National Association of Independent Schools

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) is a U.S.-based membership organization for private, nonprofit, K-12 schools. Founded in 1962, NAIS represents independent schools and associations in the United States, including day, boarding, and day/boarding schools; elementary and secondary schools; boys', girls', and coeducational schools. NAIS has affiliate members internationally as well.

National Association of Independent Schools
Horizontal-NAIS-logo-thin.jpg
AbbreviationNAIS
TypeNon-governmental organization
PurposeK-12 education
Main organ
Independent School
Websitenais.org

NAIS's mission is to be the national voice of independent schools and the center for collective action on their behalf.

MembershipEdit

As of the 2010-11 school year, NAIS represented approximately 1,400 member independent schools and associations in the US, serving more than 562,000 students and 121,000 teachers, administrators, and other staff.

Membership in NAIS is open to independent pre-college schools that are operated by nonprofit organizations. To become a full member of NAIS, a school must have operated for at least five years and must be accredited by an accrediting organization approved by NAIS.[1]

Criteria for accreditationEdit

Over the course of a 10-year cycle, associations prepare a self-study demonstrating compliance with the Criteria for Effective Independent School Accreditation Practices. The criteria provide common ground for member associations by delineating best practices, policies, and procedures. In addition, associations use the Model Core Standards—a set of “ideal” standards—in assessing their own standards.

As part of the process of “accrediting the accreditors,” each member association:

  • Hosts a visit from a team composed of commission members;
  • Receives written recommendations from the commission; and
  • Engages in followup activities designed to improve the state or regional accreditation process.

Accountability serves two purposes: ongoing association improvement and advancement, and the assurance of excellence in the accreditation process for member associations and their independent schools.

BackgroundEdit

HistoryEdit

The NAIS was organized in 1962, the result of the merger of the Independent Schools Education Board and the National Council of Independent Schools.[2][3]

In response to requests from several state, regional, and national accrediting organizations, the NAIS commission on accreditation was established by the NAIS Board of Trustees in 2001 and convened for the first time in 2002. The 19 member commission's work was intended to assure the quality of independent school accrediting programs.

A primary responsibility of the commission was to developing a public understanding of, and credibility for, state and regional accrediting programs. In addition, the commission,

  • developed criteria for effective independent school accreditation practices, exemplary standards, and models of successful accreditation policies and procedures.
  • engaged in research to inform accreditation practice.

The commission met on a regular basis and was guided by established operating protocols. It was composed of members from state and regional accrediting associations that were members of NAIS as well as at-large members, and NAIS Board members.

After several years of planning to create a new, international organization, the NAIS commission on accreditation disbanded in 2018. The successor organization, the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA), began formal operations in 2018 as an independent 501(c)(3) organization.[4]

Organizational structureEdit

The NAIS board of trustees is made up of an eighteen members, led by the officers and the Executive Committee. Board members serve three-year terms. The board appoints the NAIS president, who oversees association business with the aid of a small staff.

The member associations of NAIS are accountable to one another through a process patterned on the independent school accreditation model. Over the course of a 10-year cycle, associations prepared a self-study demonstrating compliance with the Criteria for Effective Independent School Accreditation Practices. The criteria provided common ground for member associations by delineating best practices, policies, and procedures. In addition, associations used Model Core Standards — a set of “ideal” standards — in assessing their own standards. As part of the process of “accrediting the accreditors”, each member association hosts a visit from other accredited member association, receives written recommendations, and engages in follow-up activities designed to improve the state or regional accreditation process. As with school accreditation, this served two purposes: institutional improvement and quality assurance.

Commission on accreditationEdit

The following are state, regional, and international accrediting organizations that were members of the NAIS commission on accreditation and became founding members of the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA):

State accrediting associations

Regional, national and international accrediting associations

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Membership, NAIS website, accessed October 6, 2010
  2. ^ "Mission and Purpose - International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA)". www.icaisa.org. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  3. ^ "National Association of Independent Schools | Encyclopedia.com". www.encyclopedia.com. Retrieved 2020-08-15.
  4. ^ "Home - International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA)". www.icaisa.org. Retrieved 2020-08-15.

External linksEdit