Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

Benefits of Membership

The Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) is a non-profit voluntary membership association of independent schools.  The Association was founded in 1955 and includes schools located in Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.

ISAS promotes the highest professional and ethical standards of educational excellence for independent schools in the region and recognizes by formal ongoing accreditation those schools which demonstrate adherence to Association standards.  As a collective voice of the independent schools of the Southwest, ISAS fosters collegial relations among its member schools and represents their interests.

ISAS is a member in good standing of the International Council Advancing Independent School Accreditation (ICAISA) and has voluntarily agreed to abide by Criteria for Good Practice and to submit to ongoing evaluation of its accreditation procedures by the Council.  ISAS regularly reports on the evaluation of member schools and on the accreditation process to state commissions which have been delegated responsibility for independent school accreditation by state education departments or legislatures.

The ISAS accreditation process is designed to achieve accountability and school improvement.  Internal groups, such as parents, employees, and trustees, depend on the assessment of the school’s performance in fulfilling its mission.  External audiences, such as prospective families, benefactors, and state governmental entities, rely on ISAS standards in evaluating the school’s quality and viability. 

 School improvement is an equally significant objective of the accreditation process.  Self Study affords the opportunity for reflection on a school’s mission, on its efforts to fulfill that mission, and on areas which call for improvement.  The Accreditation Visit provides a goal toward which Self Study progresses.  The integrity of the school’s work is validated by the observations of the Visiting Committee, and school constituencies benefit from the feedback provided by the Commendations and Recommendations in the Report of the Visiting Committee.  ISAS is selective in its membership and committed to integrity and consistency in the accreditation process.

Ongoing ISAS professional development opportunities include annual or bi-annual conferences for administrative assistants, admission directors, advancement officers, beginning teachers, board chairs, business officers, deans, division heads, fine arts directors, and technology directors.  Heads of schools meet twice each year for professional development and to conduct association business.  Networking for ideas and problem solving is also supported through ISAS listservs.  Customized statistics reports provide benchmarks for member schools.

"In ISAS, you feel like you belong. The goodness of everyone in the organization is palpable. You're part of a movement and making a difference."

~ Andy Watson, Head of School,
Albuquerque Academy