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Announcements

Register for the 2017 National Leaders Conference - Academics

April 9 - 11, 2017.
Register here

Leadership Institute

Register for the upcoming Spring and Summer Leadership Institute. Learn More & Register

2016 CAIS Webinar Recordings

Watch our International Fundraising, Governance Series, National Student Panel on Supporting LGBTQ+ Students, 2015 KPI Benchmarking Overview and our Review on Executing Accreditation Pilot Surveys webinars in CAIS Connect.
Access webinars here

Register for upcoming webinars here

2016 NLC Resources now available

Both the Catalytic Conversations on the Future of Education - Summary Report and the workshop material is now in CAIS Connect.
Access the Summary Report and Workshop Material

New PD model

Anne-Marie speaks to moving forward with a new national PD model with the creation of one national conference. Watch the Video

2015 CAIS Accreditation Guidelines

Review the new CAIS Accreditation Guidelines that are being piloted this school year. We welcome your feedback!




What is the Heads & Chairs Conference?


The Conference includes workshops for new Heads and new Chairs, notable Guest Speakers, separate sessions for Heads and Chairs, and the CAIS Annual General Meeting. Several other presentations and workshops take place, which vary each year.

The Heads and Chairs Conference offers an excellent opportunity for the most influential people in the Canadian independent school system to gather in one place to learn and share with colleagues.


View the 2016 Heads & Chairs Conference material in CAIS Connect.

View Material

Save the Date

2017 Heads & Chairs Conference

October 15 - 17, 2017 at the Fort Garry Hotel in Winnipeg

Join us for the Heads and Chairs Conference hosted by Balmoral Hall School, Gray Academy of Jewish Education and St. John's-Ravenscourt School.

* New date structure: new Heads and new Board Chairs will be invited to a welcome dinner on the evening of Saturday, October 14, followed by workshop day long session on Sunday, October 15. The full conference will begin Sunday, October 15 at 6 pm and will end Tuesday, October 17 at 5 pm.

Save the Date

2018 Heads & Chairs Conference

October 14 - 16, 2018

Join us for the Heads and Chairs Conference. Hosts and location will be posted shortly.

* New Heads and new Board Chairs will be invited to a welcome dinner on the evening of October 13th, followed by workshop sessions during the day on October 14th.








Conference Vision

The National Conference provides Heads and Chairs with the opportunity to:

  • Listen to visionary speakers about significant issues focused on the selected conference theme
  • Listen to speakers about educational issues, as well as national and international trends
  • Engage in discussions around the theme and/or school improvement
  • Attend the Annual General Meeting
  • Be inspired and re-energized
  • Enjoy a new area of Canada
  • Spend time with Heads and Chairs all together; Heads and Chairs in separate groups; and individual school Heads and Chairs
  • Network with colleagues from across the country

Membership Requirements

An important benefit of membership in our national organization is participation in the annual conference. Heads and Chairs are required to attend the annual Heads and Chairs Conference during which an Annual General Meeting is held.

If a Head is not able to attend, the Executive Director must be contacted prior to the conference. If a Head is not able to attend two consecutive years, the Board will review his/her school’s membership status.

If a Chair is unable to attend, he/she may appoint another member of their Board to attend.

The Annual membership fee invoice will include registration fees for the Head and Board Chair.

Who Should Attend?

  • All Heads of School, Board Chairs and their spouses/partners that are members of CAIS;
  • Heads of Schools and Board Chairs that are interested in becoming members of CAIS are invited to attend one conference;
  • Executive Directors from aligned associations are invited by the CAIS Executive Director;
  • Corporate sponsors and exhibitors that are strategically aligned with CAIS` vision and mission are invited to certain sections.


2016 Heads & Chairs Conference

Each year, the Heads of School and Board Chairs of CAIS member schools gather for the Annual Conference. The Conference is hosted by a different school or group of schools every year.


October 13 - 15, 2016

Was Hosted by: Norm Southward, Ashbury College and Cheryl Boughton, Elmwood School



Conference Highlights

  • keynote presentations by Dr. Joel Westheimer and Dr. Mark Milliron;
  • a panel with experts on current issues and trends;
  • a panel with leading architects discussing “How Places Influence Pedagogy and Purpose” followed by time to visit iconic structures in Ottawa such as Shopify, Wood Gundy, Beckta and a behind the scenes tour of the Parliament buildings;
  • strategic planning conversations;
  • and a review of the CAIS Governance Guidelines.

Conference Theme

Place, Pedagogy and Purpose.





Keynote Speaker


Dr. Joel Westheimer

Joel Westheimer is University Research Chair in Democracy and Education at the University of Ottawa and education columnist for CBC Radio’s Ottawa Morning and Ontario Today shows. He began his education career as a summer camp director and then middle school teacher in the New York City Public School system before obtaining a Ph.D. from Stanford University. His newest critically acclaimed book is What Kind of Citizen: Educating Our Children for the Common Good (Teachers College Press, 2015). Other multiple award-winning books include Pledging Allegiance: The Politics of Patriotism in America's Schools (foreword by Howard Zinn) and Among Schoolteachers: Community, Autonomy and Ideology in Teachers’ Work. Westheimer lectures widely and has delivered more than 200 keynote speeches. He is the author of more than 75 academic and professional journal articles, book chapters, and books. He addresses radio and television audiences nationally and internationally. He is currently directing (with John Rogers, UCLA) The Inequality Project, investigating what schools in North America are teaching about economic inequality. You can follow him @joelwestheimer.

Keynote Speaker


Dr. Mark Milliron

Co-Founder & Chief Learning Officer Civitas Learning

Dr. Mark David Milliron is Co-Founder and Chief Learning Officer of Civitas Learning, an organization committed to helping the education field bring together the best of emerging technology, data science, and design thinking to help students learn well and finish strong. An award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant, he has worked with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, foundations, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world. In previous roles, Mark served as the Deputy Director for Postsecondary Improvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; founding Chancellor of WGU Texas; Endowed Fellow and Director of the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development at The University of Texas at Austin; Vice President for Education and Medical Practice with SAS; and President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College.

Read the full bio at markmilliron.com






Thank you to our Sponsors
















Please contact Jeremy Barr for Sponsorship inquiries

Visit our Sponsor a CAIS event page for more information. If you are interested in becoming involved, please contact:








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