Self-governing…self-reliant…self-supporting…not dependent on external forces that undermine important decisions about teaching, learning, and your children.

Independent schools nationwide offer more advanced courses than either public schools or private non-independent schools. They want all their students to succeed, but not at the cost of government-mandated testing. They want their students to be both challenged and supported, to be safe while they think and create, and to be supported as appropriate when they work, play, study, and socialize.

An independent school is:

  • Mission-driven, with a clear eye on philosophy, character, and distinctive standards.
  • An accredited private school that has a board of trustees or directors, people with the best interests of the school – not state demands – directly in mind.
  • Able to hire professional teachers who teach small classes with commitment to his or her students.
  • Engaged with parents, grandparents, alums, and others in its community.
  • Obliged to follow nondiscriminatory practices and policies.

An independent school is ultimately a community – a community with values, vision, and clear-eyed viewpoint about learning.


The Atlanta area is fortunate in having one of the largest number of private-independent schools in the country, with about 70 members schools currently. More are seeking to join, as AAAIS is “The Standard of Distinction” for non-public education in the region.

our variety of schools

One AAAIS school serves 27 students whose special needs could not be met elsewhere – another is the largest independent school on the continent with its college-like campus.  One is a military school while others are progressive.

One AAAIS school is girls only, another is boarding. One has an international mission, with some offering International Baccalaureate (IB) programs. Some are faith-based but all are values based.  Some embrace Waldorf while others embrace Montessori or Orton Gillingham.  Some are found inside the I-285 perimeter, some are outside. Some mandate uniforms, others say No way!

The vast majority of AAAIS schools that include high schools send their graduates on to colleges and universities around the country. But the ultimate goal of all our schools is to educate all students to the best of our ability – and our students’ ability and potential! – every day.

Some of our schools accept children for grades that begin with toddlers. Others are elementary only, or K-8, or high school only. The point: AAAIS represents a variety of distinctive schools, offering families a choice and the opportunity to consider a match between their child and a  school where he or she may thrive!


Independent schools operate not by governmental taxes – but by tuition, donations, endowment, and other fund raising.

Many schools offer need-based financial aid – not athletic or other scholarships, but aid based on family income. Still, we recognize that admission to a AAAIS school is a financial commitment. We also know, however, that education is a commitment that serves a child – and a family – for a very, very long time.