(a) The department shall annually publish on its website a list of providers approved by the State Board of Education to offer virtual instruction programs. To be approved, a virtual instruction program provider must document that it:
1. Is nonsectarian in its programs, admission policies, employment practices, and operations;
2. Complies with the antidiscrimination provisions of s. 1000.05; 3. Locates an administrative office or offices in this state, requires its administrative staff to be state residents, requires all instructional staff to be Florida-certified teachers under chapter 1012 and conducts background screenings for all employees or contracted personnel, as required by s. 1012.32, using state and national criminal history records; 4. Electronically provides to parents and students specific information that includes, but is not limited to, the following teacher-parent and teacher-student contact information for each course:
a. How to contact the instructor via phone, e-mail, or online messaging tools.
b. How to contact technical support via phone, e-mail, or online messaging tools.
c. How to contact the administration office via phone, e-mail, or online messaging tools.
d. Any requirement for regular contact with the instructor for the course and clear expectations for meeting the requirement.
e. The requirement that the instructor in each course must, at a minimum, conduct one contact with the parent and the student each month;
5. Possesses prior, successful experience offering virtual instruction courses to elementary, middle, or high school students as demonstrated by quantified student learning gains in each subject area and grade level provided for consideration as an instructional program option. However, for a virtual instruction program provider without sufficient prior, successful experience offering online courses, the State Board of Education may conditionally approve the virtual instruction program provider to offer courses measured pursuant to subparagraph (7)(a)2. Conditional approval shall be valid for 1 school year only and, based on the virtual instruction program provider’s experience in offering the courses, the State Board of Education may grant approval to offer a virtual instruction program;
6. Is accredited by a regional accrediting association as defined by State Board of Education rule;
7. Ensures instructional and curricular quality through a detailed curriculum and student performance accountability plan that addresses every subject and grade level it intends to provide through contract with the school district, including:
a. Courses and programs that meet the standards of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning and the Southern Regional Education Board.
b. Instructional content and services that align with, and measure student attainment of, student proficiency in the state academic standards.
c. Mechanisms that determine and ensure that a student has satisfied requirements for grade level promotion and high school graduation with a standard diploma, as appropriate;
8. Publishes, in accordance with disclosure requirements adopted in rule by the State Board of Education, as part of its application as an approved virtual instruction program provider and in all contracts negotiated pursuant to this section:
a. Information and data about the curriculum of each full-time and part-time virtual instruction program.
b. School policies and procedures.
c. Certification status and physical location of all administrative and instructional personnel.
d. Hours and times of availability of instructional personnel.
e. Student-teacher ratios.
f. Student completion and promotion rates.
g. Student, educator, and school performance accountability outcomes;
9. If the approved virtual instruction program provider is a Florida College System institution, employs instructors who meet the certification requirements for instructional staff under chapter 1012; and
10. Performs an annual financial audit of its accounts and records conducted by an independent auditor who is a certified public accountant licensed under chapter 473. The independent auditor shall conduct the audit in accordance with rules adopted by the Auditor General and in compliance with generally accepted auditing standards, and include a report on financial statements presented in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. The audit report shall be accompanied by a written statement from the approved virtual instruction program provider in response to any deficiencies identified within the audit report and shall be submitted by the approved virtual instruction program provider to the State Board of Education and the Auditor General no later than 9 months after the end of the preceding fiscal year.