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Essential Characteristics of PNAIS Schools

In order to assist schools in fulfilling their commitment to provide children a high-quality educational experience, we believe that schools that are mission-appropriate for the Association support the mission and core values of the Association and abide by the following essential characteristics for PNAIS schools:

Commitment to the Public Good

As not-for-profit organizations under the IRS code 501(c) (3), PNAIS schools must provide for the public good.  We expect schools to accomplish this by offering an independent educational option for a wide variety of families and by giving back to their community through service, economic development, and providing models of quality organizations, curriculum and instruction. 

Effective Governance and Operations

Success of PNAIS schools is secured through governance structures that provide fiduciary responsibility and strategic oversight, the goal of which is long term viability. These structures work in partnership with an administrative structure that effectively manages the daily operation of the organization, ensuring the sustainability of the school for faculty, staff, and families.

Physical Location or Place

Top educational opportunities and experiences for elementary and secondary children are grounded in teacher-student interactions. To this end, we expect schools to have a campus where students are able to frequently and meaningfully interact with adults and peers.

Primary Focus of Academic Education

PNAIS only accredits schools whose primary focus is academic education. In addition, the Association only accredits schools in their entirety; it does not accredit parts of school programs. The mission, philosophy, and goals of our schools articulate a commitment to academic preparation; ensuring students are inspired toward and prepared for subsequent educational opportunities. This requires PNAIS schools to create relevant and current curricula, with pedagogies based on present understanding of learning. PNAIS does not accredit schools whose primary focus is therapeutic, wilderness based, or athletic. PNAIS schools prepare students for pursuit of future educational opportunities.

Commitment to the Best Interests of Children

PNAIS schools demonstrate an ongoing commitment to the best interests of the students and families they serve. This includes commitments to the long term sustainability of the school; providing the continuity of educational experience through to the graduation of the child; promoting a safe and inclusive community; adequate resources for advising and counseling of students at their developmental age; and comprehensive programming for residential programs in schools that have them.

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Upcoming Conferences

Registration Now Open
June 18-20, 2012 (Mon.-Wed.)
Institutional Advancement Conference
Location: Cedarbrook Lodge, SeaTac, WA

Registration Now Open
June 25-27, 2012 (Mon.-Wed.)
Leadership Institute
Location: Sleeping Lady Resort, Leavenworth, WA

Registration Now Open
June 25-27, 2012 (Mon.-Wed.)
Diversity Practitioners Retreat
Location: Sleeping Lady Resort, Leavenworth, WA

Save the Dates
Academic Year 2012-13

Registration Now Open

July 2-3, 2012 (Mon.-Tues.)
Tech Share Conference
Location: Talaris Conference Center, Seattle, WA

Registration Now Open
August 7-10, 2012 (Tues.-Fri.)
New Heads Institute
Location: Alderbrook Resort, Union, WA

September 10, 2012
Bloodborne Pathogens Workshop
Location: Seattle Country Day School, Seattle, WA

September 22, 2012 (Sat.)
New Trustees Workshop
Location: Island School,
Bainbridge Island, WA

September 23, 2012 (Sun.)
New Trustees Workshop
Location: Seattle Hebrew Academy, Seattle, WA

September 29, 2012 (Sat.)
New Trustees Workshop
Location: The Catlin Gabel School, Portland, OR

October 11, 2012 (Thurs.)
Self Study Coordinators Workshop
Location: Annie Wright School
Tacoma, WA

October 12, 2012 (Fri.)
Fall Educators Conference
Location: Annie Wright School
Tacoma, WA

October 24, 2012 (Wed.)
Critical Conversation Lab
Location: Bright Water School, Seattle, WA

November 3-4, 2012 (Sat.-Sun.)
Institutional Leadership Conference
Location: Cedarbrook Lodge
Seatac, WA

November 4-5, 2012 (Sun.-Mon.)
Fall Heads Meeting
Location: Cedarbrook Lodge
Seatac, WA

November 6, 2012 (Tues.)
Sustainable Fundraising Workshop
Location: University Child Development School, Seattle, WA

Dec. 3, 2013 (Mon.)
Meeting the Needs of All Learners Through Differentiated Instruction
Location: Bertschi School, Seattle, WA

Jan. 18, 2013 (Fri.)
The Framework of Teaching – Using the Danielson Model To Design An Effective Teacher Evaluation Model (limited to 40 people)
Location: Hamlin Robinson School, Seattle, WA

February 8-9, 2013 (Fri.-Sat.)
Student Diversity Leadership Retreat
For Students in grades 10, 11 and 12
Location: The Overlake School, Redmond, WA

Mar. 4, 2013 (Mon.)
Playful Literacy: Supporting the Connections Between the Arts and Literacy in Early Childhood Education
Location: Epiphany School, Seattle, WA

Mar. 18, 2013 (Mon.)
Small School Response to Critical Events
Location: Seattle Girls' School, Seattle, WA

April 21-23, 2013 (Sun.-Tues.)
Business Officers Conference
Location: TBA

May 5-7, 2013 (Sun.-Tues.)
Spring Heads Conference
Location: TBA

May 18, 2013 (Sat.)
Board Chairs Workshop
Location: TBA

June 20-21, 2013 (Thurs.-Fri.)
Administrative Assistants
Location: TBA

June 24-26, 2013 (Mon.-Wed.)
Leadership Institute
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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