Accreditation Services > Standards for Membership

Standards for Membership

The following list of Standards of Membership has been developed, and reviewed periodically, to describe the kind of school that ISACS believes it can serve and that, in turn, can benefit from the ISACS network and services. ISACS does not suggest that the only good schools are those that meet its standards. ISACS does hold that its standards describe the type of school represented in its membership. Accreditation by ISACS is assurance to the public that these standards have been met, and that the school's success in meeting these standards is periodically reviewed.

Because of the diversity in the ISACS membership and the corresponding variation in philosophy, program, procedures, and style, these standards have been developed to focus on the elements that should be common to all good independent schools. The approval of a school, however, for membership or accreditation shall not be contingent upon literal compliance with every detail of the standards. Wherever the provisions of a particular standard are waived, however, there shall be sufficient evidence that the intent of those provisions is being observed.

Of paramount importance are those standards listed in Section A, ISACS Policies and Practices, because they are either essential to the definition of an independent school or they represent fundamental tenets observed by all independent schools. Among these tenets is the commitment to the highest possible quality in a school's program and both the learning and teaching integral to it. Of equivalent importance is the recognition of, and respect for, diversity and pluralism. As the American pluralistic tradition accommodates schools that emphasize and responsibly develop their own distinctive religious understanding so does ISACS, as manifested in the historic and continuing reality that about one fifth of ISACS member schools have a specific religious affiliation. It is also believed that the test of a school's quality is the measure of how well the school does what it purports, represented by the degree of congruence between the school's mission and program, as well as between its purposes and results. Finally, a school's ability to truly seek improvements while undergoing its self-study and external review is a basic test of its quality.

Standards for Membership

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