Benefits of OFIS Membership:
OFIS Online Membership Forum
All current OFIS members have access to an online forum where school leaders share information and questions and updates about private school leadership. The forum is monitored by the OFIS office and features many additional experts who will provide feedback on a number of areas of expertise. There are also many resources, templates and links shared on the forum and news ones are added all the time based on requests from participants. Members can manage their own notifications within the forum and can receive them daily or weekly (or not at all – which just means check-in will have to happen independently). Members are free to add questions and share information as much or as little as they want. Any government compliance or legal compliance updates will always appear on the forum first so it’s the best way to stay informed. We have recently added many helpful policy templates as well which schools are free to use as guidelines for developing or improving their own.
What’s New At OFIS?
OFIS has recently partnered up with First Reference – an online company which helps non-profits, charities and businesses meet legal requirements and establish and maintain best practices for HR, governance, payroll, accessibility, finance & accounting, IT and much more. Look for regular contributions on these topics on our forum, at upcoming webinars and on our website.
Winter Webinars – OFIS is pleased to be working with another partner – Simon Phoenix Group – in offering a series of 4 webinars over the winter months beginning in January. The first one will be focused around developing a Safe Schools Policy. Recently the Ministry of Education added this requirement for inspected schools to ensure the implementation of the Accepting Schools Act of 2013. As well, the OFIS ED has recently been appointed to Waterloo Regional Police Services School Resource Task Force – as such many additional resources will be added to inform these webinars. Watch the forum and our website for scheduling details.
Get Linked – OFIS will be making more use of its facebook page and twitter feeds. Be sure to like and follow! Facebook will feature school choice articles and links to our regular e-news. Twitter will feature links to partnership resources, member schools and general private school topics of interest. There are many ways to stay connect to important information in effective school operations.
What’s Included In Your OFIS Membership?
Your school may have been a member in the past, made a previous professional inquiry from OFIS staff, attended an OFIS PD event recently, visited our website or social media or signed up to receive regular e-news. We encourage you to take full advantage of these OFIS membership benefits by keeping your school’s membership current:
*Representation in the largest, fastest growing, most diverse independent school association in the province – OFIS has a positive working relationship with the Private Schools Coordinator in the Field Education office of the Ministry of Education and keeps members current with all legislative and legal compliance expectations
*Online Member Forum where school leaders gather regularly to share information, receive templates and resources and updates on school choice issues in real time
*FREE Inquiries – via website, email, online forum or phone) to the OFIS panel of experts (legal, governance, policy) and receive prompt direction
*Government Policy Compliance Support with up-to-date compliance protocols through regular e-news, online forum, PD events, webinars throughout the school year
*FREE consultation review where we will help you organize the parameters of your school’s most important projects (including referrals to legal, business & marketing support) and even provide support through projects as part of fuller, individualized consultation agreements (these consultations are only available to OFIS members)
*School Validation/Inspection Readiness Packages to assist new or existing schools through the process of government validation and/or inspection by way of virtual classroom and on-site support during ministry visits .
*Special pricing & Priority Consideration on all professional development events and consultation services (individual, on-site and customized packages available – some available only to OFIS members)
*School Leadership Courses (PSP I & II) – these courses for both rookie and seasoned independent school leaders are currently being refreshed for re-submission to the Ontario College of Teachers so that OFIS can become an accredited independent provider for these coursesoned private school administrators
*Virtual Learning Opportunities such as policy development sessions, FREE webinars, and an online consultation forum directed by OFIS experts
*Regular e-news containing the most up-to-date information independent schools need on events, policy updates, government compliance issues, provincial legislative expectations, school governance tips, human resources updates, financial wellness tips and marketing ideas.
*OFIS Website Directory – member schools are listed geographically – OFIS is ranked in the top five for independent schools on search engines –
*School Management Review exclusive to OFIS members – a comprehensive review of all school operations completed with recommendations and full support for implementation
*Special pricing on products and resources offered by OFIS sponsors in the areas of online marketing, legal services, policy development, database management & record-keeping and school insurance