Table of contents

Changes due to COVID-19

If you have a question regarding your child’s at-home learning these are the steps you should follow:

  1. Talk to your child’s teacher.
  2. If needed, talk to your school’s principal.
  3. If needed, follow additional processes as outlined by your school board which may include talking to your superintendent or local school board trustee.

School boards and charter schools have a dispute resolution process in place to address concerns of parents about their child’s learning.

At any point, families can contact the provincial education help line by phone or email. The help line will provide advice to families, particularly to parents of children with disabilities, who have questions about their child’s program now that the traditional delivery process has changed.

We may connect families to key members of the school district to find collaborative solutions to meet their child’s learning needs at home.


French-language content for this topic on is currently being developed. Information will remain available on the Alberta Education website until this is complete.

La page correspondante en français est en cours de préparation sur le site Web Pendant cette période de transition, l'information qu'elle contient demeure disponible sur le site Web du ministère de l'Éducation.


Educational practices should be flexible and responsive to the strengths, needs and learning preferences of individual students. This helps create inclusive learning experiences that ensure all students are successful.

All children can learn and reach their full potential when they get opportunities, effective teaching and appropriate resources. It is best to make decisions related to the placement of students on an individual basis in a way that maximizes their opportunity to participate fully in the experience of schooling.

In Alberta, educating students with special education needs in inclusive settings is the first placement option considered by school authorities in consultation with parents, and when appropriate, the students.

Read more about diverse learners in The Learning Team Handbook (PDF, 3.8 MB).


Special education standards

Special education refers to the education of students with mild, moderate or severe disabilities and those who are gifted and talented.

The Standards for Special Education help ensure the education system meets the needs of all learners and that all learners have access to high quality education. Special Education requirements apply to Grades 1 to 12 in all public and separate school boards, excluding charter schools.

Every student or Early Childhood Services child identified with special education needs must have an individualized program plan (IPP) and/or an instructional support plan (ISP).

School principals are responsible for ensuring the school has processes and a learning team in place to provide consultation, planning and problem-solving related to programming for students and children with special education needs.

The principal assigns teachers to coordinate, develop, implement, monitor and evaluate student IPPs/ISPs. The teacher involves parents and, when appropriate, other teachers and students in this process.

Standards, requirements, and components

Programming resources

Additional resources

Learning disabilities

Students with learning disabilities have diverse, complex and sometimes interrelated difficulties. These difficulties can be hidden or subtle and affect their learning across their lifespan.

While there is great variability among students with learning disabilities, they are generally described as individuals who have difficulties processing information and who experience unexpected difficulties in academic areas.

These students show strength and success in other learning and processing areas. Learning disabilities are life-long and may be affected by the demands of the environment, so that their impact varies as students grow.

For more information, read Unlocking Potential: Key Components of Programming for Students with Learning Disabilities.

IPP templates

These optional templates can be used for students identified with a learning disability.

IPP/ISP template A

Gifted and talented

School-aged children who are gifted may have different strengths and needs, and may be very different from one another. Each student who is gifted has an individual profile of abilities, needs, interests and learning preferences.

There are a number of general characteristics and developmental issues that often are associated with giftedness and that have important implications for learning.

Common intellectual characteristics of students who are gifted include:

  • advanced intellectual achievement
  • high motivation and interest
  • verbal proficiency
  • problem-solving ability
  • logical thinking
  • creativity

Some of these characteristics appear in students at all ability levels, but they are more prevalent and pronounced in students who are gifted.

Handbook and programming resources

IPP templates

These optional templates can be used for students identified as gifted and talented.

Social participation

Social participation refers to how students are able to engage with others in their learning environments.

Through careful consideration of daily routines, activities and the learning environment, teachers can help support students who exhibit challenging behaviours.

This support involves teaching students a more socially appropriate way to get their needs met. In addition, teachers adapt and change their own responses to help students participate in classroom activities successfully.


The Alberta government created a series of books and a webpage for learning teams to use. These resources provide information and strategies for teaching, supporting and reinforcing positive behaviour in the school, classroom and with an individual student requiring support.