Matthews Hall

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Becoming a Member

Member Schools of the Conference of Independent Schools of Ontario must meet or exceed the following membership criteria upon entry:

Academic Program:

The school provides an academic program of study that qualifies students for entrance to university. This would include junior schools that provide an academic program that qualifies students for entrance to university preparatory schools.

Full members must be registered with the Ontario Ministry of Education, and be subject to Ministry inspection cycles for schools granting high school credits. Associate members must be authorized to operate within their provincial jurisdiction.


The governing body and the administration of the school must be at arm's length from each other. Their respective roles and the proper relationship between the two groups are clearly defined and generally consistent with the definition of "arm's length." At least 80% of the members of the governing body are not part of, or in any way associated with, the administration of the school.A school will be deemed to have a Board and an administration operating at arm's length when their respective roles and proper relationship generally conform to the following:

  • Under normal circumstances, accountability for the operation of the school is vested in the school Head and his/her assistants with the ultimate responsibility held by the Board.
  • The role of the Board is to establish policies, which will ensure the viability of the institution for future generations. The Board is responsible for decisions related to mission, fiscal well-being of the institution, appointment of the Head, and overseeing effective implementation of policies that it lays down.
  • The role of the Head is to implement the school mission and the long-range plan at the operational level. The Head is primarily responsible for decisions related to the day-to-day management of the school including, but not restricted to, such areas as admissions, curriculum, program, staffing, and organization.
  • While the Head manages the operations within the school, the Head also works closely with the Board to ensure a consistent bridge between governance and management. The Board and the Head will normally collaborate on all major decisions that may have a significant impact on the school.

Financial Stability:

The school has operated for a sufficient period of time to have demonstrated that it is capable of operating with reasonable financial stability and of sustaining the required academic program, or has otherwise demonstrated such capability.


The school has an established reputation for excellence and integrity and is generally recognized by the membership of CIS Ontario and the public at large.


The school is committed to continuous school improvement in its programs and operations and seeks to implement best practices in education.

The school actively participates in CIS Ontario programs including professional development and student programs, CIS Ontario Heads' Network meetings and the CIS Ontario Annual General Meeting.

Candidate Schools - Visitation and Formal Approval Process

Candidate schools must submit a formal application with written materials addressing financial, academic and governance standards. A Review Committee will be struck by the CIS Ontario Executive Director and will include two member Heads of School,a Chief Financial Officer from a member school, and representation from the CIS Ontario Governance Committee. This committee will review the written application documents, and if in compliance, will visit the school. Candidate schools must be endorsed by the Review Committee and be recommended to the Nominating and Governance Committee of the Board and to the Board of Directors of CIS Ontario for approval. Final candidate school approval must be met by at least 75% of the votes cast at the Annual General Meeting at which at least 66-2/3% of the membership are present or represented by proxy.


The Country Day School
Kempenfelt Bay School
Albert College
Ridley College

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