I signed up to be on a team, but FCIS never contacted me. Why?
Team members are assigned according to a number of variables – proximity of the school being evaluated, special requests by the Head of School and the school’s steering committee, special requests by the chairperson(s) of the team, skillsets needed to evaluate the school’s specific programs and areas of improvement, and more. If you are not contacted during a school year, you will remain on the list for the following year.
I’ve been assigned to a team. How can I prepare?
The majority of preparation for the evaluation takes place after you receive the school’s self-study, which should arrive two weeks before the evaluation visit. Prior to the arrival of the self-study, looking at the school’s website, reviewing FCIS standards, and reviewing your own school’s last FCIS report are helpful things to do.
Do I get paid to be on a team?
All FCIS team members are volunteers. Expenses are reimbursed, but team members are not paid for their service.
What out-of-pocket expenses will I have to cover?
Typically, team members drive to and from an evaluation in their own vehicles. Therefore, you will have to cover the cost of fuel for your vehicle, after which you will be reimbursed at 50 cents per mile. You will also have to pay for any tolls and meals taken on the trip to and from the evaluation site. FCIS will also reimburse you for those expenses. There should be no out-of-pocket expenses for the hotel room or meals during the evaluation. Please note that FCIS does not reimburse for alcoholic beverages.
Can I rent a car to drive to the evaluation?
Absolutely. However, you will only be reimbursed for the cost of the car rental. You will not receive reimbursement for mileage.
I’m not a teacher. How can I be helpful on an evaluation?
The FCIS evaluation process takes into account all aspects of school operations. Team members should come from as many areas as possible -- from academics to facilities to HR to admissions. Everyone is needed and welcome!
I want to be a team member, but I don’t want to travel very far from my home. Can I still participate?
Yes, however this will restrict the options for assigning you to a team. Most schools prefer that team members come from outside their local area. As a rule, we will not assign you to a school within 30 miles of your own.
I like the idea of traveling to other parts of the state. Will we have time to do some sightseeing in the local community?
Generally speaking, no. From the time the team arrives until it departs, there are meetings, dinners, and other functions that take up team members’ time.
I will be evaluating a school in a city where I have relatives. May I stay with them instead of at the hotel?
Discuss this with the chairperson of your team. Usually this is not an issue; however, the chairperson may have plans for evening meetings at the hotel or other arrangements of which you should be aware. If it is decided that you will stay with relatives, be sure the school is aware of it so that a hotel room will not be booked for you.
Do I have to share a hotel room with another team member?
No. Team members have private hotel rooms.
I have dietary restrictions. Can those be accommodated?
Yes. Let your team’s chairperson know so that they can inform the school of your needs.
Can I serve on more than one team during a school year?
Yes. As long as your Head of School or direct supervisor approves, you can serve on as many teams as you like. If you would like to serve on a second team, it is a good idea to contact the Director of Accreditation to make that known.
Do we receive in-service hours for participating in an evaluation?
Yes. Each evaluation is worth 15 master in-service hours. However, if you are applying those hours towards state certification renewal, you may only claim two evaluations (or 30 hours) within a five year period.
I have done a number of evaluations. How do you become a chairperson?
FCIS Bylaws require that evaluation chairpersons be either a Head of School at an FCIS school or a present or former member of the FCIS Board of Directors. If you meet one or more of those criterion, contact the FCIS office regarding chair training opportunities.