Application for Membership
Basic Guidelines for Membership
Before continuing with the application process, please be certain the school can meet the following fundamental requirements for membership:
- Have a clear written statement of mission and philosophy that informs institutional policies, programs, and practices.
- Be formally incorporated as a not-for-profit organization—or be part of a larger organization that is incorporated in this way—which is recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as holding 501(c) (3) status.
- Be in at least its third year of operation with students enrolled.
- Provide for the health and safety of students and other members of the school community, including compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Be governed by an effective, legitimately constituted, and sufficiently independent governing board, whose members: 1) are obligated to avoid any conduct that is not in the best interests of the school or that may create an unlawful conflict of interest, and 2) hold the school’s institutional health and long-term survival as the board’s highest priority.
- Provide a need-based financial aid program, open to students of all backgrounds, that actively promotes socioeconomic diversity, supported by financial resources that are commensurate with student needs and institutional capacity.
- Have an audit, performed by an independent certified public accounting firm, for the fiscal year immediately before the school is to be visited by a CAIS accreditation team, and have an audit or review in each intervening year, with the overall objective of providing clear evidence of the school’s long-term financial sustainability.
- Formally adopt and fully comply with all provisions of the current CAIS Code of Ethics.
- Comply with all of the requirements of the CAIS accreditation process and demonstrate an ongoing commitment to school and educational program improvement.
Applications for CAIS provisional membership are due to the CAIS office September 25 of each year. After a school submits its membership application, an initial visit is conducted in the fall by two members of the CAIS Board of Directors. The duration of the visit is dependent on the status of the school, gleaned from the application documents, but generally lasts no longer than half a day. If the school meets the CAIS standards set forth in the Provisional Membership Visit Report, the school will be granted provisional membership in the Association.
A school that receives provisional membership status becomes a candidate for full accreditation and membership in the Association. Evaluation and accreditation for full membership takes place in either the second or third full year of provisional membership. The school year following the year in which the application is received would constitute the first full year of provisional membership. For example, a school with an application approved in the fall of 2013 could receive full accreditation in either 2015-16--the first full year of provisional membership--or 2016-17--the second full year of provisional membership.
A provisional member school is eligible to attend the array of events that CAIS sponsors to promote the professional development of its teachers and administrators.
Please click on the following link to download a membership application.