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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!


Leadership Institute Modules

Compulsory Modules

*Participants may take either Academic Administration or Leadership for Learning

Academic Administration*

Offering a vibrant and dynamic academic program must always be the top priority for a school. Nothing is more important. The majority of CAIS Heads were academic leaders before being promoted to Head of School. The Academic Administration module is designed to provide participants with an opportunity to explore the key components of leading an academic program. The module will present best practices and a variety of case studies that will allow participants to understand the complexities of operating an effective academic program. Practical strategies will be discussed and developed through this highly interactive module.

Learning Intentions:

  • Expose delegates to a wide range of topics that are the responsibility of school academic leaders.
  • Understand the complexity and importance of sustainable academic programs in CAIS schools.
  • Appreciate the significance the school’s academic program has on the various stakeholder groups. (students, parents, faculty and staff, board members, alumni, community, etc.)
  • Understand how a school’s academic program should be closely integrated to all aspects of an independent school program – admission, advancement, information technology, etc.
  • Acquire “hands-on” experience in leading and managing a school’s academic program.
  • Reflect upon one’s own leadership style in order to successfully manage the academic program.

Course Content:

  • Introduction, Overview and Objectives
  • The Importance of the Academic Program
  • Building an Effective Resource Program at a CAIS School
  • Performance Appraisal Protocol
  • 5) Professional Development and the Professional Growth Portfolio
  • Mentorship
  • Managing Academic Leaders
  • Academic Integrity
  • Supporting the University Counseling Department
  • Transition Between Schools Within School

Accreditation and School Improvement

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

Advancement

All aspects of a fully functioning Advancement Office will be reviewed during this module. There will be a combination of lecture, individual & group case assignments, Q&A, and in-depth discussions of topics that are of particular interest to the participants. Topics will include:

Development


  • The Solicitation Cycle
  • Annual Giving, Major Gifts, Planned Giving
  • Making the Major Gift Ask
  • Campaigns
  • Consultants
  • Donor Agreements & Pledge Schedules
  • Naming Opportunities

Alumni relations


  • Programmes – in person & online
  • Branches/Chapters
  • International
  • Events
  • Surveys

Advancement Services


  • Research, Records & Database Management
  • Reports & Moves Management
  • Receipts, Reminders and Acknowledgements

Governance


  • Leadership/Executive Team
  • Board of Governors/Trustees
  • Foundation Board/Directors - Endowment
  • Advancement/Alumni/Development Volunteer Committees

General


  • School & Advancement Strategic Plans
  • Campaign Case for Support
  • Communications & Marketing
  • Admissions
  • Advancement Budget/Investment
  • Staff Recruitment & Retention

Learning Intentions:

  1. A review of best practices, and real examples – a working knowledge of Advancement
  2. Gain an appreciation of the many positive impacts that Advancement activities can have upon a school

Faculty Culture

The Faculty Culture module is designed to provide participants with information concerning the complexities of creating, managing, and leading a vibrant, effective faculty culture within an educational setting. Participants will review basic management theory, discuss the difference between leadership and management, begin the process of developing their own management philosophy and will be given an exposure to the controversies and issues facing a current educational manager/leader. All of this will apply directly to the overall concept of Faculty Culture.

Learning Intentions:

  • To understand the meaning and complexities of faculty culture.
  • To start thinking about one’s own management/leadership style.
  • To expose participants to a wide variety of management theories and styles.
  • To clearly define faculty culture and understand its relevance in an independent school environment.

Finance

The Finance module is designed to provide participants with information and experience in receiving and interpreting financial data within the school environment. We will explore the ethics and law around financial decision making, benchmarking of independent schools, financial sustainability and governance, internal financial reporting and reviewing financial statements. A budget exercise that participants undertake in small groups is a tool used to understand the major drivers of a school's finances. The module is participatory and aimed at the non-financial manager.

Learning Intentions:

  • Gain an awareness of the financial documents used by independent schools
  • Develop an understanding of the major drivers of a school budget
  • Examine issues of financial sustainability and risks associated with enrolment fluctuations
  • Develop an understanding of the "business" of running a school - insurance, planning, revenues and expenses.

Governance

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.

Leadership for Learning*

Student learning has to be at the heart of what we do; student learning has to provide the horizon from which we make decisions; and ultimately, student learning has to form the foundation of our schools. This module is designed to support and inspire school leaders towards improving student achievement and learning within their schools.

Effective educational leaders understand the “truths” of leadership and the “norms” of great schools. Moving a school from “good to great” requires skill, trust, vision, credibility, commitment, focus and heart. This module will examine the typologies of great schools and the norms of effective leadership. We will discuss and investigate how Supervision for Learning is a critical component of school improvement and learning. We will investigate, share and reflect on current educational research, best practice and new thinking about the connection between leadership learning and student achievement.

Learning Intentions:

  • Explore the mindsets of learning focused leadership.
  • Develop an understanding of Supervision For Learning and the role of school leadership in supporting student learning and achievement.
  • Develop an understanding of the conditions which encourage conversations about enhancing learning and achievement.
  • Model effective learning strategies.





Elective Modules

Admissions

This module provides an overview of important topics facing CAIS admission and marketing offices today, including how to manage faculty professional development. It has been designed to introduce non-admission faculty and staff to the challenging, creative, high-pressure, and exciting world of the Admission Office.

Learning Intentions:

  • Develop an understanding of The Admission Funnel, Marketing, Student Assessment, Consensus Building and Financial Assistance
  • Understand the concept of our CAIS schools as co-operative competitors
  • Explore the mindset of Families of the 21st century: Wooing the millennium generation

Aspiring Leaders

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. —Warren Bennis"

Leaders of independent schools have to have many, often competing, skill sets. They need to be able to manage multi-million dollar budgets, work with a Board, and ask for million dollar donations, but they also need to be able to champion students, manage instructional growth, and hang out in a kindergarten classroom. Are you up for that challenge?

National trends and research in independent school education will set the context as you consider the challenges and clarify your vision of an effective school and your role in leading it.

Course Overview:
This module is open to educators and independent school staff who are not currently in leadership roles but anticipate a leadership position over the next 3-4 years. We will develop a deeper understanding of your leadership style and how to manage difficult conversations.

Brain Research

With the advent of 21st century technologies and the use of neuroimaging, it is becoming increasingly clear to researchers and educators that there are certain teaching practices that are highly effective for all students. In particular, the role of meaning and understanding to the learner has enlightened teaching practices. In addition, the role of emotions and in particular the function of the emotional brain in either increasing motivation or causing the brain to go into shut-down mode has had a great impact on restructuring classroom environments. Specific knowledge about skill development such as decoding and comprehension has also emanated from brain research and has had an impact on teaching practices.

Learning Intentions:

  • Nine of the most relevant research-based brain friendly classroom practices
  • How to create the brain friendly school-environment for students and teachers
  • Prime-time learning and teaching practices
  • Brain research as it pertains to the learning of specific skills
  • Classroom practices that ensure success for all learners in the inclusive classroom

Change Management

“There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things.” - Machiavelli

This module will provide you with a solid understanding of both the theoretical and practical aspects of leading change. The paths to take and the pitfalls to avoid will be examined by focusing on a host of ideas like: urgency, vision, cynicism, chaos, celebrations, storytelling, and Grendel’s Mother.

Learning Intentions:

  • Explore the theories of change, as well as the nature of change and the role of change agents
  • Develop an awareness of the strengths of bottom-up and top down approaches to change; examine the need for incremental, transformational and radical change; appreciate the possible targets of change.
  • Focus on the question: How to lead planned change.
  • Reflect on personal influence strategies, recognize resistance and learn the ways to overcome it.

Coaching

Coaching is a critical leadership skill. This course will address the opportunities for and benefit of coaching in an educational environment. Participants will discuss what coaching is and is not and will assess how much they are practicing a coaching approach in how they provide leadership to and work with others. A coaching framework and set of skills will be presented; participants will have the opportunity to practice their coaching skills and to apply the coaching process and skills to specific coaching opportunities that they have

Learning Intentions:

  • Understand what coaching is and its benefits in a leadership capacity and in an educational environment.
  • Reflect on one’s own use of a coaching approach.
  • Expose participants to the key coaching skills and provide a framework for conducting coaching discussions.
  • Identify and discuss opportunities to apply a coaching approach to specific issues, opportunities and challenges faced in an educational setting.
  • Practice applying coaching skills in various situations.

Education Law

The course will address four important sets of legal issues that may arise in an educational administrator’s daily life. The course begins with the law governing educational discipline as it applies to independent schools. This is followed by a discussion of educators’ potential liability in negligence, ranging from supervising sporting activities, billeting visiting students and investigating allegations of harassment to providing references. The third component addresses record keeping, confidentiality and disclosure of student information. The course ends with a discussion of educators’ mandatory reporting obligations, duty to warn and obligations under the growing patchwork of privacy statutes.

The participants will be provided with very detailed program materials, summarizing all of the relevant cases and statutes. The participants will be encouraged to ask questions throughout the session, and opportunities will be provided to ask questions on a one-to-one basis.

Learning Intentions:

  • Come away with an understanding of the legal principles governing their professional lives as educators.
  • Provide a framework for analyzing specific legal problems.
  • Participants will be given approaches to anticipating and avoiding common legal problems.

Course Content:

Part I: Introduction

Part II: Legal Issues in Perspective

Part III: The Legal Authority of Educators

Part IV: Educators’ Legal Powers

Part V: Negligence Law and Education

Part VI: Special Duties of Affirmative Action

Part VII: Record Keeping

Part VIII: Confidentiality and Privilege

Part IX: Disclosure

Part X: Federal and Provincial Reporting Obligations, and the Duty to Warn

Part XI: Conclusion

Appendix I: Preparing for Court and Being a Witness

Appendix II: Police Entry Onto School Property and Related Issues.

Appendix III: The Authority to Discipline Staff

Appendix IV: Additional Cases

Encouraging Dialogue: Mental Health and Our Schools

The Canadian Mental Health Commission states that “for more than 70% of adults living with mental health problems, symptoms developed in childhood or early adolescence.” The obvious conclusion from this statement suggests that what we do in our schools with our students each day has the potential to positively impact their lives. This course will examine what each of our independent schools are currently doing in the area of mental health, not only with our students but with our staff, and provide suggestions on what can be done to enhance and strengthen our efforts in promoting positive mental health within our communities.

Learning Intentions:

  • The importance of encouraging dialogue around this subject in our schools and school community to break the stigma that still remains around this issue.
  • What do you look for? What do you ask? What do you do?...when a student or staff member is identified as having a mental health issue?
  • How to implement a mental health strategy or plan for your school.

Design Thinking for School Innovation

This module seeks to develop an “innovator's mindset” among its participants to build the skills necessary to meet the “CAIS dual challenge”. In this module, participants will add to their leadership toolkit to include the following lenses:

The Leader as Designer - “Effective leaders pay particular attention to the way design affects behaviour”

  • Participants will be introduced to the CAIS Schools “Dual Challenge”
  • Participants will learn and apply the “Design Thinking” framework
  • Participants will examine the framework of design thinking as a way to approach the “CAIS Dual challenge”
  • Participants will design solutions for their own unique school challenges

The Innovative Leader - “Why wouldn’t leadership change as what’s possible in leadership changes”

  • Participants will examine the role that leadership plays in designing for innovation
  • Participants will learn the important role that leadership plays in addressing the “CAIS dual challenge”
  • Participants will examine the proposed solutions from The 2051 Project data and findings
  • Participants will assess these solutions in the context of their own school

The Networked Leader - “Our experience has shown us that leaders can and should use the technological forums available to them to ask others for help; to create opportunities for others to learn; to listen to many voices, not simply a chosen few; to lead with “multiple tabs open” in order to avoid insularity in a time when being open, available, and accepting, is less of a choice than an imperative.”

  • Participants will walk away equipped a new online toolkit from which to collaborate and learn
  • Participants will build a list of “lighthouse schools” and dual challenge innovations to share with their own school leadership teams.
  • Participants will be given the tools and CAIS PLN to continue meaningful connections made during the module

Human Resources

The Role of Human Resources as a Strategic Partner: A review of the Human resources functions within an organization, and its role as a strategic partner. A look at the tactical framework model of the various areas of discipline in HR, including recruitment, retention, performance management, employee relations, compensation and policy management and how to ensure they are aligned and are contributing positively towards the goals, mission and vision of the organization. Taking a look at current practices within an organization and ensuring they reflect best practice in human resources management and reviewing how to implement or make change if they are not.

Learning Intentions:

  • Examine some of the current trends we see today in human resources management
  • Understanding the challenges in ensuring there are effective HR practices in smaller organizations
  • How to implement best practices in human resources management

Leadership 101

This module will offer the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of your leadership style, we will also work closely with colleagues on how to manage difficult conversations, run effective meetings, handle crisis situations, and make persuasive presentations.

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. —Warren Bennis"

Leaders of independent schools have to have many, often competing, skill sets. They need to be able to manage multi-million dollar budgets, work with a Board, and ask for million dollar donations, but they also need to be able to champion students, manage instructional growth, and hang out in a kindergarten classroom. Are you up for that challenge?

National trends and research in independent school education will set the context as you consider the challenges and clarify your vision of an effective school and your role in leading it.

Course Overview:

This module will offer the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of your leadership style, we will also work closely with colleagues on how to manage difficult conversations, run effective meetings, handle crisis situations, and make persuasive presentations

Leading from Within

“There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of authority or influence. Those who lead inspire us.” - Simon Sinek

This module will provide you with an appreciation for the strengths you bring to this leadership position and the importance of being able to draw from the strengths of others. Leadership is about framing the challenge and pointing out the horizon, helping others involved know what matters and why. Engaging others to help solve an issue means more ideas arise, more people willing to be part of the solution, and more people willing to act on those solutions. Ultimately, as a leader, it is more important to know what needs to be addressed than knowing the answer – collaborating rather than commanding; guiding rather than telling and sharing rather than hoarding power.

Learning Intentions:

  • Explore Strength-based Leadership – for self and others ( which may require a personal strength inventory prior to the summer module)
  • Explore strategies to build your administrative team with the right people and the necessary strengths to compliment your leadership style.
  • Identify ways to build capacity in your administrative team.
  • Understand the importance of beginning with the WHY before the WHAT and the HOW in addressing any challenge.
  • Reflect on balancing leadership and management.

Management

The Management module is designed to provide participants with information concerning the complexities of management in an educational setting. Participants will review basic management theory, discuss the difference between leadership and management, begin the process of developing their own management philosophy and will be given an exposure to the controversies and issues facing a current educational manager/leader. Particular emphasis will be placed on the concept of managing an effective and productive faculty culture.

Learning Intentions:

  • To understand the complexities of management/leadership
  • To start thinking about one’s own management/leadership style
  • To expose participants to a wide variety of management theories and styles
  • To define faculty culture and understand its relevance in a independent school environment

Schedule:

Session #1

  • Introduction - Management vs. Leadership
  • A personal definition
  • The Churchill Model of Leadership/Management
  • The Nelson Mandela Model of Leadership/Management
  • Leadership Jazz
  • Teamwork
  • The Baseball Challenge
  • Management Styles
  • The functions of Management
  • P.O.L.E.
  • The Elements of Success

Session #2

  • Management vs. Leadership
  • Twelve Angry Men

Session #3

  • A Review of P.O.L.E.
  • Strategic Planning
  • The Decision Making Process

Session #4

  • Leadership
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Case Study 1& 2
  • Leadership at Selwyn House

Session #5

  • Management of People
  • Selection (hiring)
  • Motivation
  • Feedback

Session #6

  • A World of Faculty Culture
  • The Creation of Culture
  • Final Thoughts

Marketing & Communications

Today's independent school leadership requires an understanding of the power of marketing and communications for reputation management, admissions and retention, constituent engagement and fundraising.

Using the recent CAIS market research study as a starting point, join Jason Lockhart of Innovative Research Group and Alison Holt of the Offord Group to learn more about:

  • the current climate for schools
  • market research and what it means for your school
  • why you need a marketing and communications strategy and key elements
  • establishing a strong marketing and communications program
  • strategies and tactics that work.

Plant and Property Management

One key to the success of our independent schools is a first class facility. This module will introduce participants to strategic planning of new facilities, annual maintenance of existing plants, and ongoing management of plant, property, housekeeping and food services.

Learning Intentions:

  • Develop an understanding of the principles and best practices of plant and property management.
  • Explore the process of long term facility planning and capital project development.
  • Explore the partnerships among the Head of School, CFO, Facilities Manager, Food Services Manager and Housekeeping Manager, and the important relationships between the School (as a major property owner) and the community.

Risk Management

The management of risk is essential in all aspects of independent schools. From board governance to strategic planning to operations, the effective management of risk ensures successful achievement of the school’s mission. This module broadens a common understanding of risk management from its traditional focus on accidental losses to include all risks an independent school may face. Participants of the risk management module will develop an enterprise-wide perspective of risk through a combination of lecture, discussion, case studies, participant presentations as well as individual and group learning activities. Topics included within the module include: risk context and oversight, risk control (identification, analysis, feasibility of risk control techniques, selecting a technique, implementing and monitoring), risk financing and risk communication. Participants will also learn of several resources to specific to risk management in independent schools such as the CAIS Effective Practices for Off-Site Activities.

Learning Intentions:

  • To understand the fundamentals of risk management
  • Have the knowledge to initiate the setup of a risk register
  • Be able to apply the risk management process within their school
  • Be knowledgeable of and access risk management resources

Target audience:

School leaders, faculty, administrative staff, facilities staff, residential staff and board members.


The New IQ: How to Boost Your Innovation Quotient

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast” Peter Drucker famously said. Or maybe for school snacks. Innovation has very little to do with technology programs, new pedagogies or school-wide initiatives and very much to do with creating culture. But, unlike previous turns of the education timeline, from Rousseau to Dewey, for example, this innovation is now in the hands of practitioners: students, teachers and, especially, school leadership.

That is both an exhilarating challenge and a heavy burden. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, no one way forward to innovation. Indeed, this workshop suggests that many of education’s problems stem from taking a blanket approach to problem-solving. We may have a common goal, but how we each get there depends crucially on building a bespoke plan that recognizes the sensitivities and idiosyncrasies of each individual school.

Learning Intentions

Participants will leave with

  • an understanding of the difference between strategy, change management and culture-building
  • an understanding of the difference between complicated and complex problems and the different methods for solving them
  • a profile of the key stakeholders in their communities who need to be engaged and their motivations for resisting or promoting innovation and change
  • a planning model that focuses on culture building
  • a first-draft, bespoke action plan that addresses eight elements for success in your unique school community

Women in Leadership

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. —Warren Bennis"

Leaders of independent schools have to have many, often competing, skill sets. They need to be able to manage multi-million dollar budgets, work with a Board, and ask for million dollar donations, but they also need to be able to champion students, manage instructional growth, and hang out in a kindergarten classroom. Are you up for that challenge?

National trends and research in independent school education will set the context as you consider the challenges and clarify your vision of an effective school and your role in leading it.

Course Overview:

There is considerable research on leadership development, and this module will examine current theories and data on the main leadership traits and how they are developed and recognized in girls and women.

Learning Intentions:

  • Understand the process to develop student leaders, whether in co-ed or single gender schools. How do we define, create and foster leadership development for our students?
  • Gain greater self-awareness and develop a personal vision - a 3-part autobiography of the participants’ leadership journey: Chapter one- the past journey; Chapter 2- the current journey; Chapter 3- the future and vision development.
  • Develop an understanding of how to build a culture of leadership development for women in schools


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