results.How and when is it analyzed? By whom?What happens with that analysis? Who uses it?How often are results and analysis discussed and used?How is it used in decision making?This benchmark is focused on school-wide data, including grade-level and subject areadata. It is not about individual student data and achievement.6.6: Programs and services for operational vitalityLevel 3: The leader/leadership team works in collaboration with the governing body to providean infrastructure of programs and services that ensures the operational vitality of the school. To
ensure this, budget and personnel are provided to create and implement policies, programs,and procedures. Is there a collaborative approach to leadership? What is the governance infrastructure(organizational chart)Is planning, goal setting, and decision making transparent?Does the school have all of the programs and services needed to meet the needs ofstudents and staff?6.7: Leadership communicates new initiativesLevel 3: The leader/leadership team assumes responsibility for communicating new initiativesand/or changes to school programs to all constituents. How/When does the administration communicate with staff? With parents? With thecommunity?Is everyone aware of new initiatives and changes in a timely fashion?Domain C: Academic ExcellenceStandard 7: Curriculum and InstructionAn excellent Catholic school has a clearly articulated, rigorous curriculum aligned with relevantstandards, 21st century skills, and Gospel values, implemented through effective instruction.7.1: Vertically aligned curriculumLevel 3: The curriculum adheres to appropriate, delineated standards and is vertically aligned toensure that every student successfully completes a rigorous and coherent sequence ofacademic courses based on the standards and rooted in Catholic values. Curriculum standards and tracking; not textbooksVertical subject area meetingsMore than diocesan or state standards – need evidence of the school using thestandards7.2: Integration of faith in all subjectsLevel 3: Standards are adopted across the curriculum, and include integration of the religious,spiritual, moral, and ethical dimensions of learning in all subjects. Lesson plans and unit plans with evidence of integrationCurriculum standardsStudent work that gives evidence of standards (displays of student work with standard(s)noted); integration7.3: Instruction provides 21st century skillsLevel 3: Curriculum and instruction for 21st century learning provide students with the
knowledge, understanding and skills to become creative, reflective, literate, critical, and moralevaluators, problem solvers, decision makers, and socially responsible global citizens. Studentperformance and work products demonstrate critical, creative, literate, and moral thinkingrelated to solving real world problems and making decisions. Observable – do you see all students exhibiting these behaviors/skills on a regular basisin all classrooms?Do you have student work products that demonstrate this?Lesson and unit plansMore than Christian service projects; more than the use of technologyWhat is the skill development expectation at each grade level?7.4: Instruction provides opportunity for students’ use of technologyLevel 3: Curriculum and instruction for 21st century learning prepares students to becomeexpert users of technology, able to create, publish, and critique digital products that reflect theirunderstanding of the content and their technological skills. Student products and performancerequire students to be expert users of technology, able to create, publish, and critique digitaltools. Observable – students are using technology on a regular basis in order to do the work ofthe curriculum standardsWhat student products are available?Is this in lesson and unit plans?Authentic use: not as a worksheet substitute, not simply books online. Technology usedto do research, to communicate with other students, to complete a project, etc. See thisinformation from the Guidelines:Benchmark 7.4 is about the authentic integration of technology to assist students indemonstrating mastery of what they are expected to know and be able to do. It is used ina student-centered learning environment to promote independent learning. Studentscomplete assessments that require higher-level thinking and real-world applications,including collaboration and communication with resources outside the school such asexperts in a field. Most importantly, there is demonstrated evidence that technology is improvingstudent learning, especially as
including training, background screening, and history checks with previous employers. The school shall post a diocesan approved staff code of ethics which includes training and the requirement to report abuse. Abuse reporting posters shall be on display in the school. Safe environment training certificates in files