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 Professional Development

NWAIS Offers an Extensive Calendar of Professional Development To Move Your School Forward.


NWAIS Professional Development
is grounded in the Core Values of the Association, especially, those of:  

  • Ongoing School Improvement and
  • Collegial Relationships and Ethical Leadership

Each program lives these values through providing high caliber training along with time for structured and unstructured networking.  We recognize that members learn as much from the experience and expertise of colleagues as from outside experts.

Professional Development From Dipping Toes to Deep Dives

NWAIS offers a variety of approaches to Professional Development, allowing attendees to get started in a topic or develop high-level expertise.  Types of programming include:
  • Conferences - multi-day, residential events, generally targeted at a specific job category
  • Workshops - Single day, topic-based events
  • Online Courses - Online and blended courses offered in partnership with Independent School Consortia
  • Fellowship for Collaborative Innovation - A monetary award to support in-depth research and reporting by a group formed to explore a topic by individuals from multiple schools from within the Association

Broad Reach

NWAIS Professional Development brings trending topics and best practices to a broad variety of audiences within our member schools including:
  • Heads of School
  • Trustees and Board Chairs
  • Educators and Educational Leaders
  • Business Officers
  • Division Heads and Deans
  • Development, Communications and Admissions Professionals
  • Diversity Practitioners
  • Head’s Assistants and Administrative Assistants
  • Facilities Managers
  • Librarians
  • NWAIS also offers ad hoc programming each year to serve new topics and additional groups and subgroups.

NWAIS also offers one program a year to bring together students from across the Association. The Student Diversity Leadership Retreat serves Middle School and Upper School Student Leaders in alternating years and offers an opportunity for students of all backgrounds to gather, share their experience and build skills around inclusion, justice and equity.

Member Pricing

While the majority of NWAIS programs are open to the general public, members enjoy a significant discount on registration, making NWAIS Professional Development some of the most affordable available.  Because the program is subsidized by dues, which are based on school operating budgets the events are some of the most accessible programming for our smaller, resource constrained schools.

Programs Specifically Tailored to Independent Schools

Independent Schools face challenges and opportunities that may not be applicable to our colleagues from other educational systems.  Likewise many opportunities and challenges faced in other systems may not apply to Independent Schools.  This is true of the formal, structural differences, such as being tuition based, and grounded in cultures of philanthropy, and governed by a Board of Trustees. This is also true of the more nuanced differences such as the diversity of missions and educational approaches, approaches to testing, faculty evaluation etc.  NWAIS Professional Development curates topics that speak to the needs of our member schools and works with speakers to understand the characteristics that our schools have in common and the variety of aspects that set them apart.

Follow Us!







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  • 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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