FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school that is privately run. SFACS is a public charter school operating within Miami-Dade County Public Schools.

What is the tuition at SFACS?
SFACS is a public charter school, and as such, there is no tuition to attend SFACS.

Does my child need the McKay Scholarship to attend SFACS?
No.

Will my child lose McKay benefits while attending SFACS?
No.

I would like to tour the school. How can I arrange this?
School Tours are conducted once per week. Parents who wish to visit our school should contact our office at (305) 823-2700 to make a reservation. However, before making a reservation for a tour, we recommend that you read all of the Frequently Asked Questions, as well as the Curriculum and Enrollment sections of our website.

My student does not have a public school IEP – what do I do?
You must go to your child’s home school, or contact your local Region office. This information can be found at dadeschools.net.

How can I find out if my child is eligible to apply at SFACS?
First, your child must meet the eligibility requirements as stated on the “Enrollment” page of this website. Second, you must reside in Miami-Dade or Broward County. Next, you must submit an Enrollment Application with a copy of your child’s most recent public school IEP. We cannot answer questions regarding eligibility by telephone.

My child is “high-functioning.” Is SFACS an appropriate setting for my child?
At SFACS, we prefer to not classify our children as “high” or “low” functioning. All of our students are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), and we seek to serve students with ASD who have one or more of the following: behavioral issues, communication deficits and/or who may require training with self-help skills, i.e., dressing, feeding, toileting. However, the only definite way to determine if SFACS is the appropriate setting for your child is by going through the Application Process.

Is SFACS a year-round school?
We are a public school and thus, we follow the same calendar as the Miami-Dade Public School system and our school year runs from August through June. We do offer a Summer Camp program; however, this is a privately run program and there is a cost to participate.

What are the similarities/differences between SFACS and a traditional public school?
Similarities: Like a traditional public school, we offer a curriculum based on the state-approved standards for students on modified curriculum. We also comply with the stipulations stated in each child’s IEP. SFACS follows the same calendar, hours of operations, etc., as Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Differences: (1) We are an ABA/VB school; this means that we utilize the methodologies of B.F. Skinner’s Theory of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) and the principles of Verbal Behavior in the implementation of our curriculum. All staff members are trained in ABA, and we have a Master’s level Board Certified Behavioral Consultant (BCBA) who works with the school. Additionally, we provide individualized curriculum programs for each student utilizing the following curricula: Verbal Behavior MAPP, Assessment for Basic Learning and Language Skills-Revised, Assessment for Functional Living Skills, and Essentials for Living. This is a curriculum program that utilizes the methodologies of ABA. Another difference is that our entire population is diagnosed with autism and so, there are no neurotypical peer models at the school.

What background, training and certifications do the Teachers and Teacher Assistants have?
All Teachers meet the Highly Qualified requirements as set forth by the Florida Department of Education. Teacher Assistants must have completed a minimum of two years of college. All Teachers and Teacher Assistants are trained in the methodologies of ABA.

My child has a 1:1 paraprofessional stipulated in their IEP. Will this service be provided at SFACS?
Due to our low student-to-teacher ratio, Miami-Dade County Public Schools will need to re-evaluate whether or not your child will keep their 1:1 paraprofessional when transferring to our school. If this is approved, the paraprofessional would be hired by and be an employee of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, not SFACS.