Expect The Best


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. Learn more & register here.

Leadership Institute

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

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.

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!

2018 National Leaders Conference

Theme: Collaboration and Creativity for Sustainability

Date: April 15 - 17, 2018 at Le Centre Sheraton (downtown) in Montreal, Quebec.
Audience: Operational Leaders: Admissions, Advancement, Business, Human Resources, Marketing and Communications.

Please note: The registration deadline was Thursday, March 29th. Please contact Shannon Byck at sbyck@cais.ca to inquire about any available spots.

Conference start and end: Conference registration begins Sunday, April 15 at 8 am and the conference will officially end at 12:30 pm on the Tuesday, April 17 with a possible conference add-on for school tours that will occur after and end at 3:30 pm. The full conference program will be available shortly.

Canadian Boarding Collective Boarding Summit: The 2018 CBC Boarding Summit with begin following the conclusion of the National Leaders Conference. The Summit will begin at 1:00pm on Tuesday, April 17 and conclude at 4:00pm on Wednesday, April 18. Confirm your attendance here.

Conference registration is closed

Registration is closed. Please email Shannon Byck (sbyck@cais.ca) to inquire about any available spots.

CAIS + Microsoft Surface loaner program

Borrow a Microsoft Surface for the duration of the CAIS Conference and see for yourself
why Surface is an excellent choice in the classroom!

Surface brings all the best tools for teaching and learning together in one device. With
best-in-class digital inking capabilities, Surface can replace pen and paper in the
classroom to facilitate anytime, anywhere learning and innovative teaching. Surface and
Windows help provide the foundation for a consistent, controlled, and protected
technology environment across your whole school.

Test drive one today! 6 Easy steps:

  1. Reserve your device to ensure we have one for you
  2. Pick it up at the registration desk
  3. Take a short optional tutorial with our accessibility professionals
  4. Explore the amazing options of the Surface while enjoying the conference
  5. Download all your conference content to a OneDrive to share with your colleagues
  6. Return the Surface by the end of the conference day 2.

Reserve Your Surface

Conference Overview

Our schools are dynamic institutions. And every day, thousands of professionals, many behind the scenes, are working to challenge the status quo. They are working to ensure that our schools can equip students to tackle society's most enduring challenges. And through their participation, it is clear that nothing in our schools happens in isolation. Every successful initiative arises through strategic collaboration between all parties. Our operations team allows our academic environment to remain strong; from selecting high quality students to affirming their support after graduation.

But as we move forward, there are a number of questions we must address. How can we effectively market our competitive advantage? How do we know promising students when we see them? With so many competing interests, how do we successfully encourage families to support our school's mission? The National Leaders Conference 2018 promises to enrich the operational mandate and capabilities of our schools to ultimately strengthen the educational program we deliver.

Conference Theme

Collaboration and Creativity for Sustainability

The third annual National Leaders Conference will welcome CAIS Operational Leaders and will focus on developing collaboration within and across national networks. The conference sessions will consider what it means to practice a business function within the context of a not for-profit, school setting as we work to increase the strength and ensure the sustainability of CAIS Schools. Attendees will participate in a range of sessions featuring discussion and networking. The NLC Planning Committee members are working diligently to gather input from within each network to make this a truly useful and memorable experience.

Keynote Speakers

Jean David

Jean David, from Quebec City, Quebec, is a strong-willed entrepreneur who is known for his creativity and ability to think outside of the box. As marketing Vice-President for 15 years for Cirque du Soleil, Jean is considered to be one of the pioneering forces behind their creation and development. “Above all, he is a communications and idea man who has taken on the most daunting of challenges: understanding our environment and creating solutions to the issues confronting us.”


Ewan McIntosh

Ewan McIntosh, from Edinburgh, United Kingdom, is the founder of NoTosh Limited, a company that “develops products and services with creative companies on the one hand, and then takes the processes, attitudes and research gained there to the world of education”. Ewan’s area of interest is in bringing a prototyping culture to both Business and Academic Environments. Ewan and NoTosh have been working globally including Europe, Australia and North America.


Fireside Chat with Patti MacDonald


A panel presentation is being developed to examine how to encourage and develop effective communication across networks within a school. This panel will endeavor to bring together the conference theme of sustainability, collaboration and creativity with the focus on developing practical and useful ideas for participants to walk away with.

Catalytic Conversations

Learn More

As opposed to a workshop, Catalytic Conversations are designed to be a facilitated conversation. These ninety minute sessions will dive deep into topics of national relevance and require participants to think differently about change. Participants will be required to preregister for conversations, ensuring that within each conversation there will be multiple perspectives from a variety of CAIS school leadership positions. Participants will be asked to complete prework activities, allowing for all participants to come into the conversation with a shared level of knowledge and understanding. Previous catalytic conversation topics have included: Homestay, Benchmarking, Talent Management, The 2051 Project, Retention, Leading in Complexity, Technology as a Disruptor, Faculty PD Models, Social Media Engagement, Tuition, Pricing and Trending in Recruitment, Assessment and Faculty Wellness.

Workshop Sessions


Not only will our National Networks have devoted time to network and learn from their peers but all attendees will have the opportunity to engage in workshops (1 hr 10 minutes in length) and speed innovation sessions (10 minute presentations) that allow for a cross-pollination of all CAIS school leaders. Workshops topics may be more appropriate to some groups than others but will open to allow for learning across networks. Topics will be drawn from proposals gathered from the entire CAIS community.

Closed National Network Sessions


Our National Networks: Admissions Professionals, Advancement Professionals, Business Professionals, HR Professionals, Marketing and Communications Professionals, will have designated time to discuss, collaborate, listen and learn. During their closed meetings, the National Networks will be able to meet with their network of CAIS colleagues and have focused conversations and presentations on their respective fields.

2018 NLC Committee

2018 Planning Committee Members

  • Derek Logan, Committee Chair, Kingsway College School
  • Laura Authier, St. Michaels University School
  • Kelly Chow, Mulgrave School
  • Chad Holtum, Glenlyon Norfolk School
  • Anne Marie Kent, Halifax Grammar School
  • Patti MacNicol, Upper Canada College
  • Barb McLean, The Bishop Strachan School
  • Susan Orr-Mongeau, The Study
  • Paul Prieur, St. John's-Ravenscourt School
  • Zahra Valani, Hillfield Strathallan College
  • Kalie Whitaker, Meadowridge School

Save The Date

2019 National Leaders Conference
Date: April 7 - 9, 2019 at the Delta Hotel Toronto Airport & Conference Centre in Toronto.

Operational & Academics

CAIS National Leaders Conference Sponsors

CAIS is grateful to our sponsors. Their support allows CAIS to provide valuable Leadership Development opportunities to our members.

Interested in Sponsoring a CAIS event?

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