After two years of intensive groundwork, CFIS’s peer accreditation review is largely complete. Representatives of Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) schools from across Canada, with expertise in both administrative and educational aspects of school operations, attended at CFIS this May.
They thoroughly analyzed the documentation that had been compiled by CFIS staff to provide evidence of how CFIS meets the eleven CAIS standards.
Over the course of a three-day visit, the visiting committee developed recommendations and commendations based on both the documentation as well as on observations within the school and discussions with faculty, staff, and all members of the senior leadership team, as well as with a number of parents and alumni.
Because CFIS faculty and staff had already conducted an in-depth and wide-ranging internal review in advance of the committee’s visit, we had a thorough idea of our strengths and areas of required growth.
I am proud to report that the school received a significant number of commendations, largely focused on the learning environment, commitment to overall school improvement, and the implementation of the strategic plan.
The visiting committee will be providing its written report to CAIS, and CFIS will receive the final version of the document in the summer. At that point, the senior leadership team and the CFIS Society’s Board of Directors will commence a review of the report and begin to give thought to how we can individually and collectively improve the school by addressing the specific recommendations which it will contain.
The dedication to continuous improvement embodied by the ten members of the CAIS visiting committee was truly impressive. Their time and expertise was greatly appreciated, and supports CFIS as it strives to achieve its mission of developing each student’s individual and academic potential through full French immersion and an international focus in a rich and dynamic learning environment. CFIS’s membership in CAIS promotes a reflective and collaborative school improvement process, allows us to examine the school’s overall program and operations, provides validation of current programs and services, suggests areas of future growth and development, and provides our educators with valuable professional development and information about effective practices nationally and globally. It also assures CFIS parents that our school is focused on providing a safe and enriching learning environment while maintaining an efficient and effective operation, and provides the Society’s Board with an independent, non-governmental validation that the school they oversee is effectively delivering a quality educational experience to its students in a manner that is sustainable.
I was deeply moved at the debriefing meeting when the CAIS coordinator shared that he believes that CFIS’s membership as a CAIS school will contribute positively to that organization. I shared this comment with faculty and staff at a brief meeting following the visiting committee’s departure, and they were equally impacted by this sentiment.
I would like to thank the entire CFIS community – Board members, students, parents, alumni, faculty, staff, and the senior leadership team – for their time and contribution to this undertaking. Working collaboratively resulted in a highly successful outcome for our school, and will contribute to the strength and permanence of our school.
Mme Margaret Dorrance
Head of School