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.

Fall Leadership Institute

The CAIS Diploma in Independent School Leadership is designed to prepare participants for senior leadership roles in independent schools, particularly for Headships, by providing courses in aspects of independent schools rarely experienced by teachers. It is expected that candidates will discuss participation with their Head of School.

Dates: November 15-16, 2019
Hosted by: Halifax Grammar School in Halifax, Nova Scotia

Program Times: Registration: 3:30 p.m. The program runs from 4:00 p.m. on Friday, November 15 to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, November 16, 2019.

Modules: Accreditation & Governance (required modules) will be offered.

N.B. A minimum of 10 participants is required for each module to run.


The Westin Nova Scotian
1181 Hollis Street

Halifax, NS  B3H 2P6
(902) 496-7431

Book your room here

Last day to book: October 17, 2019

A block of 32 rooms have been reserved for CAIS Fall LI participants at a rate of $139.00-$159.00 per night plus applicable taxes. Rooms will be available at these rates, 3 days prior and 3 days after November 14 and 15, 2019. This conference rate will be offered prior to and including October 17, 2019 up to the 32 rooms in the block. If all blocked rooms are filled prior to October, 17, 2019, you can still book at the conference rate prior to this date, subject to availability. Reserve early if you require accommodation.

Air Travel Discount

Air Canada – 10% discount on flights
Go to the Air Canada website aircanada.com and enter your promotion code in the search panel.

To qualify for the Meeting and Conventions special fares a minimum of 10 delegates is required travelling from various origins to the same destination.

Promotion Code: ABZ2UV71
This promotion code can be used for 15 passengers on aircanada.com.

Applicable Rules:

  • The booking is to be made to the following city: Halifax, YHZ (NS)
  • The travel period begins Friday, November 08, 2019 and ends Saturday, November 23, 2019.
  • Travel is valid Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
  • No discount will apply to Tango bookings for travel within Canada or between Canada and the U.S. For International travel (destinations outside North America), discounts apply to all fares including Tango.
  • However, all bookings made using the promotion code will count toward the minimum 10 passenger requirement for Meetings and Conventions events.

Modules Offered for the Fall LI


Facilitator: Martha Perry & Catherine McCauley
Compulsory Module.


With accreditation being a requirement for membership in CAIS, schools are increasingly interested in the process and its demonstrated impact on sustained improvement. This module will examine the history and current trends in accreditation, along with additional methods of effecting successful change.

Learning Intentions:

  • Examine the need for continuous school improvement
  • Develop an understanding of the change process, with emphasis on leading innovation
      • Standards, Indicators of Effective Practice and Guiding Questions
      • Internal Evaluation: Gathering data, collaboration and reflective practice
      • External Evaluation: Visiting Committee overview
      • Cycle of improvement: reporting process

Martha Perry

Principal at St. Clement's School

Martha joined St. Clement’s School as Principal in August 2010. Martha has a wealth of experience in the independent school system, working with staff and with students at all levels. Prior to her return to SCS, she was Assistant Head of Academics at Pickering College; she has also been Director of Admissions at St. Clement’s School, and Director of Academic Support and the Advisor program at Trinity College. Martha has worked with junior school students at Crestwood School and at Montcrest School, where she was Junior Division Representative. Martha’s background as a Special Education specialist, combined with her leadership training through the CAIS (Canadian Accredited Independent Schools) Independent School Leadership diploma program, has enabled her to help students and the staff who work with them to achieve their full potential. Martha is an instructor for the Accreditation and School Improvement Module at the annual CAIS Leadership Institute.

Martha holds a Masters’ of Education degree from Nipissing University, a Bachelor of Education degree from York University, and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from McMaster University. She has coordinated two CAIS (formerly CESI, Canadian Educational Standards Institute) Internal Evaluation processes, at Montcrest School and Pickering College, and has been a member of four CAIS accreditation visiting committees.

Catherine McCauley

CAIS Director of Accreditation & Research

Catherine McCauley is an experienced educator who has dedicated over 25 years in support of student academic and social-emotional growth, teacher professional learning and educational innovation.

She has built a reputation as a collaborative team member at four CAIS schools including Bayview Glen, Kingsway College School, St. Mildred’s-Lightbourn School and the York School where she worked at elementary, middle and secondary levels as a classroom teacher, guidance counsellor, curriculum leader and service learning coordinator.

As an independent school community member, Catherine completed the CAIS Diploma of Independent school Leadership and was a member of the Ontario Conference of Independent Schools (CIS) professional learning community, Cohort 21. She also participated in the CAIS accreditation process in multiple schools.

Catherine holds a Master of Education degree from the University of British Columbia (Curriculum and Instruction), a Bachelor of Education degree from York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wilfrid Laurier University.

In addition to independent and public school experience, Catherine was the Strategic Director and Director of Curriculum & Educator Professional Learning for the WE organization, an international leader in experiential service learning. She contributed to and actively supported the WE Schools strategic vision and led the creation of educational resources and professional learning programming reaching thousands of schools across Canada and the United States. 

Catherine has been a leader and mentor for educators who want to explore global competences and new areas of educational research, those who want to align experiential service learning with required provincial and international curricula and those who wish to work collaboratively to incorporate innovative teaching techniques in the classroom.

Above all, Catherine believes in the power of on-going reflective practice, the development of global competencies, future-focused areas of knowledge, positive habits of mind and support of social social-emotional learning.

Catherine joined CAIS as the Director of Accreditation and Research in August, 2019.


Facilitator: Susan Wright
Compulsory Module.


Governance is ‘the unknown country’ of independent schools. When it is misunderstood and badly practiced it creates a landscape littered with bodies and broken dreams often resulting in schools sliding towards a state of chaos. In schools where it is properly understood, governance practices are almost invisible and those schools thrive. This module presents best practices and case scenarios that will allow participants to recognize and understand both good and bad governance practices.

Learning Intentions:

  • The duties, responsibilities, policies and scope of authority of governing Boards will be identified.
  • Examine the governing Board’s purpose, membership and structure and its relationship, with the school’s mission, vision, values and strategy.
  • Explore the permeable line between management and governance.
  • The centrality of the relationship between the Board Chair and the Head of School will be discussed.
  • Examine what keeps Boards and Heads awake at night.

Susan Wright

Consultant at Wright Management Consulting

Susan Wright leads Wright Management Consulting  - a small firm dedicated to providing strategy, governance and organizational development services for not-for-profit and public sector clients.  Susan completed a B.A. (Honours) degree at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario and a M. Phil. degree on a Commonwealth Scholarship at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.  Susan has been in consulting for over 25 years – having worked previously for two Canadian consulting firms and an international firm. At the core of Susan’s work is a commitment to helping leaders and organizations prepare for the future. 

Susan has undertaken strategic planning and governance projects for many educational institutions including universities, colleges and about 20 independent schools in Canada.  Susan also played a variety of volunteer roles at Havergal College over many years including serving as Chair of the Board of Governors.  She is currently the past Chair of the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario (CIS Ontario) and served as a regional advisor on the Board of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) for two years.