We are committed to...
  • encouraging diverse points of view.
  • continuous reflection and on-going improvement.
  • collegial relationships and ethical leadership.
  • independent education options for families.
  • promoting the independence of our schools.
  • quality standards without standardization.
  • assisting schools in fulfilling their missions.

NWAIS Core Values

As we work together to advance the mission of NWAIS, we are guided by Core Values. These essential principles enrich our relationships, guide our professional development programs, shape our member services, and inform our process for school accreditation.

Healthy, Just, Diverse, and Inclusive Communities

NWAIS understands that schools are more than institutions. Our schools are also communities that extend beyond traditional boundaries, and include students and families of many types, backgrounds, and ethnicities. NWAIS schools are good citizens in their actual neighborhoods, and often, active members of virtual, global networks of schools. Collaboration, collegiality, acknowledgement of their interconnectedness, and regard for the search for knowledge and understanding characterize our schools, both inside their classrooms and beyond their walls. Whatever their size, type, philosophy and program, NWAIS schools are committed to creating and enhancing environments for their students and staff that are safe, equitable, diverse, and welcoming.

Continuous Improvement

NWAIS values inquiry, innovation, and a dedication to continuous improvement as essential to school success. The association views ongoing professional development as necessary for progress, and, accordingly, offers members a rich program of workshops and conferences each year. Similarly, the association offers formal and informal consulting to facilitate school change and growth. NWAIS holds that nothing is more important to a school’s sustained improvement than the process of accreditation. It has been said that there is no greater professional development than serving on an accreditation visiting team. In the same way, NWAIS believes that there is no agent more powerful than accreditation for helping schools advance to their next level of excellence.

The Transformative Power of Leadership

NWAIS actively promotes the strengthening of current school leadership and the development of future school leadership based on the conviction that good schools can become great schools when guided by skilled, ethical, and visionary leaders. Furthermore, the association believes that, with coaching and training, good leaders can become great, and great leaders can become transformative, manifesting a compelling vision for their school that engages and inspires the entire community. Consequently, the association is committed to providing opportunities for the growth and development of current and potential school leaders – from board chairs and heads, to program directors, department chairs, business officers, and teachers – wherever they may be on their career path.

The Positive Impact of Independent School Education

NWAIS celebrates the time-tested independent school commitment to educating the whole child through intentional programs based upon strong scholastic, civic, moral, and ethical values. The association champions the unique experience and distinctive culture that every independent school offers as fundamental to student and school success. Through professional development programs and the process of accreditation, NWAIS provides practical support to its member schools as they strive to unleash student potential through exceptional teaching and extraordinary learning opportunities. The association advances independent school education by encouraging schools, in ways appropriate to their missions, to experiment and innovate in program and pedagogy so their students can become life-long learners, and successful citizens contributing to the common good.

Our Mission

The Northwest Association of Independent Schools promotes the ongoing improvement of its member schools and advances independent school education by:

  • Supporting schools
    in achieving
    their missions
  • Cultivating excellence in school leadership
  • Furthering diversity, equity and inclusion
  • Encouraging free and open inquiry
  • Fostering collegial
    and collaborative relationships
  • Championing our public purpose

-- Approved by the
NWAIS membership
Sunday, May 2, 2016

Upcoming Events
  • November 27, 2017
    • Gig Harbor Academy Parent Tours 6820 32nd St. NW., Gig Harbor, WA 98366

      Come by and take a tour of the campus and explore all that Gig Harbor Academy has to offer. To book a tour please call us at 253-265-2150 or email us at admissions@gigharboracademy.org.

    November 28, 2017
    • Giddens School Tour 9:00 AM to 11:00 AMGiddens School

      Please join us for a tour and get a close-up look at our school. Visit our classrooms and meet members of our community, including students, families, and faculty.

  • Guiding
  • Inspiring
  • Advancing
Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 • dstone@nwais.org
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