Together, the Virginia Association of Independent School's 94 members employ over 8,000 faculty, staff, and administrators, and educate nearly 30,000 students in grades pre kindergarten-12/postgraduate. Governed by an independent Board of Directors, the Association is served by an experienced staff which promotes the excellence, growth, and success of Virginia's independent schools by providing relevant and rewarding opportunities for connection, collaboration, and leadership. 


VAIS advances excellence in Virginia’s independent schools.

Core Values


Independent schools are defined by their academic, financial, and administrative autonomy. VAIS schools
establish their individual missions, welcome mission-appropriate students, and demonstrate respect for diverse
and inclusive communities.


Independent schools are uniquely positioned to champion excellence in teaching and learning. VAIS schools
design their own curriculum, define their own faculty expectations, determine benchmarks for student success,
and engage in ongoing internal review and improvement.


Independent schools foster communities of learning strengthened by local, national, and global perspectives.
VAIS schools benefit from the diversity of the Association’s membership to build and nurture supportive and
strategic relationships.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice

The Virginia Association of Independent Schools is committed to nurturing and enhancing a workplace environment and governance structure that is diverse, inclusive, and equitable. The Association believes in the power of diversity to make the most thoughtful and inclusive decisions to best serve its member schools. 

To promote a climate that fosters these values, the Association’s Leadership and Board of Directors make it a priority to recruit, hire, support, and retain staff and appoint Directors who share these values.

The Association’s strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice is represented in its policies and procedures and by its active work to support member schools in their efforts to attract, retain, and care for a diverse school community where all members are valued and respected and feel a sense of belonging.

VAIS is an equal opportunity employer. It is the policy of VAIS to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified persons without regard to race, color, sex (including pregnancy), age, national origin, ancestry, religion, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status. VAIS complies with all applicable laws and regulations regarding discrimination in employment.


The purpose of the Association is advanced through:
  • An evaluation and accreditation program, recognized and approved by the Virginia State Board of Education and the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA), that stimulates continued improvement of its schools
  • The sponsorship of a broad program of professional opportunities for teachers, administrators, and trustees that improves their professional skills and enhances the educational opportunities of its member schools
  • The safeguarding of the interests of member schools in matters of legislation and regulation
  • The promotion of the well-being of the public’s regard for member schools
  • The promotion of independent education and related issues, and
  • Cooperation with other associations, organizations, and agencies in increasing and improving educational opportunities in Virginia