With respect to both public and nonpublic schools, the state has the authority and responsibility to be assured of an educational program which is in accordance with minimal standards. Approval standards are those rules and regulations promulgated by the Iowa Department of Education and found in the Iowa Administrative Code . These standards detail the statutes as to intent and purposes and carry the force and effect of law (e.g., 281--Iowa Administrative Code 12.1).
An accredited school meets or exceeds the minimum requirements for operation as either an elementary or secondary school as stated in the general statutes and regulations adopted by the State Board of Education. If a school meets these minimum standards, it will be granted accreditation.
Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (CSIP)
A school or school district shall submit a revised five-year comprehensive school improvement plan by September 15 of the school year following the comprehensive site visit specified in Iowa Code section 256.11 which incorporates, when appropriate, areas of improvement noted by the school improvement visitation team. 281--Iowa Administrative Code 12.8(2)
School districts and non-public schools are required to revise and recertify their CSIPs by the September 15th date of the next school year. Revisions, in accordance to Chapter 12 of the Iowa Administrative Code, are based on any or all of the following actions: completion of a site visit, grade level changes (as in cases of reorganizations), and/ or funding stream changes. School districts and non-public schools are encouraged to annually update their CSIPs as ongoing planning documents.