PAIS asked a few Heads in a couple of sentences to share what has sustained them through these arduous months. Their responses are below:

  • I have a colleague who reminds me from time-to-time, "Don't forget to first place the oxygen mask on yourself before assisting others around you." Intentional self-care takes discipline, and I'm inconsistent, but 2020 has, in stark ways, underscored the importance of self-care as self-preservation. Indeed, I'm no good to those around me, at least with consistency, if I can't prioritize my own needs. 
    -Eric Jones, Community Partnership School
  • I have been sustained as a leader by the example set by our teachers. Our teachers have succeeded in creating both virtual and in-person havens where children have been able to feel loved and to thrive in this most impossible of scenarios. I am humbled and inspired as I see them persevere, in completely unfamiliar and unnatural and pedagogically counter-intuitive teaching conditions, and in the face of their own personal and overwhelming fear.
    -Avi Baran Monroe, Community Day School
  • As an Augustinian priest, I reflect on the words of St. Augustine who said: "From all that God's gives you, take what you need; the rest belongs to others." It isn't material things that I have in abundance but I do have the capacity to be empathic, more patient, less in a hurry, despite the mounds of administrivia, be more present to those with whom I have minimal contact on campus. I choose to proceed on this journey more as a companion than a problem solver. For me, spending some time during the day being with others on this journey changes everything about relationships; a better and doable way for me to lead and live my school's mission. Lesson learned. 
    -Father Donald Reilly, Malvern Preparatory School
  • Professionally, having several informal and semiformal professional networks in place to share ideas, ask questions, and quite frankly, often simply vent and seek fellowship has been a godsend. On a personal level, simply trying to get enough sleep has been a key as well as carving out blocks of time on the weekend to simply let everything go. I’d like to tell you I’m working out and eating well, but I’m not. Breaks and sleep seem to work best for me.
    -Michael Turner, The Shipley School
  • I think what has sustained me is the combination of the following. I hold myself to the standard that, as a Head of School, I have to be at my best when times are the hardest. Second, quite simply, I care deeply about my school community. This combination has seen me through more than a few challenges, including the current pandemic. 
    -Tom Wilshutz, Solebury School 

PAIS welcomes New School Montessori, Revolution School and St. Joseph's Preparatory School as our
newest member schools!



In order to keep you informed of the remarkable work that is taking place within PAIS,
that will result in a transformed Accreditation process, I am writing to update you and to
recognize the efforts of the many who are contributing to this exciting overhaul.We concluded our work this summer under the guidance of the Accreditation Summit Steering Committee with three important adaptations to the existing Accreditation process.
CLICK HERE to read the complete accreditation update.

Almost 90% of PAIS membership participated in the recent survey. Thank you! 
A report on the feedback will come in January, but here is a sampling of a few of the open-ended comments:


  • I am very pleased with how responsive PAIS has been to its members over the past couple of years.
  • Connecting me to peers is a help, and I appreciate when it happens. I commend Gary for being so good with managing communication. That alone has been helpful for faculty development and as a source of advice for this less than fully seasoned head.
  • Thank you for all you are doing and for opening the doors to improvement. It is greatly appreciated. I absolutely love the forward thinking that is going on.
  • Thank you PAIS for renewed vision and leadership. I look forward to seeing PAIS grow and become the strong organization to support independent schools, teachers, and leaders.
  • Thanks for your work on our behalf. Your lobbying efforts have been outstanding and I appreciate your desire for feedback and growth! Rock on, Gary and Co.

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