York House School Receives CAIS Accreditation

Dear YHS Community,
I am delighted to report that York House School is now officially accredited by the Canadian Association of Independent Schools! We started this important process intentionally and with a whole-school approach just under two years ago and we are thrilled to have reached this milestone.
The Canadian Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) is a national network of more than 90 schools which participate in an ongoing cycle of improvement in all areas of a school including strategy, educational programming and operations. The accreditation process encourages schools to identify areas of strength and improvement and to engage in a five-year cycle of ongoing self-study, goal-setting, action and reflection. The process is as powerful for students as it is for educators and organizational change.
The CAIS accreditation process is both a tool to support the development of school strategy and a set of standards to scaffold continual improvement. The YHS accreditation process included all members of our school community, including a rigorous self-study, significant enhancements to our policies and procedures, focus groups and a visit by a CAIS Peer Review Team of 11 educators from across Canada last May. 
As a CAIS accredited school, we benefit from:
  • A set of industry standards that ensure our school strategy, operations and education program are strong;
  • An examination of how well our program fulfills our mission;
  • A self-study and a peer-reviewed report that details the school’s current state and clearly articulates a list of future goals; 
  • A process that results in an implementation plan that continually improves YHS over time; and
  • Third-party recognition of our leadership as a girls educational institution—a standard that many prospective families value.
While many from our community contributed to this accreditation, it would not have been possible without the leadership, diligence and care of Kara McDonald, our Deputy Head of School. Kara championed the accreditation process each step of the way and ensured we would be successful in our efforts. Thank you, Kara.
Thank you to everyone who helped at the various stages of the accreditation process. Whether you contributed to the self-study, participated in a focus group or were interviewed by the Peer-Review Team, your work helped us achieve this important goal.
This accreditation process and review confirms that York House School is in a position of strength. The information and data gained will inform our Strategic Planning process and help us plan for the future and legacy of YHS. Thank you to everyone for making this community what it is. Our future is indeed bright.
Warm regards,

Deryn Lavell
Head of School