Membership Requirements and Resources
Continuing Membership – The complete application packet for continuing membership must be received in the FHSAA Office not later than Monday, May 2 (available March 14, 2016 for 2016-17 school year) to avoid a $50 late fee. The absolute last day an application packet could be received in the FHSAA Office and still be considered for continuing membership is Monday, May 16, 2016.
First-Time Membership – The complete application packet for first-time membership must be received in the FHSAA Office not later than Monday, May 2 (available March 14, 2016 for 2016-17 school year). An application packet received after that deadline will not be processed for the upcoming school year. There is no second deadline for applications for first-time membership.
REGISTRATION WITH STATE OF FLORIDA
State law requires all schools – public and private – to register with the Florida Department of Education to do business as a school. A school must provide on its application form the school number that it has been issued school by the Florida Department of Education as proof that the school has registered with that state agency.
A senior high school must be accredited by one of 15 approved accrediting agencies. Middle/junior high schools and home education cooperatives are exempt from the accreditation requirement. Any school applying for first-time membership must have at least started the process of accreditation upon application and must have full accreditation achieved by the end of the school's second year of membership.
FINANCIAL NEED ASSESSMENT COMPANIES
An FHSAA member school that awards any financial aid or tuition assistance (excluding state/federal programs like the McKay Scholarship or Step Up For Students, etc.) is required to use at least one of the eight companies linked herein for determination of aid as per Policy 126.96.36.199.
APPROVAL OF GOVERNING BOARD
Traditional public schools with interscholastic athletic departments operated by the 67 school districts are authorized by state law to be members of the FHSAA. Private schools, charter schools, university laboratory schools and home education cooperatives, however, must have the approval of their respective governing boards to hold membership in the Association. Each of these schools and cooperatives must provide on its application form the date of the meeting at which its governing board gave this approval, and must have on file in the FHSAA office a copy of the minutes from that meeting. If a school cannot find any record of the governing board having given his approval, the school must seek this approval from the governing board at the next possible opportunity. The school’s application will be accepted conditionally pending receipt of the minutes of the meeting at which the governing board’s approval is given. A charter school or chartered university laboratory school also must report on its application form the name of the district school board or university sponsoring its charter, the date the charter was approved, the term of the charter and the date the charter will expire. A copy of the charter must also be on file in the FHSAA office.
The FHSAA Board of Directors has established the following membership dues for the 2015-16 school year:
- Continuing member senior high schools and home education cooperatives – Dues are a flat rate of $25 and will be billed to the school on or after July 1. Payment of dues must be received in the FHSAA Office by Sept. 30.
- Continuing middle/junior high schools – Dues are a flat rate of $10 and will be billed to the school on or after July 1. Payment of dues must be received in the FHSAA Office by Sept. 30.
- First-time member senior high schools and home education cooperatives – Dues are a flat rate of as paid by the application fee when applying for first-time membership.
- First-time middle/junior high schools – Dues are a flat rate as paid by the application fee when applying for first-time membership.
The FHSAA Board of Directors has established the following membership fees for the 2015-16 school year:
- Application fee – Schools applying for first-time membership must pay a $150 nonrefundable application fee. Payment of this fee must be included with the application. The $150 will cover the first-year dues for a school applying for first-time membership if it is admitted, including FIAAA membership dues.
- Legal fee – The legal fee for continuing member middle/junior high schools is variable. The legal fee for continuing member senior high schools and continuing member home education cooperatives is calculated by subtracting the combined amount of legal fees paid by middle/junior high schools from the total legal expenses incurred by the Association during the 2014-15 school year and equally dividing the balance among all continuing member senior high schools and continuing member home education cooperatives. First-year members are not assessed legal fees. Legal fees are billed and are payable at the same times as membership dues.
- FIAAA membership fee – The FHSAA Board of Directors requires the athletic directors of all member schools to hold membership in the Florida Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (FIAAA). The FIAAA membership fee of $25 is billed to all first-year and continuing members, and is payable at the same time as membership dues.
Each member school and approved nonmember school must purchase and maintain the following forms of insurance coverage:
- Athletic Medical Base Plan/Student Accident providing coverage to each student-athlete with minimum limits of $25,000 per individual for medical expenses. This coverage may be paid for by the school or offered to each student-athlete individually for purchase from an agency contracted by the school. The school is permitted to accept certification from the parents of a student-athlete that he/she has the required coverage through the family’s health insurance plan. Regardless of the manner in which the coverage is provided, the principal of the school must certify that each and every student-athlete will have this coverage before he or she is permitted to take part in any form of interscholastic athletic activity.
- Athletic Catastrophic Accident Medical Plan providing no-fault coverage to each student-athlete with minimum limits of $1 million for medical expenses in the event of a catastrophic injury resulting from participation in interscholastic athletic activities. This coverage is to be in excess of the $25,000 base medical plan, but may be written as part of the same policy.
- Athletic Catastrophic Disability Plan providing no-fault coverage to each student-athlete with minimum limits of $500,000 for total disability resulting from an injury sustained during participation in an interscholastic athletic activity. Structured pay-out benefits may vary. Coverage must also include some limited benefits for partial disability.
- General Liability Plan providing the school itself with general liability coverage with minimum limits of $1 million.
The principal must check whether the school purchases a plan that provides the athletic base medical coverage to all student-athletes, or whether the school requires each student-athlete to provide their own coverage through a family plan or through a school-offered plan that may be purchased by the student-athlete's family. Finally, each school must have on file in the FHSAA office a photocopy of the actual certificate of insurance for each form of coverage that has been issued to the school by the agency through which the coverage was purchased.
Insurance policies may expire at different dates throughout the school year. A member school must submit a copy of the certificate of renewal for a policy to the FHSAA Office when it is renewed. A school with an expired insurance certificate will be suspended from membership until it submits a certificate of renewal.
For any questions relating to insurance please e-mail insurance [at] fhsaa [dot] org
ADMITTANCE/ELECTION TO MEMBERSHIP
Submission of an application packet does not guarantee membership in the Association. The FHSAA Board of Directors must determine those schools that it will admit/elect to membership at its year-end meeting in June. First-time high/combination school members are admitted to membership for the initial provisional period. Once a school successfully completes the provisional period it becomes eligible for election to full membership. Continuing members must be re-elected to membership each year.
The FHSAA Office will report to the Board of Directors whether a school's application meets fully the qualifications and conditions of membership. The FHSAA Office also will recommend whether the school should be admitted/elected to membership. If the FHSAA Office determines that it will not recommend a school for admittance/election to membership, the school will be given advance written notice as to the reason for the unfavorable recommendation. The school also will be advised of its right to appear before the Board of Directors at the June meeting to explain why it should be admitted/elected to membership. The decision of the Board of Directors whether to admit/elect a school to membership must be by majority vote. The decision will be final.
A first-time high/combination school member school must successfully complete a provisional period before it is eligible for election to general membership in the FHSAA. During this provisional period the school is permitted one privilege of membership – the opportunity to compete against other schools in the state of Florida in preseason and regular-season competition. The school will not be permitted to participate in any state championship series competition in any sport. Neither will any personnel at the school be permitted to run for election to any position in the FHSAA governance structure or sub-structures, or vote in any FHSAA elections. A newly opening school that is created by the consolidation or division of existing member schools is exempt from these restrictions, provided the newly opening school continues to be governed by the same board as the school or schools from which it was created.
During the first year of its provisional period, a school must satisfy the following requirements:
- First-Year Member Orientation – The school’s principal, athletic director and FHSAA representative must attend the first-year member orientation. This meeting will be held at the FHSAA office in Gainesville. Dates and times are determined year-by-year. No deferrals are allowed.
During the second year of its provisional period, a school must satisfy the following requirements:
- Compliance Seminar – The school must be represented by either the principal, athletic director or FHSAA representative at the annual FHSAA compliance seminar conducted that year. Multiple locations are available per summer around the state and the school may choose to attend any of the locations. No deferrals are allowed.
- On-site evaluation – The school must submit to an on-site evaluation from FHSAA staff to determine proficiency with Association matters.