About CAIS

A community of independent schools, we explore and pursue exemplary leadership training, research and international standards of educational excellence.

The Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) was established in 1981 as a national network for member schools supporting collaborative initiatives in leadership, education, management and governance. Its key activities included organizing, co-ordinating, and facilitating conferences, benchmarking, senior management compensation surveys, and advocacy.

The Canadian Educational Standards Institute (CESI) was established in 1986 as an organization to develop and promote educational excellence and school improvement in independent schools. Its key activities were to establish national Standards/Best Practices and accreditation process, conducting 10 accreditation visits per year, and research and targeted Professional Development. Read our Policies.

In October 2009, votes were held at the Annual General Meetings for CAIS and CESI to create a new national organization, and after extensive consultation with membership, the organization changed its name to Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) in February 2011.

Today CAIS includes over 90 schools, all of which commit to undergoing a reflective and collaborative school improvement process, meet National Standards, and participate in research and professional development.

Parents of CAIS schools can expect the best.


Expect The Best

As a community of independent schools, we explore and pursue exemplary leadership training, research and international standards of educational excellence.

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COVID-19 Resources & School Samples

CAIS members can view up to date COVID-19 resources and school samples here.



Explore CAIS

CAIS Connect

CAIS is committed to sharing resources to help our schools continuously improve, meet the National Standards, and ensure educational excellence.

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Boarding Schools

Canada is home to many of the best schools in the world, and our 27 CAIS Boarding Schools represent the best of the best.

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