An independent school is one that's not supported by church or tax funds, and is governed by an independent board of trustees. It can still be a religious school, as long as it's not owned or operated by a church. The best independent schools will be members of the N.A.I.S. For a list of member schools by state, contact the National Association of Independent Schools in Washington, D.C. You should realize that an independent school is different from the term 'independent school district,' or I.S.D. An I.S.D. is an organization of one or more public schools in the same area. The schools of an I.S.D. are typically funded by the taxes of people who live in that district, and are subject to common rules. You'll find reports on many independent school districts at your local library. Compiled by city or state agencies, these reports may go by a variety of titles, such as 'school performance review.' Another important criteria for any school, public or private, is that it be accredited. The accreditation association looks for certain minimum standards, like quality of teachers, number of subjects taught, and student achievement levels. Because these standards are used to ensure a proper education for children, you should avoid any school that's not accredited.