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PNAIS Core Values

In living the mission of PNAIS, the following core values guide the Association’s interactions, services, and accreditation standards. These core values are essential to assisting schools in providing high quality education for children.

PNAIS schools believe that the latitude to determine their own missions and philosophies, to select their faculty and students, and to develop their curricula is an essential prerequisite for their success.  Accordingly, PNAIS schools are self-governing and self-supporting without substantial dependence upon government, other entities, or individuals.  Maintaining this independence requires an outreach to and appreciation by a variety of audiences, including policy makers, the media, prospective parents and students, and prospective teachers.

Free and Open Inquiry

PNAIS schools actively encourage students to explore diverse points of view and to engage in lively and respectful discourse with their teachers and peers about any ideas, cultures, and values different from their own. PNAIS schools teach students to think critically and to challenge their own perspectives as they grow in their knowledge of the broader world. PNAIS schools create and sustain a culture in which students are free to express their own ideas and to hear and seek to understand the ideas of others.

Commitment to Diversity

The inclusion of diverse perspectives and backgrounds strengthens the quality of a school’s culture and educational program.  A commitment to diversity acknowledges and honors the diverse perspectives and backgrounds within the school community and makes every member feel that he or she belongs and is equally valued.  PNAIS believes that this commitment to diversity is essential for free and open inquiry to flourish.

PNAIS believes that schools whose geography or mission limits the diversity of the school community must still provide their students with access to, knowledge of, and opportunity for open discourse about different perspectives and backgrounds in ways that are meaningful and that clearly demonstrate commitment to the PNAIS core values of commitment to diversity and free and open inquiry.

Ongoing School Improvement

PNAIS schools are expected to engage in a continuous process of research, reflection and on-going improvement that enables them to stay relevant to their missions and to the students and families they serve.  Schools demonstrate this commitment by working continuously to improve their educational programs, actively participating in professional development opportunities and pursuing and maintaining accreditation by PNAIS.

Collegial Relationships and Ethical Leadership

PNAIS has benefitted from a long tradition of collegial relationships and ethical leadership manifested by our schools. To sustain this tradition, schools voluntarily operate in accordance with good independent school practices and PNAIS accreditation standards. Schools support their employees in serving on accreditation visiting teams, in attending professional development conferences, in serving as PNAIS volunteers on committees that help guide the development and delivery of association services, and in assisting other schools with building and strengthening their programs. This active participation and willingness to serve the greater good contributes to the overall success of the Association and benefits our schools and the individuals within them as they appreciate and learn from the diversity of experience that each school brings to the Association.

News & Events

PNAIS is Hiring
We are seeking a qualified individual to serve as a part-time Coordinator of Accreditation ServicesClick here to learn more.

2012 Accreditation Materials
The latest revisions of the PNAIS Self Study and Accreditation Handbook are now available for download.

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School Calendars
Parents, visit our School Open House Calendar and check out our online School Search to learn more about PNAIS schools in your area! Also, be sure to visit the Summer Program Calendar!

Upcoming Conferences

Registration Open
June 20-21, 2013 (Thurs.-Fri.)
Administrative Assistants Workshop
Location: Talaris Conference Center, Seattle, WA

Registration Open
June 24-26, 2013 (Mon.-Wed.)
Leadership Institute
Location: Sleeping Lady Resort, Leavenworth, WA
Save the Dates for 2013-14

Registration Open
June 24-26, 2013 (Mon.-Wed.)
Diversity Practitioners Retreat
Location: Sleeping Lady Resort, Leavenworth, WA

Registration Open

New Heads Institute
August 6-9, 2013
Alderbrook Resort, Union, WA

Save the Dates

Self Study Workshop
October 10, 2013
Location: TBA

Fall Educators Conference
October 11, 2013
The Overlake School, Redmond, WA

Institutional Leadership Conference
November 2-3, 2013
The Cedarbrook Lodge, SeaTac, WA

Fall Heads Meeting
November 3-4, 2013
The Cedarbrook Lodge, SeaTac, WA

Spring Heads Meeting
May 4-6, 2014
Location: TBA

PNAIS - Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools
5001 California Ave. SW (Suite 112) Seattle, Washington 98136   Tel.:    Fax:    Email:
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