As not-for-profit organizations under the IRS code 501(c) (3), NWAIS schools must provide for the public good. We expect schools to accomplish this by offering an independent educational option for a wide variety of families and by giving back to their community through service, economic development, and providing models of quality organizations, curriculum and instruction.
Success of NWAIS schools is secured through governance structures that provide fiduciary responsibility and strategic oversight, the goal of which is long term viability. These structures work in partnership with an administrative structure that effectively manages the daily operation of the organization, ensuring the sustainability of the school for faculty, staff, and families.
Top educational opportunities and experiences for elementary and secondary children are grounded in teacher-student interactions. To this end, we expect schools to have a campus where students are able to frequently and meaningfully interact with adults and peers.
NWAIS only accredits schools whose primary focus is academic education. In addition, the Association only accredits schools in their entirety; it does not accredit parts of school programs. The mission, philosophy, and goals of our schools articulate a commitment to academic preparation; ensuring students are inspired toward and prepared for subsequent educational opportunities. This requires NWAIS schools to create relevant and current curricula, with pedagogies based on present understanding of learning. NWAIS does not accredit schools whose primary focus is therapeutic, wilderness based, or athletic. NWAIS schools prepare students for pursuit of future educational opportunities.
NWAIS schools demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the best interests of the students and families they serve. This includes commitments to the long term sustainability of the school; providing the continuity of educational experience through to the graduation of the child; promoting a safe and inclusive community; adequate resources for advising and counseling of students at their developmental age; and comprehensive programming for residential programs in schools that have them.