ABOUT OUR ASSOCIATION
Georgia Independent School Association (GISA) is an association of private, independent, and parochial schools throughout the state. The mission of GISA is to advance excellence and collaboration among Georgia’s independent schools by serving the professional growth, advocacy and interscholastic needs of member schools. Each member school is unique, while sharing a unified commitment to overall excellence as well as to the nurture and care of the physical, intellectual, social and moral development of all students.
GISA was established to provide coordination of and services for member schools, dissemination of information between and among the schools, and to join other regional and national bodies in offering leadership on both meaningful and consequential educational issues. In addition, the Association fosters close relations between the member schools, colleges, and public schools within the State of Georgia. The Association also provides academic and athletic competitions among its member schools.
While most schools are college preparatory, offering small classes, stressing a rich curriculum and emphasizing individual attention, independent and parochial schools also encourage each student’s responsibility and service to the community in their policies and programs. Each member school promotes enrollment from all segments of the community.
The enrollment in member schools varies from 75 to over 2800, with campuses that are rural, suburban, and urban; student bodies are predominantly co-educational with a smaller number of schools serving as single sex schools, wholly boarding, or boarding and day facilities. The majority of GISA schools are secular, but many are religiously affiliated. All schools admit students without regard to race, color, ethnicity, or national origin, to all the rights, privileges, and programs available within each school. In addition, each member school is required to adhere to a non-discrimination policy in administration of educational policies, admission policies, and financial aid programs to qualified students.
Each GISA member school defines its own mission – what programs to offer, who will teach, and how they will teach. A compelling argument can be made that independent and parochial schools are the most accountable schools in America, for they answer directly to their constituencies: the families who choose them, and the accrediting agencies that evaluate them. In addition, association member schools comply with all applicable state and federal laws, including IRS regulations for 501(c)(3) nonprofits. The member schools also foster relationships with alumni, who serve as ambassadors of the schools’ traditions to the global community.
Each member school is fully accredited by one or more of the nationally recognized Regional accreditation bodies: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS); the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS).
The Association is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS); the Georgia Private Education Council (GPEC); and the Council for American Private Education (CAPE)