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What is a CAIS? And why should it be important to you as a parent?

Submitted by sgrainger on
  • CAIS Accreditation Peer Review Team  photo credit: Brentwood College School

CAIS Accreditation Peer Review Team photo credit: Brentwood College School

This week, I had the privilege of participating in a peer review team affiliated with the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools in British Columbia.

Trinity College School is a proud member of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools, known as CAIS. Approximately 100 independent schools across the country are members of CAIS.

As part of the CAIS Accreditation Process, every five to seven years CAIS schools are subject to a formal peer review process which emphasizes a commitment to continuous school improvement. TCS most recently completed this reaccreditation process in 2022, successfully showcasing its dedication to excellence.

The peer review process involves a peer review team comprised of volunteers from member schools and led by a current, or recently retired, head of school. It’s important to note that the peer review team does not directly accredit a school. Instead, they provide a comprehensive peer review report to the CAIS accreditation office. The peer review team’s responsibilities include celebrating the school’s growth and strengths, summarizing compliance with CAIS’s 12 National Standards, offering commendations and recommendations, and promoting overall school improvement.

From my perspective, the accreditation process has two crucial elements. Firstly, it involves an external group of experienced education professionals validating a school’s claims against objective standards. Secondly, it provides the school being reviewed with constructive feedback and innovative ideas for improvement.

So what does that mean to a parent of a CAIS school student? As a parent, understanding this rigorous accreditation process should be reassuring. It signifies a commitment to maintaining high standards and fostering continuous improvement.

In my role as the head of school, I genuinely appreciate the accreditation process and firmly believe it has significantly contributed to making Trinity College School an even better educational institution.