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.

Essential Characteristics of NWAIS Schools

In order to assist schools in fulfilling their commitment to provide children a high-quality educational experience, we believe that schools that are mission-appropriate for the Association support the mission and core values of the Association and abide by the following essential characteristics for NWAIS schools.

Commitment to the Public Good

As nonprofit 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, organizational citizenship, and providing models of quality organizations, curriculum and instruction.

Effective Governance and Operations

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.

Primary Focus of Academic Education

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.

Commitment to the Best Interests of Children

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.

NWAIS Non-discrimination Statement for Affiliated Schools

Member schools do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, national or ethnic origin, or other legally protected status in admission of otherwise qualified students or in providing access to the rights, privileges, programs, or activities generally available to all students and their families, including educational policies, scholarship and other financial aid programs, or athletic, extra-curricular, and other school-administered programs and activities. Similarly, member schools do not discriminate in their hiring or employment practices on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, disability, national or ethnic origin, or other legally protected status. Single sex institutions, religious schools, or institutions serving students with learning differences or other special needs implement policies related to gender, religion, and learning differences or other special needs as appropriate to support their published mission statements.

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
  • October 2021
    • ThuOct21 SAGA School Open House 2021-2022 6:00 PM to 7:30 PMSeattle Area German American School (SAGA) 11010 Greenwood Ave N Seattle, WA 98133The SAGA School, a German immersion preschool through elementary school,is excited to announce its Open House series for the 2021-22 School Year. 

      Join us in person (following COVID health and safety protocols) to learn about the school and our programs. This is a great opportunity to meet some of the SAGA Staff and visit our classrooms. Children are welcome to attend.

      If you would like to receive an invitation to the Open House, please RSVP HERE
    • SatOct23 Villa Academy Open House 12:00 PM to 2:00 PM5001 NE 50th St, Seattle WA 98105Join us at Villa's Open House on Sat, October 23, 2021 from 12:00-2:00pm. This event will be held on-campus for prospective families exploring Preschool Age 3- Grade 8 at Villa Academy. Please online register for this event through Ravenna or email admissions@thevilla.org if you have any questions.
  • Guiding
  • Inspiring
  • Advancing
Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW, Suite 112
Seattle, Washington 98136
T: 206.323.6137 • info@nwais.org
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