Do You Want to Start Your Own School?

Help Is Available with the NAPCIS Feasibility Packet

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0Components of a Successful Private Independent School
 by Dr. Denise Donohue

Interested in knowing factors that make for successful private independent Catholic schools? This book describes the research findings for 24 variables from school founder, start-up procedure, environmental variables, and early organizational decisions of successful private independent Catholic schools.


Want to start a school? The National Association of Private Catholic and Independent Schools (NAPCIS) is ready to help: the NAPCIS Feasibility Packet on Starting a Small Private School is now available online!

With ever-declining educational and moral standards in established schools, groups of Catholic parents who are faithful to the Magisterium are following in the footsteps of their ancestors: they’re starting their own, vigorously orthodox, schools. But all too many more hesitate. There seem to be too many obstacles in the way of small, independent Roman Catholic schools: problems of money, of finding good teachers, of suspicions from the bishop, and so on and on.

That’s where NAPCIS comes in. NAPCIS is an association of private Catholic and independent schools. All are loyal to the Church and have proven track records. His Eminence Raymond Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta serves as NAPCIS’ ecclesiastical advisor. NAPCIS’ Board of Advisors includes Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, world renowned teacher and speaker, wife of Deitrich von Hildebrand, and Fr. Michael Scanlan of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. NAPCIS schools were founded by parents to give their children the best education possible. Over the years the founders of those schools have weathered many a storm; now they are ready to share their experience.

The NAPCIS Feasibility Packet is a handy guide to avoiding many of the common pitfalls into which struggling independent schools often fall. It contains invaluable information about defining the school’s mission, choosing curriculum, selecting teachers, attaining corporate classification, filing for tax-exempt status, and myriad other matters. With this Feasibility Packet and our other services, we hope to see a flowering of little Catholic schools around the country, all faithful to the Holy Father.


The complete packet is available for online purchase for $40 from NAPCIS. What follows below is the Feasibility Packet’s table of contents. Individual chapters are also available for online purchase for $10, each. Upon purchase, the packet will be emailed to you via the email address you provide to PayPal.


Part I: On Starting a Small Private School (available for $10 separate purchase)


This section is an overview of what to expect and what to plan for in the preliminary efforts to start a small school. Among other things, it touches on items such as:

  • the board of (directors, governors, trustees, advisors, etc.);
  • basic reasons for starting a school;
  • spiritual guidance;
  • prayer; and
  • the four essential criteria that must be in control of the governing board.

Part II: General Statement of Educational Philosophy (available for $10 separate purchase)


The reasons for starting the school must be first understood by the Founders and unanimously declared in a written statement. This essential step of defining the school\’s mission is the foundation upon which the entire structure of the school depends.

Comprising this section is a statement of educational philosophy taken from the ideas of Ignatian education as developed by the Society of Jesus.*

Part III: NAPCIS Standards of Excellence for Teachers


“Perfect schools are the result not so much of good methods as of good teachers…who cherish a pure and holy love for Jesus Christ and His Church.” (Pius XI, The Christian Education Of Youth)

NAPCIS standards of excellence for teachers includes:

  • Magisterial Principles of Education
  • Standards of Catholicity
  • Standards of Professionalism and Responsibility
  • Standards of Teaching and Evaluation
  • Standards of Mentoring and Motivation
  • Standards of Discipline and Classroom Management

Click on Teacher Certification: Standards For Teachers for a complimentary copy of standards.

Part IV: Academics for a Small Private School (available for $10 separate purchase)


Three items comprise this section:

  • Teaching a Classical Curriculum
  • Primary School Curriculum and Textbooks
  • High School Course of Study

Please also review the essay, The Lost Tools of Learning by Dorothy Sayers.

Part V: Basic Religious Requirements


Basic requirements as to what a student must have in place prior to graduation is presented in this section. Possession of these points of Catholic Doctrine do not necessarily mean that there will be Catholic action following; however, possession of this knowledge assists the student to develop an informed conscience.

Click on Basic Religious Requirements for a complimentary copy.

Part VI: General Rules and School Policies (available for $10 separate purchase)


The purpose of this chapter is to provide a guide that will aid in the development of policy manuals for the smooth administration of a school.

Included in this section:

  • Policy vs. Administration
  • What is Policy?
  • Principles in The Writing of Policy Handbooks

Part VII: Non-Profit Incorporation and Establishment of Private Schools (available for $10 separate purchase)


Included in this section:

  • Guide for Forming a Non-Profit Corporation With 501(c)(3) Status.
  • Summary of California Laws relating to the Establishment and Maintenance of Private Schools

Sample copies of endorsed Articles of Incorporation and completed applications for incorporation and tax-exemption are available through NAPCIS.

Part VIII: NAPCIS Membership

Click on Become a Member to find:

  • Information describing the National Association of Private Catholic And Independent Schools (NAPCIS): its mission, programs and services and how to apply for membership.

Founding groups are encouraged to join NAPCIS before the actual opening of a school to benefit from the many services and resources available to founders starting schools.

* NAPCIS recognizes that in the great tradition of Catholic education there are numerous approaches for effective teaching. The Jesuits, the Dominicans and the Christian Brothers, to name a few, have successfully formed countless students throughout the ages. Each private Catholic and independent school has its own approach to teaching, and each school has its variation of curriculum and method.  

For an interactive overview of state regulations of private schools (2015), please visit the U.S. Department of Education’s web site.

Buy the complete Feasibility Packet for $40.00.