Why Independent Schools?

What are VAIS Independent Schools?
VAIS Independent schools are not-for-profit schools that are governed by an independent board of trustees and have non-discrimination policies in both admissions and employment. They teach different kinds of students and use differing educational strategies, which gives families a large selection from which to choose. Independent schools provide educational excellence in a safe, supportive environment. VAIS schools have met rigorous standards as set out by our accreditation process. To be a VAIS member, a school must have an independent Board of Trustees and follow governance and professional development guidelines as part of their accreditation. In addition, they must adhere to VAIS standards and undergo a cyclical review process.

Why a VAIS Independent School?
Independent schools have unique attributes that translate into superior opportunities and services for students and families. The blend of a mission-driven approach and a resource-rich environment allows independent schools to meet each student’s intellectual, social, and emotional needs.

A small independent school environment requires that most students and their families participate in its athletic, art, community service and other extracurricular programs in order to sustain them. In an independent school, most students can find areas in which they are able to excel.
As independent schools, they have the freedom to create programs and environments that are designed specifically for the students they serve. They can stretch, create and be innovative, all while maintaining adherence to high academic standards. As a result, VAIS schools place students in excellent universities and colleges. VAIS schools track their graduates to monitor their success and use that data to help improve or modify their programs to better meet the needs of students beyond school.

Motivated VAIS Faculty
Independence allows schools to select faculty and staff whose qualifications can range from expertise in the business world to PhDs. All are teachers, but many offer a broader range of experience to bring to the classroom. Teachers who choose an independent school are sometimes independent school graduates and are often those looking for greater freedom to be innovative. 

VAIS Independent School Fast Facts

  • Are independently governed by an elected Board of Trustees, as opposed to a public school board.
  • They may offer International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement, Reggio Emilia, Montessori or more traditional curriculum programs.
  • They provide an exceptional range of co-curricular opportunities that include leadership, community service, athletics, arts and international travel.
  • They provide safe, nurturing environments for students.
  • They may be coeducational or single sex.
  • They may be day schools, boarding schools, or a combination.
  • They may offer a religious curriculum or a secular one.
  • They offer a growing range of financial aid opportunities.
  • They are financed by tuition, charitable donations, and endowment revenue.
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