Table of contents

Senior high school programming

School authorities are to develop methods of school organization and instructional delivery that best meet the diverse needs and interests of individual students. Student-centred approaches to high school completion are essential to improving student engagement, student achievement and successful high school completion.

Schools not previously part of the Moving Forward with High School Redesign cohort can access further information and resources on the high school completion web page to help ensure a successful shift from a time-based model of instructional planning to one focused on engaged students, high levels of achievement and quality teaching. Senior high schools are encouraged to implement strategies and approaches aimed at transforming one of more of the following areas:

  • school structures
  • pedagogy
  • school leadership
  • school culture

In planning for student-centred organization, programming and planning, schools and school authorities should consider

  • supporting students to prepare for transitions
  • engaging students in career and personal planning
  • providing students with personalized learning opportunities such as dual credit and off-campus education programs, as well as optional courses
  • creating opportunities for students to have input into their learning and school environment
  • offering opportunities for flexible pacing and programming that is responsive to diverse learning needs
  • that programming decisions be research based, data informed and regularly monitored and reviewed

Organization of instruction

In planning for senior high school course instruction, school leaders must consider the following:

  • Instruction must be provided to all senior high school students, including but not limited to:
    • students needing support in English as an Additional Language (EAL) and/or Francisation (francophone education)
    • students requiring specialized supports and/or services
    • students in an institution (code 550)
    • students registered in a Knowledge and Employability Program (code 710)
    • students enrolled in an outreach school for junior or senior high school grades
    • students in a one-year reciprocal exchange program
    • refugee students (code 640)
  • School authorities are responsible for determining which education programs to provide, including but not limited to:
    • Career and Technology Studies (CTS) courses
    • fine arts courses
    • physical education
    • social science courses
    • dual enrolled, dual credit courses (authorized for the school authority)
    • second language courses
    • English as an Additional Language
    • Knowledge and Employability academic, occupational and practicum courses
    • locally developed courses (authorized for the school authority)
    • off-campus education courses
    • Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) courses
    • special projects
    • evening and weekend courses
  • Programming can be provided:
    • in a classroom setting
    • in an online setting
    • in an outreach setting
    • at a distance
  • Schools must ensure that all students have the appropriate programming and supports to meet the curricular outcomes as outlined in the programs of study.
  • Even though courses are developed for 25 hours of instruction per credit, the requirement for 25 hours of instruction per credit no longer applies for the vast majority of courses, except for the following:
    • Green Certificate Program courses
    • Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP) courses
    • Special Projects 10, 20 and 30
    • Work Experience 15, 25 and 35
    • Workplace Practicum 20-4 and 30-4
    • Workplace Readiness 10-4
  • Schools can deliver a block of 3 or more 1-credit CTS courses; however, schools must ensure that students meet all of the outcomes of each 1-credit course.
  • Summer school for credit and heritage language courses may be offered by boards, accredited private schools and other accredited high schools. The program requirements noted in the Guide to Education apply to all schools offering senior high school summer, evening and weekend programs, except that, for these programs, access to instruction of at least 16 hours per credit must be provided. For detailed summer school funding information, see the Funding Manual for School Authorities.
  • Subject to the approval of the principal, students under age 16 may take online learning or print-based distance education courses. School authorities are encouraged to consider obtaining parent permission for students under age 16 to participate in online learning or print-based distance education. These courses are offered through a number of school authorities in the province. Students aged 16 or over do not require approval of the principal to take online learning or print-based distance education courses. For more information about online learning or print-based distance education courses, see the Program Delivery Options section under Program Administration and Delivery.
  • School leaders ensure that students have access to instruction that is focused on the outcomes of the courses they have chosen and are evaluated on that basis. Whatever the method(s) of programming, the certificated teacher and school leader are responsible for the student-centred planning and implementation of instruction, as well as the assessment of student learning in relation to the outcomes from the Alberta programs of study. The school authority is responsible for ensuring that teachers and school leaders are meeting the requirements of the Teaching Quality Standard and the Leadership Quality Standard.