NYSAIS is a voluntary association of 196 independent nursery, elementary and secondary schools enrolling some 78,000 students. It is affiliated with the National Association of Independent Schools and the New York State Coalition for Independent and Religious Schools. Founded in 1947, the Association is chartered by the New York State Board of Regents and is incorporated as a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization.
Established originally to protect New York independent schools from obstructive legislation and regulation, the Association has added substantially to the range of its activities since its founding. These activities include:
- advocacy for independent education
- evaluation and accreditation of member schools
- professional development for faculty, administrators, and trustees
- legal and institutional counsel
- information on legislation, regulations, statistics, educational developments, and administrative practice
The affairs of the Association are overseen by an executive director and a board of trustees comprised of current heads and trustees of NYSAIS schools and elected by the membership at an annual meeting.
Full membership in the Association is open to non-profit independent, nursery, elementary, and secondary schools, and to non-profit associations concerned with independent education. Associate membership is available to certain other private or quasi-private educational institutions.