Explore Los Angeles Independent Schools

Our Mission

LAIS – Los Angeles Independent Schools – is a consortium of over 60 Los Angeles-area independent schools serving children from preschool to 12th grade that share a common mission: assisting families in their exploration of independent school education. We do so by following the best practices of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS); by establishing and adhering to ethical, consistent policies and procedures, most notably, our common decision notification and response dates. We are also committed to sharing resources and expertise in a collegial manner to support the recruitment, access, and enrollment of students.


Many of the LAIS schools are accredited by the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) which provides guidance and standards to ensure independent schools provide a high quality education. It is our hope, that through this website and through our school fairs, we increase awareness of and access to independent school options in the Los Angeles area.

Why Independent Schools

Independence in the truest sense of the word. Independent schools are non-profit private schools that are governed by a Board of Trustees, not a public school board. They are primarily supported by tuition payments, charitable contributions, and endowment revenue.

Independent school teachers have the freedom to create educational experiences that meet each child’s needs, without state mandates on curriculum, textbooks, and testing.

Mission-driven education. Whether co-ed or single sex, day school or boarding school, each independent school is driven by its own unique philosophy, values, and approach to teaching.

The wide diversity among independent schools allows you to find a school that is a great fit for your child.

High academic standards. Independent schools nurture intellectual curiosity, stimulate personal growth, encourage critical thinking, and promote a lifelong love of learning.

More students in independent schools enroll in advanced courses than in public, parochial, and other private schools.

Small classes that allow for individual attention. Low student-teacher ratios encourage close connections between instructors and students.

The median ratio in NAIS schools is around 8.6 students to each teacher.

Excellent teachers. Independent school instructors usually teach in their areas of expertise. They strive to develop a full understanding of each student’s learning style, interests, and motivation.

Graduates of independent schools have a greater likelihood of completing a bachelor’s degree or graduate degree.

Education for the whole child. In addition to academics, independent schools also nurture students’ social-emotional and personal growth and civic conscience.

Outside the classroom, students participate in school-sponsored athletic competitions, artistic pursuits, and leadership experiences.

Inclusiveness. Independent schools foster diverse and vibrant student communities that welcome and respect every family.

47% of students enrolled in an independent school in California identify as people of color.

Community. A community of parents who actively participate in their children’s education. Independent schools promote regular communication among students, parents, and teachers to ensure everyone is working toward the same goals.

As a parent, you can actively engage in your student’s education, because the staff and teachers want and value your participation.