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Independent Schools Association of the Southwest

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Independent Schools Association of the Southwest
Formation1955 (1955)
HeadquartersMidland, Texas
Scott Griggs

The Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS) is a nonprofit association of 89 independent schools located in the U.S. states of Arizona, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.[1] ISAS is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Commission on Accreditation.[2]


In 1952, “The Association of Texas Preparatory Schools,” a football and basketball league among five private Texas schools (The Kinkaid School, Lutheran, St. John’s School, St. Mark's School of Texas, and St. Stephen's Episcopal School), was founded.[3] This association was to serve as a predecessor for ISAS: in 1955, largely under the influence of St. John's headmaster Alan Chidsey, four of the same institutions (Kinkaid, St. John's, St. Stephen's, and St. Mark's) joined together with three additional Texas schools (The Hockaday School, Saint Mary’s Hall, and the Texas Military Institute) and one Oklahoma school (Casady School) to found the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest.[3] The original "statement of purpose" of the association was to "encourage, support, and develop highest standards of attainment in the independent schools of the area and to recognize those schools in which they are maintained.”[3] In 1966, the stated purpose was amended to include the phrase "to recognize by formal accreditation,” and an additional accreditation requirement was imposed: at least 75% of the graduates of each member school must complete their first year of college.[3]

By ISAS's quinquagenary anniversary in 2005, the association had grown to include 84 schools spanning six states; in the same year, the Southwest Preparatory Conference (SPC) split from ISAS to form an independent athletic conference.[3] By 2012, ISAS had expanded to include all of its current 89 member schools.[3]

Arts festival

Since 1967, the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest has held its annual ISAS Arts Festival, hosted at a different member schools' campus each year.[4] The popular event typically lasts three days, during which time students from the various art programs of upwards of thirty ISAS member schools congregate in a noncompetitive atmosphere to perform and create art in "a celebration of sharing and learning with critiques by professional artists and performers."[4] Recent years' ISAS Arts Festivals, such as the 2016 Festival hosted at Saint Mary's Hall in San Antonio, Texas, have seen attendances of more than 3,000 student artists.[5]

Member institutions




New Mexico




  1. ^ "About ISAS: Our Mission". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  2. ^ "Accreditation". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "About ISAS: Our History". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  4. ^ a b "ISAS Arts Festival". Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  5. ^ "ISAS Arts Festival 2016". Retrieved 1 August 2016.

This page was last edited on 29 January 2021, at 23:00
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