Our History

The Minnesota Independent School Forum (MISF) has served independent high schools since 1976. It was founded as a high school membership organization. Its main purpose was to raise funds for its members. MISF’s membership began with 17 high schools and over the years grew to include more than 40 secondary schools.

MISF was created to make a strong impact in the educational environment of Minnesota by reducing barriers to a quality education for all kids regardless of race, ethnicity, or financial status. Getting more kids to college has remained one of MISF’s top priorities. MISF member schools have always served the state’s multicultural families of poverty and worked to help alleviate the dropout crisis plaguing the state and nation. MISF schools have a combined graduation rate of 99%, and 94% of graduates continue on to postsecondary education saving Minnesota taxpayers nearly $1 billion each year. Additionally, MISF schools have no color or poverty gap in terms of academic performance.

In late 2010, MISF realized a need to transition into a more far reaching and high-functioning membership organization in order to more effectively serve the state’s entire private and independent school community. This new structure involved the implementation of a K-12 membership model with an altered dues structure consisting of an affordable per-child/student fee.

This strategic move will expand MISF’s membership potential and strengthen its mission to provide the 500 Minnesota private and independent schools with the tools students need to be successful in grade school, high school, college and in their future careers.

Along with directly serving Minnesota’s K-12 independent school community, MISF also helps inform lawmakers, policy makers, and the general public about the contributions that independent education makes to our state and society.  It increases the sector’s capacity for collective action and, through its relationship with the Council for American Private Education (CAPE), advances positions of common interest on behalf of the state’s independent schools. Relationships are built with donors to support targeted programs, and member schools are provided with resources, connections, education, and expertise in critical disciplines.

There are tens of thousands of students enrolled in K-12 independent schools in Minnesota. MISF believes each student deserves and needs to benefit from its programs, services, education, research, and public policy support.



Your generous donation of any size will help support MISF’s programs and initiatives. What a great way to help Minnesota’s kids receive a high-quality K-12 private and independent education.