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Alberta accredited international schools

An Alberta Accredited International School (AAIS) is an autonomous school that provides the Alberta curriculum to children and students outside of Alberta. The AAIS program works to:

  • increase international recognition of Alberta’s high-quality education through its international schools
  • contribute to a supply of global talent to support the provincial economy
  • enable international schools to provide the Alberta curriculum and credentials to their local students
  • create sustainable and efficient opportunities for international schools to receive and maintain Alberta accreditation
  • collaborate with government ministries and non-governmental organizations to link accredited schools, their teachers, students and community leaders with opportunities to study and work in Alberta

Alberta Accredited International Schools must meet the accreditation requirements, as outlined in an agreement signed with Alberta Education, and are responsible for the costs associated with being part of the AAIS program. In addition, these schools must hire teachers who meet the Alberta certification requirements to teach the Alberta programs of study and curriculum. The Alberta Principal or Alberta Program Administrator must ensure that the school follows the policies, standards and regulations of Alberta Education, as outlined in the Guide to Education and the Handbook for Alberta Accredited International Schools. Students must meet the requirements for graduation in order to obtain a credential from the Province of Alberta.

Alberta Accredited International Schools may charge tuition and other fees as required in order to fund operations, as they do not receive funding from the Province of Alberta.

For more information, go to Alberta Accredited International Schools or email [email protected].

Public charter schools

A public charter school is a public school that provides education in an innovative or enhanced way to improve student learning and contribute to educational choice. Public charter schools have characteristics that set them apart from other public schools in meeting the needs of a particular group of students through a specific program or teaching/learning style, approach or pedagogy while following provincial programs of study/curriculum. The proposed method of educational delivery that improves student learning must be supported by research.

A public charter school application may be submitted at any time of the year. The minister may issue a charter to establish a public charter school in accordance with the regulations if the minister is of the opinion that the program to be offered by the public charter school is not already being offered by the board of the school division in which the public charter school is located, with exceptions for a public charter school focused on vocation-based education.

For information regarding the requirements for programming in public charter schools for students with disabilities, see Accommodating Students with Exceptional Needs in Charter Schools.

For more information on public charter schools or to access Public Charter Schools Handbook, see Public charter schools.

Collegiate schools

In partnership with post-secondary institutions, collegiate schools offer specialized programming in a particular subject or field and provide all students with a clear pathway into post-secondary education and careers in their chosen field. The schools can be public (public, separate, francophone, public charter) or accredited-funded private schools and are given special approval and startup funding, if applicable, by the Minister of Education. Collegiate schools must continue to meet the requirements of their original school type.

For applicants using a pre-existing facility, initial application documents are required up to 2 years before the collegiate school intends to begin operations. For applicants requiring an entirely new facility, earlier applications may be required as the typical timeline for new facility construction ranges from 2 to 4 years. Applications for new public charter schools and accredited-funded private schools may be completed and submitted simultaneously with the collegiate status application. However, approval of the school application does not guarantee approval of the collegiate status application. Post-secondary institutions interested in partnering with an existing or new school authority to operate a collegiate school can initiate the collegiate school status application process.

For more information regarding the collegiate school status application process and requirements or to request an application package, phone 780-427-7235 (toll-free by first dialing 310-0000 within Alberta) or email [email protected], or go to Collegiate Schools

Heritage language schools

A heritage language school is a type of accredited private school that offers approved or authorized language and culture courses outside regular school hours to students who receive their education program at another school authority. Although a heritage language school may also offer community language instruction, only the approved/authorized language and culture course series falls within the purview of Alberta Education.

As with other accredited private schools, heritage language schools must meet the requirements of section 29(2) of the Education Act and the requirements in the Private Schools Regulation. They also may employ a competent individual to teach a language or culture under the supervision of a teacher who holds a certificate of qualification as a teacher issued under the Education Act (section 198(2)).

A heritage language school must

  • offer either:
    • an authorized provincial language and culture program of studies or
    • an approved locally developed language and culture course, and
    • ensure that the programs or courses offered and all instructional materials promote understanding and respect for others, honour and respect the common values and beliefs of Albertans, and reflect the diverse nature and heritage of society in Alberta (section 16 of the Education Act)

Bilingual programming is a partial immersion program where instruction is provided in the target language for up to 50% of the instructional day. Language arts instructional time is equally divided between English Language Arts and Literature/English Language Arts. Language Arts courses (Kindergarten to Grade 12), which are a component of bilingual programs, can only be offered by schools providing bilingual programming. As per the School Administrator's Guide to Implementing Language Programming, to successfully complete the learning outcomes, it is recommended that students in bilingual language programs have access to: 45 to 50% of the instructional time in the target language at the elementary school level; 30 to 50% of the instructional time in the target language at the junior high school level; and 20% of the instructional time in the target language at the senior high school level (most often two 5-credit courses). Schools that provide second language and culture courses (for example, Heritage Language Schools, non-primary distance education schools) may not offer Language Arts courses, as these schools cannot provide the additional instruction in the target language required for bilingual programs.

For more information about language and culture courses see Bilingual programs.

A heritage language school may be funded or non-funded. If funded, a person who holds an Alberta teaching certificate must be designated as the principal.

Heritage language schools will use PASIprep directly or their local student information system (SIS) that is integrated with PASI to submit information regarding courses completed.

Private schools

Education Act, Sections 28.1, 29, 30
Private Schools Regulation

Private (independent) schools are recognized as being important in providing parents and students with choice in education. A person responsible for the operation of a private school shall ensure students enrolled in the private school are provided with an education program consistent with the requirements set out in the act and the regulations.

A private school provides an educational alternative for parents who wish to have their children taught in accordance with a particular focus. Private schools may be based on religious beliefs, athletics, academics or a particular philosophy of learning.

Funded private schools are operated by a society under the Societies Act or a non-profit company registered under Part 9 of the Companies Act. Funded private schools are governed by the board of directors of the society or company.

Private schools may charge tuition and other fees as required. In addition, private schools can refuse to enrol students.

For information regarding the requirements for programming in accredited-funded private schools for students with disabilities, see Requirements for Special Education in Accredited-Funded Private Schools.

For more information, see Private Schools.