Why Choose an Accredited School?
Are independent schools required to be accredited?
No. In Pennsylvania, schools must be licensed by the State Board of
Private Academic Schools, operate under the authority of a bona fide
religious institution, or be accredited in lieu of licensure by a State
recognized accrediting agency.
What is the purpose of accreditation?
The primary purpose of accreditation is to promote the education and
well-being of all children in independent schools and promote school
improvement. PAIS accreditation protects the public interest by
assessing the school’s congruence with its own mission and its
compliance with PAIS standards.
What distinguishes a PAIS-accredited school?
Two distinguishing features of a PAIS-accredited school are:
- Completion of an in-depth Self Study
- Successful adherence to a rigorous set of standards
As part of the periodic evaluation, the entire school participates
in a process of self-examination focused on excellence in education.
The school reviews its own philosophy of education and, over a one to
two-year period, assesses the extent to which it achieves PAIS
accreditation standards in light of its mission and philosophy.
A school accredited by PAIS is deemed to have met a rigorous set of
standards. Although PAIS member schools vary significantly in their
purpose, program, and style, each school is subject to certain means of
accountability including the following:
• It must meet the published PAIS standards concerning educational
program, institutional organization and administration, personnel,
health and safety, and physical facilities.
- It must satisfy its constituencies concerning the quality of their educational program and services.
- It must demonstrate its commitment to ongoing self-improvement
through participation in the ten-year cycle of the evaluation process
as established by the PAIS Board of Directors through the Commission