CAIS Foundations for School Leadership Program: Designing a Practice

Independent School leaders begin their leadership journey in a variety of different portfolios, some within the education program and others within school operations. Regardless of their current area of function, the CAIS Foundations for School Leadership Program invites emerging leaders to explore leadership from multiple levels- conceptual and personal. Participants will explore leadership across the three CAIS pillars including Strategic Direction, Education Program and School Operation.

This five-day program is for people who are at the beginning of an exploration of their aspirations for leadership or who have been recognized as potential school leaders.

Completion of the Foundations for School Leadership Program is required to pursue the CAIS Diploma in Independent School Leadership Program Diploma.

Information on the 2023 Foundations Program will be available soon!


Supporting the learning and development of independent school leaders is a strategic priority for CAIS. Recent CAIS research indicates a growing need for motivated, diverse, and expert leadership that supports school improvement and innovation. 

This program provides you with a knowledge of leadership competencies and actions. As an aspiring leader, it meets you where they are in your career. With support from expert facilitators and the cohort experience, you will gain a deeper sense of your strengths and areas for growth as you build both confidence and understanding of independent school leadership.

This five (5) day course is offered each summer, and is a prerequisite for participants who wish to pursue the CAIS Diploma in Independent School Leadership.

Course Goals

The overarching goals are to: 

  • Build understanding of CAIS Indicators of Effective Leadership Practice, including the competencies, knowledge and actions associated with school leadership.
  • Develop a deep understanding of the dispositions of effective leaders.
  • Identify and design an intentional leadership practice that builds upon a participant’s personal and professional experience.
  • Cultivate and integrate a pluralistic mindset within the educational setting and beyond.
  • Develop a network of professional colleagues.



Course components include:

  • Pre-course Lumina Spark Profile Assessment.
  • Pre-course work.
  • Engage in individual, small group, and large group activities.

Course Information

  • This course is open to faculty and staff from CAIS schools and non-CAIS schools who are new to the CAIS Leadership Institute or who have begun the LI program since 2021.
  • This course will be offered annually during the summer.
  • For further information see CAIS LI FAQ’s or contact Catherine McCauley.


Course Facilitators