Does your school have a change in mind?

Are you clear on why and where that change should take place?

Are you ready to start planning how to make it happen?

Personalized, Project Based, Impact Oriented.

  • Open to school-based teams of academic and operational leaders
  • Five team cohort
  • Three day accelerator
  • Multiple virtual checkpoints throughout the 2018-2019 academic year

Why You Should Join

Design and accelerate a major change project for YOUR school.

Three Day Accelerator

July 1 - 4, 2019
In conjunction with the Summer LI hosted by Rothesay Netherwood School, in Rothesay, NB


Five schools maximum. Open to non-CAIS members and US schools.

What is the CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator?

This is a one-year cohort based program for school teams to have dedicated time to design and implement a Head-sanctioned change project within their schools. The CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator will provide participants with both face-to-face and virtual engagement, designed to accelerate school strategic implementation process. The experience will guide and support teams through the ideation, prototyping and implementation strategic process in order to generate meaningful school change plan. It is a design-based program organized by three facilitators with deep experience in the "HOW" of school change. It will include a 2 ½ day on-site intensive foundation-building and launch event followed by four virtual meetings to deepen the learning, support the process, and expose teams to exemplar schools and experts to help inform the process. A maximum of NINE independent schools will be selected for participation in this first cohort.

The Learning Experience: Backed by Research & Best Practices

The CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator will be facilitated by protocols and strategies adapted from the work of IDEO, John Kotter, Grant Lichtman, and other leaders in the field of strategic change acceleration. School teams will work to articulate their strategic initiative, focus and clarify their change urgency, research exemplar schools, build a guiding coalition, and develop a implementation roadmap that will allow them to apply to future strategic change at their school. This unique experience is designed to take each school team through a intensive change mapping and planning process that prepares them for the implementation journey. Virtual support and milestone check-in opportunities are provided throughout the academic year to support course corrections, bring in outside perspectives and provide sharing opportunities to support the process.

The 2051 Project - A Journey & Evolution Story

In the summer 2015 44 CAIS school academic and business leaders came together for a three day intensive incubator to answer the question: How might CAIS schools ensure their strength and permanence through academic and business innovation? That meeting yielded the 2051 Project Report which clearly outlines WHY and WHERE CAIS schools should look to change and innovate in order to ensure their long term sustainability. That experience also identified a need within the CAIS school community for more strategic change management professional development. In April 2017 the 2051 Project met for a second time to discuss and think about “HOW” CAIS schools might best go about implementing, maintaining and sustaining strategic change. It was out of that experience that the CAIS STRATEGIC CHANGE ACCELERATOR was born.

What Schools Schould Apply?

Schools that have identified a major change initiative and are at the beginning of the change implementation process would greatly benefit from this supported planning and development experience. If you have been involved with Project 2051, this may be the next logical step for your school. The majority of teams accepted into the cohort will be Canadian, though a select U.S. independent school may be accepted as well.

Building Your Team

Teams must consist of, at minimum, three members. It is recommended that each team include both academic program and operational leaders. Teams greatly benefit from multiple and divergent perspectives. Teams are best made up of those who will be actively leading the change initiative and are fully supported and enabled to drive the process forward.

Application Process

Applications are closed.

Schools are invited to submit applications to participate in the CAIS Strategic Change Accelerator. A maximum of five school teams will be selected and notified in May. of their acceptance to the cohort. Preference will be given to schools that have a clearly defined change initiative and that demonstrate commitment through leadership participation in the process.

Accelerator Calendar

  • On-site at St. Michaels University School on July 2-5 in Victoria BC
  • Four virtual meetings via Zoom video link dates and times TBD

Facilitation Team

Justin Medved
Director of Learning, Innovation & Technology
The York School

Justin is the current Director of Learning, Innovation and Technology at the York School in Toronto. He was one of the lead facilitators of Project 2051 and is co-founder of the Cohort 21 professional development community. Justin co-designed the facilitation package that drove the recent CIS Ontario Connect conference and has done work with multiple CAIS schools supporting their strategic planning process.

Garth Nichols
Vice-Principal, Student Engagement & Experiential Development
Havergal College

Garth is the Vice-Principal of Student Engagement and Experiential Development at Havergal College in Toronto. As one of the lead facilitators of Project 2051 and co-founder of the Cohort 21 professional development community, Garth has a passion for working with schools to support their strategic initiatives. With a compassion for all levels of stakeholders in strategic change, Garth has worked successfully with multiple CAIS schools on meaningful strategic change implementation that endures.

Grant Lichtman
Author, Speaker, Facilitator
The Future of K-12 Education

Internationally recognized thought leader and educational change agent; author of #EdJourney and Moving the Rock; has worked with dozens of schools to move them from imagination through implementation of major strategic changes.


The baseline cost for a CAIS member school team is $5000 for up to three team members. The non-member school team fee is $6250. This includes:

  • Onsite at St. Michaels University School and virtual workshops
  • Meals at St. Michaels University School
  • The cost for additional team members, to include meals is $500 per additional team member
  • Travel to/from the onsite, and lodging are the responsibility of each school.


National Leaders Conference

The 2018 National Leaders Post Conference materials can be found in CAIS Connect.