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Outreach programs

Learn about student eligibility and program requirements for Kindergarten to Grade 12 outreach programs.


An outreach program provides an educational alternative for junior and senior high school students who find that traditional school settings do not meet their needs.

Instruction is provided through a variety of methods, including:

  • small group instruction
  • one-on-one instruction
  • online instruction

Outreach Programs Handbook

The Outreach Programs Handbook includes information to help school authorities (administrators, teachers and trustees), parents and community members understand the expectations and practices related to outreach programs.

Government is revising the Outreach Programs Handbook and will post the updated handbook online when available.

Student eligibility

School boards determine eligibility requirements for outreach programs. These eligibility requirements must be consistent with provincial requirements.

Students in Alberta schools are eligible for funding as long as they have not reached the age of 20 years on September 1 of the school year in which they have registered.

Program requirements

Principals and superintendents must ensure that instruction provided by teachers in an outreach program is consistent with Alberta programs of study (curriculum) and any education programs/courses prescribed, approved and/or authorized by Alberta Education.

Each outreach program must provide services and training that support the success of students taking the program.

Provincial conditions for funding outreach programs also require that students have access to services such as:

  • personal and career counselling
  • training in conflict resolution
  • life skills
  • anger management
  • study skills
  • other services which may be important to meet the needs of the students

The Guide to Education provides details and processes required to use locally-developed courses. If a program is developed and receives approval from the local school board, it must then be referred to Alberta Education for recognition as an authorized local offering.

School councils

Outreach programs operate as schools and the principal must make reasonable efforts to establish a school council. If there is not sufficient interest from parents, the principal may form an advisory council made up of individuals with an interest in the school.

Student supervision

Students in outreach programs, as in all school programs, must have access to a certificated teacher for the appropriate number of hours (950 hours for Grades 7 to 9, 1,000 hours for Grades 10 to 12) as prescribed in the Guide to Education.

Teacher assistants can support outreach programs if they act under the direction and supervision of a certificated teacher.


Outreach programs do not need to be located in an approved off-site facility.

The outreach school is required to comply with legislated requirements for the operation of a school.

School authorities that change outreach facilities must contact Alberta Education to provide:

  • change of address information
  • documentation that the new facility meets Alberta building, health and safety standards


Connect with Alberta Education to learn more about alternative education programs:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-6272
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)