Speakers: Scott Collins, Assistant Director of Admissions, University School of Nashville, and Kristine Varney, Director of Instruction, Norfolk Collegiate School

Sustainability is a major topic for independent schools and has been for at least the past decade, as discussions emerged after the 2008 financial crisis with tuition continuing to rise. In 2022, many school leaders found themselves in a challenging financial situation and had similar discussions surrounding sustainability.

Small independent schools face unique challenges that larger schools do not encounter, or when they do face the same challenges, the impact is greater due to the school’s size. Researchers from Vanderbilt University partnered with NAIS to provide information about the current state of small schools (defined as 200 or fewer students), with the goal of providing tailored recommendations for ways that NAIS can support small schools.

This workshop examined the landscape of small schools, as well as what small independent school leaders have done to help their schools become or remain sustainable in a competitive educational marketplace.

A downloadable version of the workshop slides is available at the top right of this page. The entire capstone research paper is also available.