High school completion is a fundamental building block on which other educational and life goals are built; so when students do not complete high school, the toll on the quality of their individual lives is significant.
To assist Alberta School Jurisdictions in successfully increasing their high school completion rates, Alberta Education has designed the High School Completion Strategic Framework (HSC) around five areas for action:
- Tracking Progress - Monitoring student, school and jurisdiction data is at the core of the early identification of trends and factors that may contribute to a student not completing high school.
- Student Engagement - Students are more engaged when they have the opportunity to have input into their learning and the life of the school.
- Successful Transitions - Transition planning is multi-faceted and is required for events that result in changes to relationships, routines, expectations or roles.
- Partnerships - Collaborative partnerships are an essential component in supporting successful high school completion.
- Positive Connections - For students to experience success, positive connections must be created and maintained between the school staff, the student and their family.
The Alberta High School Completion Framework addresses the challenges students face in finishing high school and helps ensure all students are given the opportunity to succeed.
Video Discussion Guides
- High School Completion Animate Video (PDF, 242 KB)
Research, consultations and development
- 2001: Removing Barriers to High School Completion (PDF, 289 KB)
- 2003: Alberta Commission on Learning (PDF, 5.5 MB)
- 2005: High School Completion Rate Task Force Report (PDF, 102 KB)
- 2008: High School Completion AISI Provincial Research Review (PDF, 860 KB)
- 2009: High School Completion Strategic Framework (PDF, 472 KB)
- High School Flexibility Enhancement: A Literature Review (PDF, 3.5 MB)
- High School Completion 5 STARting Points (PDF, 1.4 MB)
- Looking for more information about the High School Completion Framework? View our video series to build your understanding.
Keeping students engaged and motivated to finish high school requires a number of approaches and a great deal of collaboration. We are working with education partners across the province to bring innovative and effective ideas alive in high schools in both urban and rural settings. Each High School Completion project aligns with one or more of the framework's core strategies.
Moving Forward with High School Redesign
Moving Forward with High School Redesign is about more than simply shifting a timetable. It's about shifting mindsets. While the timetable shift opens the door for schools to create flexible learning environments, the mindset shift leads to changes in practice that ensure the flexible learning environments are used to support increased student engagement in learning, improved student achievement and enhanced teacher practice.
The shift in mindset to a focus on student-centered learning happens as a number of key practices are put in place, including personalizing learning, intentionally developing meaningful relationship, creating rigorous and relevant learning opportunities, and supporting mastery learning.
Throughout the Moving Forward with High School Redesign initiative, Alberta Education will work alongside jurisdictions and schools in a coaching model designed to support continuous improvement in each school.
This initiative recognizes that while the participating schools share common goals, high school redesign will look different in each school, as each school's local context is different.
More information can be found within the High School Redesign page.
Working in close partnership with two Alberta ministries, Alberta Education and Human Services, and two schools, Braemar School in Edmonton and Louise Dean School in Calgary, Terra - Centre for pregnant and parenting teens and Catholic Family Service Louise Dean Centre have recently completed Phase 1 of this project to support pregnant and parenting teens in completing high school.
During Phase 1, Strengthening Hope: Pregnant and Parenting Teens Completing High School established the Learner Bursary, a simplified and centralized funding model which responds to the specific needs of parenting and pregnant teens who want to complete their high school education and build a positive future for themselves and for their children.
Advancing Adolescent Reading Initiative
The Advancing Adolescent Reading Initiative is a series of sequenced, online, interactive learning modules aimed at developing the deep foundational knowledge necessary to understand how students learn to read and why some of them struggle. The modules focus on domain specific learning and literacy, language of a discipline, differences and difficulties with language and literacy (FNMI); differences and difficulties with language and literacy(ELL), data driven decision making, and Instructional techniques for language sensitive teaching.
For the most current information on the Advancing Adolescent Reading Initiative, including updates and announcements, visit the JP Das Centre.
Action on High School Success
The Action on High School Success Project involved a partnership between Northern Lights School Division, Alberta Education, the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS), an external researcher, and an external expert in assessment for learning.
The professional learning model that accompanied this school improvement project was designed around the following eight guiding principles, each supported by compelling research:
- Professional learning activities for educators must be based on perceived needs, district priorities, and special issues in the context of the school. They must also be linked with standards, appropriate research, and current best practices.
- The core of professional learning is the extent to which it is adapted and developed into a locally-owned and locally-recognized program.
- Professional learning must be based on adult learning principles that highlight an ongoing commitment to the application of new skills, knowledge and dispositions.
- The development of a professional learning community of practice is the singlemost important building block of this initiative.
- Reflection is a key determinant of the extent to which teachers-as-learners successfully use their experiences to improve their practice.
- Flexibility and timeliness are key factors in establishing a continuous professional learning system.
- Effective professional learning must provide participating adults with a variety of strategies and techniques so that their individual learning styles are addressed. Experiential learning is fundamental to adult learning and growth methodology.
- Responsibility, feedback and accountability are integral to effective professional learning.
More information about our past projects can be found in our video series/discussion guides.
- Action on High School Success (PDF, 745 KB)
- Tell Them From Me (PDF, 2.1 MB)
- Improving High School Completion Rates of Pregnant and Parenting Teens (PDF, 4.9 MB)
- Advancing Adolescent Reading Initiative (PDF, 1 MB)
Video Discussion Guides
- Advancing Adolescent Reading Initiative (PDF, 308 KB)
- Action on High School Success (PDF, 484 KB)
- Engaging All Learners (PDF, 308 KB)
- Strengthening Hope (PDF, 319 KB)
Organizations and Resources
- Check out our videos to see how high school completion projects have come to life in schools across Alberta.
Connect with the High School Completion Framework program by email at EDC.firstname.lastname@example.org.