Expect The Best


National Leaders Conference

The 2019 National Leaders Post Conference Call for Workshop Proposals are open until December 7. Apply here.

Strengthen Your School Leadership

CAIS values the constant and deliberate quest for excellence, and we recognize the vital leadership role that governors play, in partnership with Heads, in the success of our schools. We want all of our schools to have strong Heads who focus on supporting the students of the present, but we also want strong Boards that focus on supporting the students of the future.

The Governance Guide include new learning on a number of areas, including Human Resources, Risk Management, Head Transitions, and Consent Agendas.

CAIS members and non-members can purchase a hard copy here. And CAIS members can also view the full PDF in CAIS Connect here.


The 2017 fall accreditation review schedule was successfully completed thanks to the generosity of our 40+ volunteer Visiting Committee members. Thank you all for your hard work and commitment!

We continue to gather and review feedback on the accreditation process from everyone involved. We use this feedback to continuously implement improvements, both big and small, to make our process more efficient and effective. The Standards Council and Evaluation Council of the CAIS Board are currently working together to review our accreditation procedures to ensure they are best meeting the needs of our members particularly in regards to the decision-making process and communications. We will continue to update you as enhancements are implemented.

CAIS has also seen a significant increase in applications and recommendations for individuals to serve on Visiting Committees this year. We are excited and grateful to be receiving such interest in this opportunity!

Serving on a Visiting Committee is a unique opportunity to contribute to the Independent School community by providing insights and reflections to promote best practice and continuous whole school improvement. We are also told that serving on a Visiting Committee is one of the best Professional Learning opportunities to experience.

Here is what some of our Visiting Committee members have said so far this year:

“It is always such powerful professional learning to be involved in, and although this isn't the goal of the visits, it is an important piece that should be highlighted to potential candidates. Thank you for including me.”

I am so grateful for being a part of the KCS Visiting Committee. It filled my soul.

Thank you for the opportunity to be a part of this Visiting Committee. The PD that I gained from this was incredible and the team that I worked with was very supportive and knowledgeable.

The Rundle review was a highlight of my year so far.

Students from Matthew Hall welcome the Visiting Committee members.

As with so many things, you will get from the process what you give to the process. Being a part of the Visiting Committee does require a significant commitment. Committee members are required to:


  • Complete pre-visit training
  • Read the school’s Internal Evaluation Report
  • Review the school’s supporting documentation that relates to your specific areas of focus


  • Participate in the on-site review from Sunday to Wednesday
  • Meet with and interview members of the school community
  • Collaborate with the Visiting Committee in team meetings


  • Write your specified sections of the Visiting Committee Report
  • Support the editing process

In compiling a Visiting Committee, our number one priority is to serve the needs of the school undergoing the accreditation review. We create our teams with a variety of skills, experience and regional representation. We blend those who are experienced in serving on Committees with those who are new to the process; however, the majority does remain experienced.

In extending invitations to individuals with no prior Visiting Committee experience, priority first goes to anyone assigned as an Internal Evaluation Coordinator in their own school’s upcoming review. We then look to those who have completed the Accreditation Module at the CAIS Leadership Institute. The Accreditation Module will be offered again at the 2018 Summer LI.

If you are interested in serving on a Visiting Committee, I encourage you to speak with your Head of School. Since the process requires missing several days of school, I ask that you secure the support of your Head of School before applying. The online application can be completed here.

We strive to engage as many individuals as possible in the Visiting Committee experience and do our best to distribute invitations across all our member schools. I welcome recommendations from Heads particularly in the areas of ongoing need: finance, governance, curriculum development, student wellness, advancement and admissions.

Thank you to everyone who expresses interest in serving on a Visiting Committee. We are grateful for your support of CAIS’s accreditation program.

All the best for a safe and joyful winter break.

Val Pighin
Accreditation Coordinator