French-language content for this topic on Alberta.ca 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 Alberta.ca. Pendant cette période de transition, l'information qu'elle contient demeure disponible sur le site Web du ministère de l'Éducation.


Alberta Education has the following policies regarding K to 12 education:

  • Daily Physical Activity Policy
  • English as a Second Language Policy
  • Human Sexuality Education Policy
  • Inclusive Education Policy
  • Learning Commons Policy
  • Locally Developed Courses Policy
  • Student Evaluation Policy
  • Teacher Growth, Supervision and Evaluation Policy
  • Use and Reporting of Results on Provincial Assessment Policy

Details about these policies can be found in the Guide to Education (PDF, 1.9 MB).


The following standards define acceptable levels in the delivery of ECS to 12 education programs and services and the outcomes to be achieved:

  • Ministerial Order on Student Learning
  • Standards for the Provision of Early Childhood Special Education
  • Standard for Special Education (amended June 2004)
  • Teaching Quality Standard Applicable to the Provision of Basic Education in Alberta

These standards are compulsory.

Ministerial Order on Student Learning

An Order to Adopt or Approve Goals and Standards Applicable to the Provision of Education in Alberta.

WHEREAS the fundamental goal of education in Alberta is to inspire all students to achieve success and fulfilment, and reach their full potential by developing the competencies of Engaged Thinkers and Ethical Citizens with an Entrepreneurial Spirit, who contribute to a strong and prosperous economy and society.

WHEREAS education in Alberta is based on the values of opportunity, fairness, citizenship, choice, diversity, and excellence.

WHEREAS the educational best interest of the child is the paramount consideration in making decisions about a child's education.

WHEREAS education in Alberta will be shaped by a greater emphasis on education than on the school; on the learner than on the system; on competencies than on content; on inquiry, discovery and the application of knowledge than on the dissemination of information; and on technology to support the creation and sharing of knowledge than on technology to support teaching.

WHEREAS competencies are interrelated sets of attitudes, skills and knowledge that are drawn upon and applied to a particular context for successful learning and living, are developed over time and through a set of related learner outcomes.

WHEREAS students will study subjects; learn reading, writing and mathematics; and focus more deeply on a curriculum that allows for more interdisciplinary learning through competencies that are explicit in all subjects.

WHEREAS an Engaged Thinker knows how to think critically and creatively and make discoveries through inquiry, reflection, exploration, experimentation and trial and error; is competent in the arts and sciences including languages; uses technology to learn, innovate, collaborate, communicate and discover; has developed a wide range of competencies in many areas, including gathering, analysis and evaluation of information; is familiar with multiple perspectives and disciplines and can identify problems and then find the best solutions; as a team member, integrates ideas from a variety of sources into a coherent whole and communicates these ideas to others; adapts to the many changes in society and the economy with an attitude of optimism and hope for the future; as a lifelong learner, believes there is no limit to what knowledge may be gleaned, what skills may be accumulated, and what may be achieved in cooperation with others; and always keeps growing and learning.

WHEREAS an Ethical Citizen understands that it is not all about them, has learned about and is appreciative of the effort and sacrifice that built this province and country and sees beyond self-interests to the needs of the community; is committed to democratic ideals; contributes fully to the world economically, culturally, socially and politically; as a steward of the earth, minimizes environmental impacts; builds relationships through fairness, humility and open mindedness, with teamwork, collaboration and communication; engages with many cultures, religions and languages, values diversity in all people and adapts to any situation; demonstrates respect, empathy and compassion for all people; cares for themselves physically, emotionally, intellectually, socially and spiritually; is able to ask for help, when needed, from others, and also for others; and assumes the responsibilities of life in a variety of roles.

WHEREAS an individual with an Entrepreneurial Spirit is motivated, resourceful, self-reliant and tenacious; continuously sets goals and works with perseverance and discipline to achieve them; through hard work, earns achievements and the respect of others; strives for excellence and personal, family and community success; is competitive and ready to challenge the status quo; explores ideas and technologies alone or as part of diverse teams; is resilient, adaptable, able and determined to transform discoveries into products or services that benefit the community and, by extension, the world; develops opportunities where others only see adversity; has the confidence to take risks and make bold decisions in the face of adversity, recognizing that to hold back is to be held back; and has the courage to dream.

WHEREAS graduation requirements, education delivery and standards for student learning are set out in other legislative and policy instruments.

  1. Ministerial Order No. 004/98, dated February 10, 1998, is hereby repealed by this order.
  2. The goal of this Student Learning Ministerial Order for an inclusive Kindergarten to Grade 12 education is to enable all students to achieve the following outcomes:
    1. be Engaged Thinkers and Ethical Citizens with an Entrepreneurial Spirit;
    2. strive for engagement and personal excellence in their learning journey;
    3. employ literacy and numeracy to construct and communicate meaning; and
    4. discover, develop and apply competencies across subject and discipline areas for learning, work and life to enable students to:
      1. know how to learn: to gain knowledge, understanding or skills through experience, study, and interaction with others;
      2. think critically: conceptualize, apply, analyze, synthesize, and evaluate to construct knowledge;
      3. identify and solve complex problems;
      4. manage information: access, interpret, evaluate and use information effectively, efficiently, and ethically;
      5. innovate: create, generate and apply new ideas or concepts;
      6. create opportunities through play, imagination, reflection, negotiation, and competition, with an entrepreneurial spirit;
      7. apply multiple literacies: reading, writing, mathematics, technology, languages, media, and personal finance;
      8. demonstrate good communication skills and the ability to work cooperatively with others;
      9. demonstrate global and cultural understanding, considering the economy and sustainable development; and
      10. identify and apply career and life skills through personal growth and well-being.
  3. This Order shall be effective on the date of signing.

Ministerial Order on Student Learning (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Early Childhood Special Education Standards

Standards for the Provision of Early Childhood Special Education and Standards for Special Education describe how school authorities meet these individual needs within a developmentally appropriate program.

Early childhood special education is based on a combined set of individually and developmentally appropriate practices.

School authorities use the following general principles, which are outlined in Alberta Education's Kindergarten Program Statement (Revised September 2005), when working with children:

  • Young children learn best when programming meets their developmental needs.
  • Young children develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare them for later learning.
  • Young children with special education needs, through early intervention strategies, develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that prepare them for later learning.
  • Young children build a common set of experiences through interaction with others.
  • Parents have the opportunity for meaningful involvement in the education of their young children.
  • Coordinated community services meet the needs of young children and their families. Children with special education needs require additional supports, accommodations and adaptations to general ECS programming.

Standards for the Provision of Early Childhood Special Education describes how school authorities meet these individual needs within a developmentally appropriate program as outlined by the broad principles listed above.

Standards for Special Education, Amended June 2004

This ministerial order outlines the requirements for school boards regarding the delivery of education programming and services to students with special education needs in Grade 1 to Grade 12.

Special Education standards & bulletins

Standards documents for the Provision of Early Childhood Special Education.

Teaching Quality

View or print the Ministerial Order on Teaching Quality and Teacher Growth, Supervision, and Evaluation policy.