Frequently Asked Questions
What is an independent school?
How are independent schools monitored and accredited?
Why would I consider an independent school for my child?
Could you suggest questions to ask the schools in which we are interested?
What types of admissions resources are available?
- Q: What is an independent school?
Independent schools are private, pre-collegiate learning institutions that are:
• Governed by independent boards of trustees
• Publicly accountable to parents, communities, and the agencies that accredit them
• Each guided by a unique mission that upholds high standards of educational quality
• Non-profit and supported primarily through tuition payments, charitable contributions and endowment income
• Committed to a stated policy of nondiscrimination in admissions and employment
- Q: How are independent schools monitored and accredited?
Most AIMS member schools are accredited by the Independent Schools Association of the Central States, ISACS. ISACS develops and provides the highest standards of educational excellence even as it strives to preserve the freedom of each school to practice its own theory and philosophy of education. Read more about the ISACS accreditation process: http://www.isacs.org/accreditation/overview/default.asp
- Q: Why would I consider an independent school for my child?
• Small classes in which teachers know the students as individuals and serve as role models/guides
• Personal, customized education. Teachers have individual flexibility in curriculum development.
• Challenging course work, often taught by specialists in the field, and a wide-ranging choice of elective and special classes
• Close-knit communities with high expectations for the academic and personal success of their students
• Firm commitment to an emotionally and physically safe environment
• Diverse community offering the opportunity to explore our differences and our similarities
• Partnership of home and school with an emphasis on communication
- Q: Could you suggest questions to ask the schools in which we are interested?
Take into account what type of environment would be best for your child and consider his or her individual strengths and needs as you examine each school.
• Does the school have a special or particular educational focus?
• Are academics rigorous?
• Is the environment competitive? Nurturing?
• How large is the school and its student body?
• What special interests are available?
• What variety of learning experiences are available – in class, on the playing field, in extracurricular activities, and in community service?
• Does the school have a diverse student body and faculty?
• What support systems – academic and other – are available for students?
Consider also aspects that are key to you, the parent.
• Is the school accredited and by whom?
• What is the school's mission and does its philosophy appeal to you?
• What are faculty degrees and experience?
• Where is the school located and what are your transportation options?
• What are extended day options?
• What are expected levels of parent involvement?
• What is the tuition and how flexible are the school's financing options?
• Is college counseling effective?
• What percentage of students enter colleges – what colleges do they attend?