The What, Why, and How of DASL

What is DASL?

DASL (Data and Analysis for School Leadership) is an online tool provided by NAIS to collect data from independent schools in the areas of admission, enrollment, advancement, salaries, and others. Your school does not need to be a member of NAIS to upload data to the system.

Why should I upload my school’s information in DASL?

Your participation allows SAIS to have a more robust comparison group for our member schools when looking at enrollment trends, average salaries, and more. Results can be customized so that we are able to create benchmarks and comparison groups for schools in our region when national figures might not be as applicable.

What’s in it for me?

Comparing your school’s data to other schools’ information can help you set goals, assess your progress, and make data-driven decisions. You will indicate the associations you are a part of, like SAIS, NBOA, MISBO, ATLIS, and some state associations, to allow comparisons within that group. While NAIS member schools will have access to additional dashboards and comparison groups, even nonmember schools can build benchmark reports with data from schools in state or regional organizations they belong to that are also DASL partners like SAIS.

How do I upload my data?

DASL data collection is very comprehensive and will take some time and gathering of information to complete. The window is open from June 14 through October 14, with additional time to upload financial figures from balance sheets, revenue, etc. until November 18.

  • If you do not already have one, you will need to create an account on the NAIS website to access DASL.
  • Please make sure that SAIS is listed as one of your related associations. If not, please contact to resolve. Other associations in this block may be TABS, ATLIS, your state association, or others.
  • The head of school or designated DASL administrator (usually the CFO) will need to answer or confirm the 20 basic school characteristics to activate your DASL data entry before additional data can be uploaded.
  • You may then have designated DASL users at your school to complete the remaining data entry. The school data permissions option under the ADMIN tab allows schools to add or remove employees who will be allowed to log in and upload data.
  • The number of data points you will be asked to upload depends on your responses to the school characteristic questions. For example, if you marked grades served as K-8, you will not be asked to complete enrollment numbers for grades 9-12.
  • Some areas like attrition or endowment will ask for the previous year’s data.

What information will DASL ask for?

Honestly, a lot! DASL will ask for a very comprehensive set of data about your school. You do not have to complete all areas to submit your data, but we would ask that you strive to upload, at minimum, all information below marked with an asterisk. The good news is that is does not have to be done in one sitting, the information can be input by different staff members, and the window is open until October 13.

The following is an abbreviated list of requested data to give you an idea of the type of information needed.

*School Characteristics – (Must be answered to open data entry. Usually done by HOS or CFO. Answers to all questions in this section are required before you can proceed.)

  • *single sex/coed
  • *day/boarding/5 or 7 days
  • *location
  • *international students/visas
  • *grades served
  • *learning differences school
  • *religious affiliation
  • *year founded


  • *by grade
  • by number of days if applicable
  • employee children, gender, day/boarding/international

Student Diversity

  • students of color by grade
  • *race/ethnicity


  • land/building ownership, estimated value
  • *square footage, *total acres
  • employee residences
  • 1:1 student devices

Admission (previous year)

  • *Inquiry tracking
  • *acceptance rate
  • *test score requirement
  • *completed applications
  • *yield

Attrition (previous year)

  • *opening enrollment
  • new students, graduating, exchange, dismissed, electing to not return
  • attrition rate

Tuition and Fees

  • *by grade, day/boarding/international
  • by number of days attending
  • mandatory fees
    • lunch, supplies, tech, activities, tuition insurance

Financial Aid (overview)

  • merit awards, need based
  • dollar amounts, percentages
  • limits, maximum amounts

Financial Aid (detail)

  • need based by grade (number of students and dollar amounts)
  • further broken out by employee/non-employee children
  • income ranges of the family

Funds Received (previous year)

  • dollar amounts, donor count
  • by group (parents, alumni, corporations, etc.)
  • realized bequests
  • trustee donations and requirements

Advancement Additional Details (previous year)

  • funds received by purpose (unrestricted, endowment, capital, etc.)
  • largest donors by type
  • capital campaign

Advancement Activity (previous year)

  • new funds (dollar and donor count)

Tuition Discounting (previous year)

  • financial aid (dollars and number of students)
  • *tuition remission
  • percent of financial aid budget
  • restricted sources of financial aid

Endowment and Reserves (previous year)

  • spend rate, rate of return
  • donations
  • investment committee
  • plant reserves (PPRRSM)

Revenues (previous year)

  • operating income
  • operating revenue details (tuition, auxiliary, annual giving, etc.)
  • net assets
  • endowment draw, capital gifts, restricted gifts

Expenses and Other (previous year)

  • *total operating expenses
  • total employee salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes
  • employee salaries broken down by group (teacher, administrators, auxiliary, etc.)
  • net operating surplus, debt service, admission expenses

Balance Sheet (previous year)

  • assets, cash, investments
  • accounts receivable
  • liabilities, net assets

Full Time Equivalencies (FTEs)

  • *total (teacher, instructional support, administrative, other)
  • *FTEs by area of work (admissions, HR, diversity, technology, etc.)

Class Size and Teaching Load

  • *average class size by division
  • average teaching load by division

Teacher Race/Ethnicity

  • *ethnicity, race, international

Employee and Board Counts

  • *total, employees of color, international by area (teachers, coaches, administrators, security staff, etc.)
  • *employee gender counts (male, female, non-binary, not reported)
  • *trustee counts (of color, international, gender)

Hiring and Attrition

  • *teaching staff replacements, new positions
  • *teaching staff resignations, retirement, position eliminated

School Contributions to Core Benefits

  • retirement plan
  • *life insurance, health insurance, dental, vision
  • childcare, meals, uniforms
  • professional development

Tuition Remission

  • number, need based
  • by position (teacher, staff, etc.)

Full-time Employee Salaries

  • *number of employees and lowest and highest salary by position (teacher, assistant, kitchen staff, security staff, etc.)

Full-time Teacher Salaries

  • *average, median
  • *starting, lowest, highest

Teacher Salaries by Experience

  • *average and median base by number of years
  • by degree

Salary Scale

  • by certification, degree
  • years at school, total experience
  • teaching load
  • merit

The next sections ask for salary, benefits, demographics (gender, race, etc.), experience, and teaching duties for administrators and department heads. There is an option on each to note if your school does not staff that particular position.

When two employees have the same position title, report the salary of the highest paid individual. Where one person fills multiple roles, only enter data for the role comprising the largest percentage of duties and responsibilities.

  • *President, Head, Business Officer, Associate Head, and Assistant Head
  • *Upper, Middle, Lower School Head
  • *Director of Advancement, Development, and Public Relations/Communications
  • *Director of Admissions, Financial Aid, and Alumni/ae Affairs
  • *Director of Diversity, International Studies, and Global Ed
  • Director of HR, Physical Plant, and Controller
  • Director of Technology/IT, Tech/Curriculum, Institutional Researcher
  • Academic Dept. Head, Director of Studies, and Dean of Students
  • College Counselor, Psychologist, Athletic Director, and Administrative Assistant

President, Head of School, Business Officer

  • base salary, cash bonus
  • deferred compensation
  • benefits
  • other compensation (housing, auto, etc.)

Where can I get help?