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Policy Manual

2700 - Academically High-Performing School Districts

The Board believes that a goal of any public school system should be to enable each student to achieve to the best of the student's ability. That end is best achieved through continuous development of the curriculum; by the selection, development, and retention of high quality staff members; and by the motivation of each individual student, instructional staff member, support staff member, and administrator in the District.

Earning designation as an academically high-performing school district must not be viewed as an end unto itself but rather as the standard for which the District strives each year.

Florida statute provides school districts that demonstrate the ability to consistently maintain or improve their high-performing status with exemptions from many requirements set forth in statute and in the rules adopted by the State Board of Education to implement State law.

The District must meet the following criteria if it is to be exempt from requirements in Florida statutes and from the State Board of Education rules that implement those statutes.

  A. Earn a grade of "A" for two consecutive years

 

  B. Have no District-operated school that earns a grade of "F"

 

  C. Comply with all class size requirements

 

  D. Have no material weakness or noncompliance in its annual financial audit

 

An academically high-performing school district, while exempt from a number of statutes and rules that govern school districts, is not exempt from Florida statutes pertaining to:

  A. Services for students with disabilities, civil rights/discrimination, student health, safety and welfare, student assessment program and the school grading system

 

  B. Financial matters, except that a high-performing district may waive the required program expenditure levels for grades K-12 as specified in statute

 

  C. Planning and budgeting, except that a high-performing district may waive the required comprehensive reading plan specified in Florida statute because a high-performing district is approved to receive the research-based reading instruction allocation without complying with those provisions of law

 

  D. Election or compensation of district school board members

 

  E. Differentiated pay and performance pay policies

 

  F. Educational facilities, except that a high-performing district may waive statutory provisions relating to covered walkways for portables and statutory provisions relating to relocatable facilities over 29 years old

 

  G. Instructional materials, except that a high-performing school district may waive the requirement to requisition State-adopted instructional materials from the depository of the publisher with whom a contract has been made  
    A high-performing school district may also waive the requirement to use 50% or more of the annual instructional materials allocation on items to provide instruction at the level for which the items are designated.

 

Upon earning the designation as an academically high-performing school district, the Superintendent shall submit an annual report to the State Board of Education and the Legislature on December 1st that delineates the performance of District students with regard to the subjects on the State-wide assessment program as required by Florida law.

Academically high-performing school districts retain the designation for three years and may renew the designation if the criteria to do so are met. The requirements for renewal are as follows:

  A. Comply with all class size requirements

 

  B. Have no material weaknesses or noncompliance in its annual financial audit

 

  C. Earn a grade "A" for two years within the previous three year period

 

  D. Have no District-operated school that earns a grade of "F" in any year

 

If the District is designated as an academically high-performing school district but fails to meet the requirements for renewal, then the Superintendent must provide written notification to the State Board of Education that the District is no longer eligible to be so designated.

If the District is designated as an academically high-performing school district and a district-operated school receives a grade of "F" at any time during the three year period, the District loses the designation.

If the District meets original eligibility requirements in the future, it can regain the designation.

F.S. 218.39, 1003.621, 1008.34

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