Principles of Good Practice: Equity and Justice

View this PGP as a PDF file.

Preamble: The following principles provide common ground for interaction between independent school professionals and their many constituents (parents, students, colleagues at other schools, and the public). The NAIS Principles of Good Practice for member schools define high standards and ethical behavior in key areas of school operations to guide schools in becoming the best education communities they can be, to embed the expectation of professionalism, and to further our sector’s core values of transparency, excellence, and inclusivity. Accordingly, membership in NAIS is contingent upon agreement to abide by the spirit of the PGPs.

Overview: NAIS schools value the representation and full engagement of individuals within our communities whose differences include—but are not limited to—age, ethnicity, family makeup, gender identity and expression, learning ability, physical ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. NAIS welcomes and celebrates the diversity of our member schools. We expect member schools to create and sustain diverse, inclusive, equitable, and just communities that are safe and welcoming for all. We recognize that to do so requires commitment, reflection, deliberate planning and action, and ongoing accountability. The following NAIS Principles of Good Practice for Equity and Justice provide the foundation for such an independent school community.

Principles of Good Practice:

  1. The school establishes the foundations for its commitment to equity and justice in its defining documents (mission, core value, and/or philosophy statements).
  2. The school respects, affirms, and protects the dignity and worth of each member of its community.
  3. The board of trustees and the head of school articulate strategic goals and objectives that promote diversity, inclusion, equity, and justice in the life of the school.
  4. The school develops meaningful requirements for cross-cultural competency and provides training and support for all members of its community, including the board of trustees, parents, students, and all school personnel.
  5. The board of trustees and the head of school keep the school accountable for living its mission by periodically monitoring and assessing school culture and ongoing efforts in admission, hiring, retention, financial aid, and curriculum development.
  6. The school works deliberately to ensure that the board of trustees, administration, faculty, staff, and student body reflect the diversity that is present in the rapidly changing and increasingly diverse school-age population in our country.
  7. The head of school ensures that diversity initiatives are coordinated and led by a designated individual who is a member of one of the school leadership teams, with the training, authority, and support needed to influence key areas of policy development, decision making, budget, and management.
  8. The school uses inclusive language in all written, electronic, and oral communication.
  9. The school adopts a nondiscrimination statement applicable to the administration of all of its programs and policies, in full compliance with local, state, and federal law. That said, the school makes the law the floor — not the ceiling — for establishing itself as a diverse, inclusive, safe, and welcoming community for all students, staff, and families.

Download a PDF of the complete set of NAIS Principles of Good Practice.