Accreditation & Licensure

Accreditation:  Christopher Academy is a member of the Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS).  The Virginia Association of Independent Schools (VAIS) is a nonprofit membership association that provides services to 95 independent private schools across Virginia, which serve more than 30,000 students in grades Pre-Kindergarten-12/Post Graduate. As a member of VAIS, Christopher Academy engages in the deliberative, reflective, and continuous VAIS accreditation process.  For more information about VAIS, visit  

Benefits of Membership

  • Rigorous and proven accreditation process
  • Personalized professional staff support for individual schools
  • Professional development offerings that are grounded in best practice and responsive to current and future needs of independent schools
  • Prominent representation and recognition at the national level
  • Legislative representation that safeguards independence of member schools
  • Networking opportunities within a broad range of independent schools

Recognition of VAIS Accreditation

  • The Virginia State Board of Education recognizes VAIS accreditation through approval by the Virginia Council for Private Education (VCPE).
    • Guarantees the transfer of student credits to a public school
    • Recognizes teacher licensure credits for time served in an accredited independent school
    • Approves VAIS as an accrediting body of independent schools for university and college admissions

The National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) recognizes VAIS accreditation through approval by the NAIS Commission on Accreditation, which is comprised of state, regional, and international accrediting associations.

Licensure:  Christopher Academy is licensed by the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) to maintain the health, safety and well-being of our students.  This agency also plays an important role in the training and staff development of the people working in the programs.

Specifically, the VDSS:

  • Ensures the well-being of our students by requiring that all staff be fingerprinted and cleared through Child Protective Services
  • Provides guidelines to the school outlining best practices for keeping the building safe both inside and outside on the playground
  • Monitors the training and professional development of the staff that care for the children and provides resources (seminars, webinars, print materials…) to support and enhance the school programs
  • Requires regularly scheduled drills (fire drills, shelter in place, lockdowns)
  • Conducts a minimum of two inspections of the school and the school grounds each year to determine if we are maintaining the VDSS standards and staying in compliance with their guidelines

For more information about the Virginia Department of Social Services, please visit