Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS)

Kempenfelt Bay School is the only school in Simcoe County to belong to Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS).  Our commitment to our academic program, school leadership, and school community are closely aligned with the mission and values of the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools. 

What is Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS)?

"The Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) was established in 1981 as a national network for member schools supporting collaborative initiatives in leadership, education, management and governance. Its key activities included organizing, co-ordinating and facilitating conferences, benchmarking, senior management compensation surveys and advocacy.

The Canadian Educational Standards Institute (CESI) was established in 1986 as an organization to develop and promote educational excellence and school improvement in independent schools. Its key activities were to establish national Standards/Best Practices and accreditation process, conducting 10 accreditation visits per year, and research and targeted Professional Development. Read our Policies.

In October 2009, votes were held at the Annual General Meetings for CAIS and CESI to create a new national organization, and after extensive consultation with membership, the organization changed its name to Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS) in February 2010.

Today CAIS includes over 90 schools, all of which commit to undergoing a reflective and collaborative school improvement process, meet National Standards, and participate in research and professional development.

Parents of CAIS schools can expect the best."


What is the Conference of Independent Schools (CIS)?

●       The Conference of Independent Schools (CIS) advocates for quality independent-school education for 27,000 students and offers collaboration opportunities for more than 5,000 employees.

●       CIS Ontario was incorporated in 1983, replacing and building upon two more informal networks of independent schools, with a new association designed to serve twenty-three member schools within the province. 

●       CIS is closely affiliated with the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools, the national association that accredits the majority of our schools. They are also members of the National Association of Independent Schools (U.S.) and the Independent Schools Association Network (U.S.). In addition, they liaise with the Ontario Ministry of Education and The Ontario College of Teachers on behalf of member schools.


What schools belong to CAIS?

The following are fellow CAIS member schools in Ontario. To find CAIS schools in other provinces, click here.

Albert College

Belleville, Ontario

Havergal College

Toronto, Ontario

Montcrest School

Toronto, Ontario

St. Clement's School

Toronto, Ontario

The Sterling Hall School

Toronto, Ontario

Appleby College

Oakville, Ontario

Hillfield Strathallan College

Hamilton, Ontario

Paul Penna Downtown Jewish Day School *

Toronto, Ontario

St. John's-Kilmarnock School

Waterloo Region (Breslau), Ontario

The York School

Toronto, Ontario

Ashbury College

Ottawa, Ontario

Holy Trinity School

Richmond Hill, Ontario

Pickering College

Newmarket, Ontario

St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School

Oakville, Ontario


Richmond Hill, Ontario

Bayview Glen School

Toronto, Ontario

Kempenfelt Bay School

Innisfil, Ontario

Ridley College

St. Catharines, Ontario

TFS - Canada's International School

Toronto, Ontario

Trafalgar Castle School

Whitby, Ontario

Branksome Hall

Toronto, Ontario

Kingsway College School

Etobicoke, Ontario

Robbins Hebrew Academy

Toronto, Ontario

The Bishop Strachan School

Toronto, Ontario

Trinity College School

Port Hope, Ontario

Crescent School

Toronto, Ontario

Lakefield College School

Lakefield, Ontario

Rosseau Lake College

Rosseau, Ontario

The Country Day School

King, Ontario

Upper Canada College

Toronto, Ontario

Elmwood School

Ottawa, Ontario

Lakeview Montessori School

Tecumseh, Ontario

Royal St. George's College

Toronto, Ontario

The Leo Baeck Day School

Toronto, Ontario


What are the differences between a private school, an independent school, and a CAIS school?

●       Private schools are run as for-profit businesses with one or more owners. There is no governing body that inspects private schools. Occasionally, the Ministry of Education will inspect private schools that grant high school credits.

●       There are schools that are not accredited by CAIS or CIS but are branded as independent schools. This typically means that they do not belong to a public board. While a school may call itself an independent school, this does not mean they belong to the Conference of Independent Schools or the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools.

●       Accredited independent schools belonging to the Canadian Accredited Independent Schools undergo an inspection by CAIS every seven years. These schools have been given their accreditation because of their commitment to the CAIS 12 National Standards, which are:

1. Mission, Vision, Value & Strategy

2. Co-Curriculum & Learning Environment

3. Academic Program

4. School Leadership

5. Human Resources

6. School & Community

7. Enrolment Management

8. Governance

9. Finance

10. Physical Plan, Health & Safety

11. Commitment to School Improvement

12. Boarding & Homestay Programs

What are the benefits of enrolling in a CAIS school over other programs?


Independent schools offer unparalleled quality that is confirmed by their adherence to the strict standards required to be a member in good standing of our organization.


Specialized teachers, lower student-teacher ratios and involvement of parents as partners in education with our schools, mean close, individualized attention for each student, resulting in better outcomes.


You have the choice among a wide variety of options and approaches to education from CAIS schools. Click here for examples of the types of schools available in the CAIS membership.


Our teachers have the freedom to pursue innovative approaches to learning and collaborating that simply don’t exist outside the independent school community


Offering the best, most relevant education in today’s world requires an environment and approach to learning that embraces a global perspective and exposes students to the reality of a connected planet. Generous and growing financial aid programs ensure that all talented students are able to access an independent education.


Independent schools employ the most cutting edge technologies that enable vast learning, and literacy in this area is a fundamental driver of success in a knowledge economy.


Innovation, creativity, technological wizardry, collaborative leadership, global connection, and trans-disciplinary skills are among a few of the major drivers of success for today’s professional. Independent schools are in the unique position of being able to lead the changes required of our education system to accommodate a new kind of thinking for a new kind of world.


These schools would not exist without the passion of an engaged parent community committed not only to the success of their own children, but to that of the whole community of students.


Nearly 100% of CAIS' 45,000 students are accepted at the university or college of their choice.


We cannot underestimate the value of happiness as it relates to success, especially at these critical learning stages of a child’s life. Creating a lively community of discovery, joy, spirit and respect is the underpinning of all CAIS schools, and not surprisingly, the most important factor in their success.


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