AAAIS schools share an interest in a student’s personal as well as academic growth. Some schools are elementary or secondary only; some enroll students from pre-school through grade twelve; some "special purpose" schools offer programs for students with special needs; all are accredited schools of notable quality.
While independent schools have much in common, they vary in how they evaluate a child for admission. You are encouraged to contact schools directly for detailed information. Read their material, visit their campus, and ask questions about their educational mission, as well as their instruction,values, and practices.
The Principles of Good Practice that follow reflect the ethical and professional guidelines expected of the administrators, trustees, faculty, parents, and alumni who constitute the membership of the Atlanta Area Association of Independent Schools. Understanding and adhering to these Principles of Good Practice will help ensure professional admission procedures for both families and schools.
Nondiscrimination & Individual Respect
AAAIS adheres to the same standard of nondiscrimination which is a Principle of Good Practice of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS): "The school adheres to local, state, and federal laws and regulations that require nondiscriminatory practice in the administration of admission policies." Another NAIS principle affirmed by AAAIS states: "The school respects and affirms the dignity and worth of each individual in the admission process."
Student Recruitment Practices
Each school seeks those students who meet its particular mission and admission criteria. Further, school employees and their representatives – such as current parents, benefactors, and trustees – should:
- Communicate their mission and admission criteria through advertisements, recruitment materials, open houses, interviews, etc.
- Speak accurately, comprehensively, and proudly about their own school, but not allege weaknesses in other schools.
- Avoid using undue influence in recruiting students.
- Refrain from asking applicants or their parents to designate a certain school as their first choice, which applies unnecessary pressure on families.
Visitation & Preliminary Discussions
AAAIS recognizes the rights of currently enrolled students or parents to visit and consider other schools without notifying the present school. Initial inquiries should be made to the potential new school’s Director of Admission.
Communication of Admissions Policies
A school’s Director of Admission is responsible, in conjunction with the Head of School, for establishing and disseminating admissions policies to its constituents (trustees, administrative staff, faculty, parents, alumni, and friends of the school) and for making clear to all applicants details of the admissions procedure, dates, and related costs of applying and attending the school.
Financial Aid Policies
Each candidate for admission will be required to give adequate documentation of family financial resources in order to be considered for financial aid. All financial aid awards are based only on need. AAAIS schools do not give financial awards to applicants for any reason other than demonstrated need, and awards do not exceed that need. AAAIS prohibits the use of scholarships for academic, athletic, or artistic merit or talent as recruitment tools. Financial aid applicants will be notified in writing no sooner than the time of parent notification of admission status. Financial aid applications are confidential.
The Submission of Information
The applicant and his/her family will:
- Provide truthful and complete information regarding academic performance, conduct, and reasons for leaving another school.
- Agree to notify the school of significant changes that occur in academic and conduct performance after the application has been submitted and/or after the applicant has been accepted. The school reserves the right to revoke the applicant’s acceptance if inaccurate information is given or information is omitted.
Transcripts & Confidentiality
AAAIS schools will:
- Upon written request and as promptly as possible, send a transcript (or its equivalent) and other pertinent information to another school to which a student has applied.
- Not offer a place to a student without first receiving an official transcript (or its equivalent) from the student’s present school.
- Take all responsible and lawful measures to maintain the confidentiality of reports and information exchanged among schools concerning students and parents.
Schools and their representatives – such as current parents, benefactors, and trustees – will adhere to these Principles of Good Practice by not exerting undue influence on the Director of Admission or an admission committee or by implying their influence to candidates. Any recommendations should be based on actual knowledge of the student’s academic achievement, potential, or character.
AAAIS schools recognize that the admission season for an upcoming school year can be an anxious time for families, just as it is for schools. Therefore:
- AAAIS schools agree to common admission calendar dates. General purpose schools abide by a common date for applicant notification of status as well as a common date by which applicants must advise schools of a decision regarding offers of admission.
- No AAAIS school will advise any applicant of acceptance, denial, or wait-list status prior to the Common Notification Date in early spring, nor will any AAAIS school ask or imply that an applicant should advise the school of a decision prior to the common applicant response date.
- Schools designated by AAAIS as "special purpose" schools – which have as their central mission the provision of special services for students with learning needs – may follow their own admission calendars, which can include "rolling admissions."
- AAAIS member schools agree not to initiate contact with accepted applicants between the Common Notification Date and the AAAIS Common Reply Date, by which the school must be notified by the applicant of their decision regarding offers.
- AAAIS schools encourage families to complete their visits early in the admission process. In order to prevent inappropriate "rushing" of accepted students, AAAIS asks that parents and applicants not visit campuses between the Common Notification Date and the Common Reply Date.
AAAIS member schools agree to abide by these principles. Concerns regarding compliance with these Principles of Good Practices can be communicated to a school's Director of Admission or its Head. Also, a concern can be communicated to the Executive Director of AAAIS, Stephen G. Kennedy at firstname.lastname@example.org.