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Best Practices for Member Schools

Participation in PAIS Activities for Member Schools:
  • Heads of member schools are expected to make every effort to participate in the PAIS Annual Conference and Meeting.
  • As schedules permit, Heads should volunteer to serve on PAIS Board appointed Committees and as Chairs of Evaluation visits.
  • Heads of PAIS accredited schools shall provide volunteers of enthusiastic and talented faculty and staff from their schools to serve on visiting evaluation committees.
  • Heads are expected to pass on appropriate information from PAIS to their faculty and staff and to respond to reasonable PAIS requests in a timely manner.
  • As funding and schedules permit, PAIS member schools should support the Association with attendance at planned professional development opportunities.

Governance Practice for Member Schools:
The board is the guardian of the school's mission. It is the board's responsibility to ensure that the mission is relevant and vital to the community it serves and to monitor the success of the school in fulfilling its mission. (ICAISA Principles of Good Practice)
The primary responsibility of the head of an independent school is to carry out the school's stated mission. (ICAISA Principles of Good Practice)

  • Under normal circumstances, accountability for the operation of the school is vested in the school head and his/her assistants with the ultimate responsibility held by the board.
  • The role of the board is to establish policies, which will ensure the viability of the institution for future generations. The board is responsible for decisions related to mission, fiscal well-being of the institution, appointment of the head, and overseeing effective implementation of policies that it lays down.  The Board and its members work within the parameters of a general understanding between the Board and the Head when contacting members of the faculty and staff.
  • The role of the head is to implement the school mission and the long-range plan at the operational level. The head is primarily responsible for decisions related to the day-to-day management of the school including, but not restricted to, such areas as admissions, curriculum, program, staffing, and organization.
  • While the head manages the operations within the school, the head also works closely with the board to ensure a consistent bridge between governance and management. The board and the head will normally collaborate on major decisions that may have a significant impact on the school.

Finance Practice for Member Schools:
  • Member schools annually conduct an opinion audit of the entire school operation and submit the Auditor’s Opinion Letter to PAIS in a timely manner.

Admission Practices for Member Schools:
  • Member schools shall not initiate the transfer or recruitment of students from other member schools.
  • Member schools shall recognize the right of currently enrolled students to consider other educational options and will provide appropriate support in that process.

Employment Practice for Member Schools:
  • Member schools shall not offer a contract to an individual under contract at another member school without first contacting the Head of that institution.

Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) • 37 East Germantown Pike, Suite 302 • Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
610-567-2960 • Fax 610-567-2963


PAIS is an equal opportunity employer. PAIS and its member schools comply with all applicable laws and regulations regarding discrimination in admissions and employment.
PAIS is recognized by the Pennsylvania Department of Education to accredit private schools in the State of Pennsylvania.
PAIS is internationally recognized through the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA) Commission on Accreditation.

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