VAIS Standards for Membership

Aligning with best practices

Accreditation is a voluntary process intended to be qualitative in nature, undertaken by schools committed to common expectations of excellence in independent school education. While the school’s own mission is the primary lens through which the school should self-assess, the VAIS Standards serve as principles of best practice for independent schools and should be considered by the school on a continual basis.
1. The school’s mission guides its policies and practices and is evident in the climate, culture, and program of the school.

2. The program fulfills the educational and developmental needs of the students, meets the requirements of learning and living in a diverse and globally-connected society, and reflects ongoing internal review.

3. The school authentically communicates its mission and values, creating a community that understands and supports the mission while engaging in the life of the school.

4. The faculty, administration, and staff support the mission of the school, are qualified for their positions, engage in ongoing evaluation and professional growth, and effectively implement the program.

5. The Head of School serves as the chief executive, is the sole employee of and only direct report to the governing body, and is ultimately responsible for the operational and educational management of the school.

6. The governing body of the school is independent and deliberative, with clearly defined roles and responsibilities, and works in partnership with the Head of School to ensure that fiduciary and strategic policies advance the school.

7. The governing body and the Head of School jointly assure that the financial resources are sufficient to sustain the program and are efficiently managed.

8. The school’s facilities and equipment are sufficient to meet the needs of the program and are maintained to provide an effective and safe learning environment.

9. The school’s care for the health, safety, and welfare of the students is evident in its policies and practices.

10. [IF APPLICABLE] The residential program is so conceived and staffed as to reflect the mission of the school and provide a healthy and safe environment.

11. [IF APPLICABLE] The preschool and/or extended day program is conceived and staffed so as to reflect the mission of the school and provide a healthy, safe, and developmentally appropriate environment.


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