Connect. Collaborate. LEAD.

The Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to 95 independent private schools across Virginia. Together, those schools employ over 8,000 faculty, staff, and administrators, and educate close to 30,000 students in grades PreKindergarten-12. The experienced VAIS staff promotes the excellence, growth, and success of Virginia's independent schools by providing relevant and rewarding opportunities for connection, collaboration, and leadership.

Our Mission

The Virginia Association of Independent Schools is the leader in advancing and advocating for independent school education in Virginia.

Our Core Values

VAIS is guided by these three core values and their lived expression in our schools:

  1. INDEPENDENCE Independent schools are defined by their academic, financial, and administrative autonomy. VAIS schools establish their own unique missions, welcome mission-appropriate students, and demonstrate respect for diverse and inclusive communities.
  2. EXCELLENCE Independent schools are uniquely positioned to advance excellence in an ever-changing educational landscape. VAIS schools design their own curriculum, define their own faculty expectations, determine benchmarks for student success, and engage in ongoing internal review.
  3. COMMUNITY 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, advancing dynamic educational opportunities for their students.

Our Services

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.
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