AISCA Member Benefits: An Overview
AISCA’s by-laws and objectives establish the core framework for its activities as an Association. Central to its mission since 1958 has been government relations advocacy to ensure high standards of education, to foster public understanding of independent schools and cooperation among the various stakeholders in education, most provincially and some nationally. Advocacy and government relations work is central to what AISCA does; in addition it provides a variety of services to member schools and in the case of arrangements with Alberta Education, also some services to non-member institutions.
Advocacy and Services
AISCA staff and board strive to balance the need for long range advocacy work, with the requests of schools for ongoing services and supportAISCA has advocated vigorously for fair funding increases and a level playing field. While AISCA’s central advocacy must always focus on balanced regulatory environments and fair funding, AISCA has added many additional support services to independent schools and to community-based ECS (kindergarten) operators.
- AISCA refined and developed the Designated Signing Authority (DSA) program which provides centralized office support and recommendations related to all forms of teaching authority. In addition it evaluates through an arrangement with Alberta Education more than 165 teachers annually.
- AISCA enriched the supports to all interested independent schools and ECS operators with new teacher induction sessions and also introduced a mid-August new principal orientation session. New principal mentorship supports have been arranged to the degree possible given budget limitations.
- AISCA coordinated workshops related to School Leadership.
- Policy templates have been created for key areas of educational responsibility.
- AISCA introduced Inclusion supports to independent schools and maintains a resource site that all may access for ongoing resources related to inclusion and has an advisory committee continued to provide input related to inclusion supports and special education needs.
- AISCA provides to its members some degree of issues management advice.
- AISCA, through its regional meetings and general conferences, which includes the AGM, engages speakers on a variety of informative topics for the benefit of members with others invited as guests.
- AISCA developed an Energy Management Program through which the majority of independent schools are able to purchase stable and predictable supplies of natural gas and electricity. It has saved school treasurers considerable administrative time in procuring energy and also stabilized this volatile area in budget planning.