Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) is a voluntary membership organization of private independent schools serving students in nursery/preschool through grade 12, upholding and enhancing educational standards in Pennsylvania and Delaware.
PAIS is an advocate and strong voice for private independent education in the Commonwealth as well as in Delaware. Pennsylvania Association of Private Academic Schools (PAPAS), now the Commission for Accreditation under PAIS, was founded and approved by the State to accredit independent schools in 1948. PAIS was founded in the 1960s when it became clear that there was a need for independent schools to have a voice in the state legislature. By 1972, both organizations were incorporated as not-for-profit organizations.
As years passed, it became clear that additional services were needed to enhance the effectiveness of private independent schools. Many of schools maintained membership in both organizations. In 1992, PAIS combined efforts with PAPAS under one Executive Director and staff.
In 2004 the two organizations began exploring the possibility of merging for efficiency and effectiveness in serving member schools. After careful planning and with legal counsel both organizations commited to moving ahead with the merger.
On May 18, 2006, at the Annual Meetings of each association, the membership voted unanimously to approve the merger of PAPAS into PAIS. The Bylaws of the new corporation were approved.
July 1, 2006 the merger became effective and the new PAIS became "one voice for independent education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania."
PAIS is an affiliate member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the PAIS Commission for Accreditation is a member of NAIS Commission on Accreditation.