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Organizational Strength and Permanence
I hope your summer has been filled with time for family and relaxation. I am excited to see the students return in a week’s time. While the students were enjoying their well-deserved respite during the summer months, school employees continued their tasks, planning and preparing for the new school year.
At independent schools, summer is a time for reflection on the undertakings of the previous year. My overarching thoughts about the past year have been focused on just how far our school has come in such a relatively short period of time from its very modest inception.
Over the course of the past nearly 50 years, CFIS has transformed from a small elementary school into an established and respected member of the local and national educational landscapes. Through dedication to the five-year strategic plan, the school’s leadership, faculty and staff have together created an environment of learning excellence that has firmly positioned CFIS as a leader in French immersion and international education.
As CFIS’s Head of School, a significant part of my role is to ensure that CFIS has the strength and foundation to continue to achieve the school’s mission and vision, both now and into the future. With this in mind, fostering organizational resilience is a key priority, including shepherding CFIS’s progress in three key areas: Accreditation in Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS), certification in the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme, and membership in Round Square.
Accreditation in CAIS will foster a consistent, stable environment for CFIS students and employees by ensuring our school meets a variety of standards related to both pedagogical and administrative best practices. As most of you know, after two years of preparation, our accreditation review took place this past May. Initial feedback is strongly positive, and the full report from CAIS, which will include commendations, suggestions, and recommendations, will be finalized in the next few weeks.
The IB Diploma Programme, for Grade 11 and 12 students, aligns with CFIS’s focus on academic excellence and the whole child, builds upon our pedagogical best practices, and enriches our international focus through to graduation. CFIS became an IB candidate school in June, and five teachers and two administrators attended the first session of required training shortly thereafter. M. Christian Legault will be overseeing the implementation of the program in the coming years.
As an official Round Square candidate school, CFIS faculty and staff can now leverage membership to access opportunities to share best practices to foster international learning for our students. There will also be occasions for exchange programs for Grades 9 and 10 students, as well as potential attendance at national, regional and international conferences. Mme Chantalle Bourque was selected as the Round Square coordinator, and has been tasked with implementing the program in the Secondary Division, which will build onto CFIS’s travel studies program and participation in UNESCO.
Later in the school year, I will be reporting further on CFIS’s first CAIS accreditation report and the next steps for our exciting journey as a Round Square and IB Diploma Programme candidate school.
All CFIS teachers will be back at work on Monday, August 28 to prepare their classrooms, engage in faculty-wide professional development, and plan the year with a focus on CFIS’s mission and vision.
I look forward to reconnecting with everyone at various events and activities during the coming weeks. These include the Welcome-Back Coffee morning for parents starting at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, September 5, the welcome-back barbecue on Thursday, September 14, and for those parents new to CFIS, the new-parent reception on Tuesday, September 19.
Mme Margaret Dorrance
Head of School