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Leadership Institute

Prepare for senior leadership roles in independent schools with our Leadership Institute. Learn More & Register

Online PD Webinars

Each year, we host webinars on national topics that are most relevant to our leaders. Access previously recorded webinars in CAIS Connect. Register for upcoming webinars here.

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!

Spring 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.

CAIS 2016-17 LI Brochure

Date: Friday April 7 to Sunday April 9, 2017

Location: Sheraton Montreal and Lower Canada College, Montreal, QC.

Fees: CAIS members - $295 and non members $495 (fee includes material and meals while onsite).

Reminder - only ONE module may be taken at a fall or spring LI. At the 2017 spring LI participants may take either Human Resources or Governance,

View the agenda here.

ModuleS: Governance and Human Resources


Led by Susan Wright


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 - Bio

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.

Human Resources

Led by Val Cambre

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

Val Cambre - Bio

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and fluent in Spanish, Val Cambre has 18 years of Human Resources experience. She spent several years in the Financial Services sector, specifically Canada Trust, in retail banking before moving into the field of HR, after completing her Certified Human Resources Professional designation.

After several years in various HR roles at the bank, Val moved into an HR service partner role, working closely with operational areas and supporting business units as an HR generalist.

In 2000, she joined a small HR firm in Toronto as a consultant, and then began her own independent consulting business, and consulted with various clients in different industries. Val’s consulting work focused on supporting organizations that needed HR implementation, or a review of the function. She would advise on the strategic role of HR and support clients in everything from implementing policy, to hiring and establishing an HR department where one wasn’t in place.

Val also began teaching strategic planning at Sheridan College in their HR certificate program. She then joined Appleby College in order to implement an HR function. At Appleby Val established the HR function with a focus on strategic partnership, and put in place a department that supports the school’s HR management. This includes the implementation of various programs including a recruitment program, mutual respect programs, rewards and recognition programs and performance management programs.

Val’s business studies and certification, including her CHRP designation, were completed at the Rotman School of Management at U of T. Val has focused her career in strategic HR partnership and leadership coaching, and is very passionate about the strategic role of HR in an organization.

Val is certified in Employee Opinion Surveys, Myers Briggs, and SDI behaviour assessment. She now also leads the Operations side of the school, which includes HR, Marketing, IT and Facilities planning and oversight of Finance.

Val loves to spend time with her family, and her husband is a calculus and physics teacher, (her two worst subjects)!

Summer LI

Dates: July 2 - 6, 2017

King's-Edgehill School, Windsor, NS

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