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.


CAIS National Research Advisory Committee

Thank you to the CAIS National Research Advisory Committee for their dedication to the pursuit of excellence and whole school improvement through CAIS research.

  • Marc Ayotte, Chair, Head of School - Hillfield Strathallan College
  • Donna Bridgeman, Board Member - CAIS Board of Directors
  • Margaret Dorrance, Head of School - Calgary French and International School
  • Leanne Foster, Head of School - Trafalgar Castle School
  • Michel Lafrance, Head of School - West Island College
  • Tam Matthews, Head of School - West Point Grey Academy
  • James McMillan, Director of Advancement - Selwyn House School
  • Patti MacDonald, Executive Director - CAIS
  • Patricia McDermott, Board Chair – CAIS Board of Directors

The mandate of the Research Committee has previously been: to advise on national research projects to ensure timeliness, efficiency and value to members. However, since becoming an official Board Committee, it will be changing its mandate and membership will be limited to Heads and Board Members. Although the mandate has not been finalized, the Committee expects to focus on more strategic research initiatives, such as external issues and possible ‘disruptors’. The Committee had a general discussion about its goals for the next year, and those will be discussed in more detail at the next meeting in February 2018.

CAIS Innovation Grants

In order to be more strategic and align with the Strategic Plan initiatives, the Committee agreed to develop a sub-Committee to help manage school-led projects, including the CAIS Innovation Grants. Thank you to Leanne Foster, Head of Trafalgar Castle School, for agreeing to lead this sub-Committee. While membership on the Research Committee is now limited to Heads and Board Members this sub-Committee will be open to other school leaders.

Thank you to our Innovation Grant recipients for their continued dedication to continuous improvement through research initiatives. We look forward to sharing the completed projects in March 2018:

  • Project Manager: Eric Daigle, Rosseau Lake College, “Learning to Walk the Walk”
  • Project Manager: Kierstan McCaw, Southridge School, “Assessing Curricular Competencies”
  • Project Manager: Rachel Hughes, The Bishop Strachan School, “Bringing Inquiry to Blended Learning”
  • Project Manager: Judy Shenker, Lower Canada College, “Explicit instruction to improve reading comprehension, executive functioning and academic performance”

Benchmarking Report

Jason Lockhart, VP of Innovative Research, is once again managing the collection and analysis of the Benchmarking data, which reports on key performance indicators.

We understand that there are aspects of our KPI Benchmarking program that can be improved to increase the value of the report for your schools. The decision was made to keep the process the same for this year; however, both CAIS and Innovative Research Group are committed to refining the Benchmarking program, based on input from Business Officers, to better suit the needs of our members.

K-8 Research Project

On January 19, 2017, The Strategy Forum for K-8 CAIS Schools met via Zoom to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing K-8 schools. The participants also discussed the idea of a collaborative project to find international research on the value of a K-8 independent school education. Since this project falls outside the mandate of CAIS research, which must benefit all member schools, it was determined that the K-8 schools would each be billed $500 to fund the project.

CAIS contracted an independent consultant, Michèle Andrews, to work with us on this project. At the Heads and Chairs Conference, David Thompson, Head at Montcrest School, co-facilitated a session with Michèle to share themes from the preliminary literature review and solicit input on how to further shape this project. The review will be distributed in the near future.

CAIS Top 12

Some of the articles that have been read the most this fall include:

Thank you to everyone who has passed along articles of interest.

Karen Flindall
Research Coordinator