CAIS Accreditation: Peace of Mind for Your Family
The accreditation process gives families – both current and prospective – the confidence that our schools are truly the ‘best of the best’.
Education is provincially mandated in Canada, and as such, CAIS schools are required to meet Ministry requirements. These requirements, however, are just the starting point for our schools.
Member schools must adhere to the CAIS National Standards and Procedures, which are congruent with the internationally accepted criteria and model core standards adopted by the NAIS International Commission on Accreditation. These standards are updated annually based on current research into exceptional practices. The Standards Council of the Board reviews and approves all changes to the Accreditation Guidelines on an ongoing basis, ensuring our schools remain on the forefront of the education sphere.
The process for accreditation includes an Internal Evaluation conducted by all members of the school itself; this process contributes to the school’s commitment to excellence and on-going improvement. During this process, a school examines all aspects of its programs and operations, seeking to discover its strengths, weaknesses, and future strategic plans, examining how well its programs fulfill its mission, and measuring itself against the Standards.
A Visiting Committee, working from the school’s Internal Evaluation, spends four days at the school. During this time, the committee meets with the school’s entire community, including students, staff, parents and Board members. The Visiting Committee observes classes and all other activities of the school. This is a peer-review process, which means that the Visiting Committee Members are from schools with similar missions and values. The team challenges the school to reflect on how they can make improvements through their commitment to excellence.
Ultimately, the accreditation process ensures an arm’s length evaluation of the school and enables each school to be more accountable to all of its constituents. Final accreditation is determined by the CAIS Board.
Benefits of Accreditation
The importance of CAIS accreditation cannot be understated. Our accreditation process:
- Promotes a reflective and collaborative school improvement process
- Provides school leaders with validation of current programs and services and suggested planning for future growth and development
- Provides educators with valuable professional development and information about effective practices in other schools through participation on peer review teams;
- Provides a school’s Board of Governors with an independent, non-governmental validation that the school they oversee is effectively delivering a quality educational experience to its students;
- Eases the transition students face as they move from one internationally accredited school to another;
- Provides education leaders at all levels with deserved recognition for going above and beyond the minimum to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to quality;
- Assures parents and the public that the school is focused on providing a safe and enriching learning environment while maintaining an efficient and effective operation.