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NYSAIS is a voluntary association of 203 independent nursery, elementary, and secondary schools enrolling over 80,000 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:

  • evaluation and accreditation of member schools
  • professional learning for faculty, administrators, and trustees
  • advocacy for independent education
  • 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.

NYSAIS Facts at a Glance

  • 203 – the total number of member schools

Of those:

  • 130 schools in NYC
  • 21 on Long Island
  • 13 in Western NY
  • 13 in Capital District
  • 12 in Westchester
  • 10 in Hudson Valley
  • 2 in Lake Placid
  • 1 in Syracuse
  • 1 in Istanbul, Turkey


  • 54 with religious affiliation
  • 24 with boarding programs
  • 23 with programs for special needs students
  • 16 that are all girls
  • 15 that are all boys