Accreditation is important but it is not a be-all and end-all concerning whether or not a school is a "good school." Below are some important accrediting bodies for private schools in Canada and a discussion of the issue of accreditation.
In Canada, private schools are accredited by bodies such as the Canadian Association of Indepedent Schools (CAIS). Currently, CAIS is a member in good standing of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) Commission on Accreditation.
The NAIS Commission on Accreditation is an international authority on independent school accreditation. The primary purpose of the Commission is to provide quality assurance and accountability for the accreditation programs of its state, regional, and international member associations.
Examining and assessing the always-changing educational environment, the commissions acts in partnership with associations to handle significant change, develop innovative practices, and promote transformative leadership. Through this, the Commission strengthens independent school education and supports the ongoing improvement of individual schools and the learning experiences for students.
The following bodies are included a part of the listings at ourkids.net. When you see the logo of one of these associations, that indicates that the school has been accredited by that body.
The CCMA is the Canadian Association of Montessori Administrators who accredit Montessori schools in Canada. This is important as “Montessori” is in the public sphere, not trademarked, and can be applied to any school, whether or not it adheres closely to the tenets of Montessori.
The Association of Christian Schools International (ACSI) is a respected body headquartered in Colorado Springs, CO, with offices worldwide. ACSI provides accreditation to Christian private schools from across the world that adhere to certain standards and practices. Christian Schools International (CSI) is also a member of the National Council for Private School Accreditation. Their three-step accreditation process includes a self-evaluation by schools, a site visit, and steps toward improvement.
The Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools (OACS) is focused on structure, development of curricula and organization of Ontario’s independent Christian schools but it does offer accreditation under its School Quality Assurance Program. It does not focus on Christian school accreditation.
You can consider accreditation by CESI, ACSI or the CCMA as a seal of approval for the school, a sure sign that your child will be able to apply credits earned there to other member schools and higher learning institutions. Feel free to fully investigate the validity of accrediting bodies with which you are not familiar.
In the end, we recommend you focus on how well the school is otherwise recognized, and whether courses are fully accepted by higher-level institutions. Many private schools listed with us facilitate students’ entering the university of their choice, even though they may not have sought accreditation. Consider this as you search through our private school listings.