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Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Adopts NBOA's Practical Guidance for Accreditation

By Net Assets posted 06-21-2021 09:37 AM


The Connecticut Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) has approved the use of NBOA’s Practical Guidance for Independent School Business Operations in CAIS accreditation, beginning with fall 2022 visits.  

Practical Guidance cover

Practical Guidance is an interactive assessment tool that facilitates reflection on an independent school’s business office operations, policies and procedures. As part of the accreditation process, it will enable a school to critically examine specific business and operations areas during self-study and provide the basis for substantive discussions. The 60 guidelines in Practical Guidance cover four key areas: financial governance, finance and accounting, facilities and operations, and human resources. Schools can use these and the summary assessment to identify and prioritize action items for growth.

CAIS logo

Four CAIS schools piloted the use of Practical Guidance, and a recommendation was made this spring for adoption. In the forthcoming school year, schools accredited by CAIS will be required to use Practical Guidance for their re-accreditation process, respond to any items from Practical Guidance that rise to the level of major recommendations in the two-year report, and review the guidelines in the five-year report.

“We heard from schools that piloted Practical Guidance that using it will help schools in their self-reflection process and help facilitate important conversations involving the business office, head of school, finance committee and board,” said CAIS Executive Director Rick Branson.

These conversations should ultimately lead to the longevity of independent schools. “This announcement demonstrates that CAIS and NBOA share a commitment to help independent schools improve their business practices," said NBOA President and CEO Jeff Shields. "For a school to thrive throughout the 21st century, its leaders must have a comprehensive understanding of its finances and operations, and I firmly believe that Practical Guidance supports school’s achievement of this understanding."

NBOA member schools can use Practical Guidance for free, as part of their membership. Nonmembers can purchase the publication.

Related content: Practical Guidance During Unprecedented Times

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