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Accreditation > Using data to its fullest

Accrediting the accreditors

Accreditation, “the action or process of officially recognizing someone (or something) as having a particular status or being qualified to perform a particular activity,” is something PAIS knows well. It’s what we do.

This year, however, the tables are turning, not once, but twice, as PAIS undergoes two accreditations of its own. We will be accredited to accredit schools by two important entities: PA Department of Education and International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA), which was once under the aegis of NAIS as the Commission on Accreditation, but now operates independently as its own association.

 “The Pennsylvania State Board of Education requires that the agencies sanctioned by the state must reapply for authorization to continue its authority to accredit schools every ten years,” said Lukie Wells, Director of Accreditation. “We are honored to provide PAIS member schools with the most thorough, meaningful accreditation process.”

This year ICAISA has fully emerged as an international council charged with accrediting accreditors around the world. “We are pleased to work with PAIS in this new rigorous model of accreditation,” said Executive Director Bonnie Ricci.

“PAIS has a long tradition of accreditation throughout its history, conducted by fellow educators who volunteer to perform this important service,” added Interim Executive Director Gary Niels. “We are excited to undergo scrutinization by the Commonwealth and ICAISA and to have our processes affirmed.”

Both processes will take place in the 2020 calendar year.

“This fall at our annual meeting, the Directors of Accreditation met in Chicago with NAIS and NBOA to best understand the use of data in the accreditation process. We learned best practices around the collection and use of data analytics from annual school dashboards to accreditation-specific feedback. Excited by seeing what our colleagues from the other 19 associations have implemented, we have recognized an important opportunity for our membership and will continue to improve our analytics.”

-- Lukie Wells

Director of Accreditation, PAIS


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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