ISSL Membership Program

Independent Schools of St. Louis (ISSL), founded in 1972, is a non-profit professional association that currently includes 46 independent elementary and secondary schools in the greater St. Louis and Mid-Missouri region. ISSL members represent a complete range of excellence in education from traditional schools to schools with special programs to religiously affiliated schools to boarding schools for students in Toddler to Grade 12.

Marketing and advocacy for our member schools, and independent education in general, as well as professional development programs are hallmarks of our mission. ISSL works to increase knowledge of independent schools by participating in collaborative outreach efforts. We provide opportunities for affiliated networks to meet, share ideas and strategize solutions to common concerns. ISSL leverages social media and other advertising and PR channels to promote the ISSL website as the one-stop portal to learn about our member schools and the value of independent education.

We hope you will join the growing number of schools who, together, create a strong collaborative and inclusive community that has the information, resources and strategies we need to thrive in a continuously changing and competitive education environment.

  • ISSL Website

    • Vigorously promoted as the one-stop resource for independent education
    • School profile and directory listing with a link to your school’s website
    • Password-protected entry for members-only resources and information
    • Post open house dates
    • Post job openings 
    • Post summer camps
    • Post public and members-only events
    • Listserves for administrators, faculty and trustees

    Professional Development Programs

    • Workshops and webinars offered year-round for administrators, faculty and trustees
    • Opportunities for faculty and administrators to submit proposals for presenting professional development programs, providing additional outlets to broaden professional growth and leadership opportunities

    Marketing, Public Relations and Advocacy

    • Large-scale digital marketing campaigns each fall and spring promoting independent education and our member schools.
    • Profile in ISSL’s printed Guide to Choosing and Independent Secondary School, distributed to all ISSL feeder elementary schools and to people requesting information on the ISSL website.
    • Inclusion in ISSL’s Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students, published as required by the IRS to maintain 501c(3) status.

    Collaboration and Peer Networking

    • Inclusion of all administrators, faculty and trustees in affinity group meetings that create a forum for sharing.
    • Facilitation of effective problem solving in areas such as data collection, publications, administrative procedures, purchasing and interaction with the state legislature.
    • Voting rights and eligibility for election to the ISSL Board of Trustees and the opportunity to help shape the future of the association.

    Special Services and Events

    • Participation in collaborative projects such as ISSL’s online common application form, common recommendation form, and notification dates.
    • ISSL’s Secondary and High School Night (each Fall):
      • Exhibit booth
      • Room for presentation sessions
      • Inclusion in all marketing efforts
      • Database of attendees with contact information sent to your Admissions Officer
    • ISSL’s Diversity Teacher Job Fair (each Spring).
      • Exhibit booth
      • Interview space
      • Inclusion in all marketing efforts
      • Database of attendees with contact information sent to your HR Officer
    • Participation in community-wide PR events such as Elementary Information Nights, exhibits and more.
  • Full Membership schools are independent schools that meet the following standards:

    • Have received accreditation from one of the following organizations:
      • Independent Schools Association of the Central States (ISACS)
      • Cognia (formerly AdvancED)
      • American Montessori (AMS)
      • Association Montessori Internationale (AMI)
      • Association of Waldorf Schools of North America (AWSNA)
      • or are otherwise approved by the ISSL Board of Trustees
    • Be designated as a 501c(3) organization, as defined by the IRS
    • Be governed by a Board of Trustees
    • Be operational at the time of application
    • Offer an academic program and curriculum that serves at least three successive grades from PreK-12
    • Have a published statement of nondiscrimination as pertains to admission and employment