History & Purpose

Founded in the fall of 1984, the INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS OF SOUTH FLORIDA, formerly known as the Dade Association of Academic Nonpublic Schools or DAANS, has grown from a loosely organized group of schools to an effective association of over 70 accredited schools and two parochial school organizations. The organization started as an information network dedicated to sharing information, to promoting the welfare of non-public schools before the public, and to establish lines of communication between public and non-public schools. The organization has expanded its purpose to providing educational opportunities for certification of its faculty, providing Awards Luncheons, Spelling and Geography Bee competitions and monitoring legislation affecting non-public education through its membership in FAANS.

ISSF represents a diversity of schools. Some are religious in nature, some non-sectarian; some are elementary schools, others secondary, and some encompass pre-school, elementary and secondary education. There are schools serving the special needs of the learning disabled, students with average to above average abilities, the College-bound and the gifted. Bilingual education is also the goal of some schools. Most of the members are day schools. While tuition varies widely, many schools offer financial aid to those with need. Many schools have summer programs or camping experiences, and many have extended care and special enrichment programs for their students.

The goal of non-public education is to offer parents and students alternatives and choices. The philosophy and objectives of ISSF members are clearly different from those of the public schools, yet differences can also be found among our member schools. This diversity is one of the strengths of our membership and the characteristic most important to parents.