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Calgary Girls' School was granted a charter in 2003
Connect Charter School, a science oriented charter school

Alberta charter schools are a special type of public schools[1] which have a greater degree of autonomy than a normal public school, to allow them to offer programs that are significantly different from regular public schools operated by district school boards. Charter schools report directly to the province, bypassing their local district school board, may not exceed their assigned quota of students without provincial permission, and are currently limited to fifteen schools.[2] Alberta charter schools are publicly funded and the school associations must be non-profit societies. The charter schools cannot have a religious affiliation, cannot charge tuition, and cannot operate on a for-profit basis. The teachers must be certified, and the curriculum must follow the approved provincial curriculum. Alberta, which passed enabling legislation in 1994, is the only province in Canada to have charter schools. [3]


Charter schoolsEdit

Current chartersEdit

There are 13 charter schools in Alberta, with 23 campuses.[4] [5] The number of charter schools is limited to a maximum of 15.[6]

Location School Chartered Grades Notes
Almadina Language Charter Academy 1996 K–9 English as a Second Language. Two campuses: Mountain View Elementary (K–4), Ogden Middle School (4–9).[7]
Calgary Arts Academy 2003 K–9 Students learn Alberta Curriculum through Arts Immersion. Two locations: Glenmeadows Elementary School (K–4), Knob Hill Middle School (5–9).[8][9]
Calgary Girls' School 2003 4–9 All-female school which follows the Alberta curriculum, with a focus on developing a strong sense of self and understanding historical and contemporary gender issues. Two campuses: Lakeview School, Bel-Aire Campus.[10][11]
Connect Charter School 1999 4–9 More instruction time on mathematics, science, and technology, employing a problem-based approach to learning.[12]
Foundations for the Future Charter Academy 1997 K–12 Focus on academic excellence, leadership, and character development.[13] It is the only charter school with more than two campuses, with four K–4 elementary schools: Northeast Elementary Campus, Northwest Elementary Campus, Southeast Elementary Campus, and Southwest Elementary Campus; two 5–9 middle schools: North Middle School Campus and North Middle School Campus; and one 9–12 high school: the High School Campus.[14]
Westmount Charter School 1996 K–12 Gifted students. Two campuses: Parkdale Elementary Campus (K–4), Sir Willian Van Horne Mid-High Campus (5–12).[15]
Edmonton Aurora Academic Charter School 1996 K–9 Directed academically-oriented instruction[16]
Boyle Street Education Centre 1995 basic literacy–12 Helps mainly native students aged 14–19 whose education had been interrupted.
Suzuki Charter School 1995 K–6 Teaches music using the Suzuki method of learning. The philosophy behind the methodology, originally developed by Shin'ichi Suzuki, extends into other areas of study.[17]
Medicine Hat CAPE – Centre for Academic and Personal Excellence Institute 1995 K–9 Individualized, integrated programs for intellectually capable underachieving students.[18]
Sherwood Park New Horizons Charter School 1995 K–9 Gifted students.[19]
Stony Plain Mother Earth's Children's Charter School 2003 K–9 Traditional Indigenous Teachings based on the concept of the Medicine Wheel.[20]
Valhalla Centre Valhalla Community School 2008 K–9 Rural leadership, second language (German or French, starting in Grade 1), cultural literacy, etiquette.[21][22]

Former chartersEdit

Three charter school have closed:

  • The Global Learning Academy, in Calgary, was granted a charter in 1996, and with 480 students was the largest charter school in the province. However, mismanagement and financial problems resulted in the suspension of its founding principal in December 1997, the replacement of its board of directors with a trustee in January 1998, and the revocation of the school's charter before the start of the 1998–1999 school year.[23] [24]
  • The Moberly Hall Charter School, the only charter school hosted by a Roman Catholic school board, operated in Fort McMurray from 1997 to 2007 before voluntarily closing because of declining enrollment and rising costs.[3]
  • The Mundare Charter School was established in Mundare by parents in 1997 when the town's elementary/junior high school closed, but operated for only one year. It was absorbed into the local public school board as an alternative elementary school after low enrollment resulted in financial difficulty.[3]


  1. ^ Alberta charter school handbook (pdf). Executive Council of Alberta. 2002. ISBN 0-7785-2550-3.
  2. ^ Provincial government information about charter schools
  3. ^ a b c Ritchie, Shawna (January 2010). "Innovation in Action: An Examination of Charter Schools in Alberta" (PDF). Canada West Foundation. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  4. ^ "Our Members". The Association of Alberta Public Charter Schools. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  5. ^ "Charter Schools List" (PDF). Alberta Education. 4 December 2015. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  6. ^ "School Act: Charter Schools Regulation" (PDF). Province of Alberts. p. 8. Retrieved 4 June 2018.
  7. ^ "Who We Are". Almadina Language Charter Academy. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Our Schools". Calgary Arts Academy. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  9. ^ "Our Story" (PDF). Calgary Arts Academy. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  10. ^ "Annual Education Results Report 2015-2016" (PDF). Calgary Girls' School Society. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  11. ^ McBeth, Dianne (30 March 2016). "Capital Plan Submission" (PDF). Calgary Girls' School Society. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  12. ^ "2012-2027 Charter Document" (PDF). Connect Charter School. May 2012. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  13. ^ "FOUNDATIONS FOR THE FUTURE CHARTER ACADEMY CHARTER DOCUMENT". Foundations for the Future Charter Academy. Retrieved 14 February 2019.
  14. ^ "FFCA Director Handbook". Foundations For the Future Charter Academy. pp. 4, 5. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  15. ^ "A History of Innovation at Westmount Charter School, Calgary". Westmount Charter School. 4 March 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  16. ^ "Aurora Charter School Evaluation Report" (PDF). Aurora Academic Charter School. 17 December 2014. p. 3. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  17. ^ "Charter" (PDF). Suzuki Charter School Society. June 2013. Retrieved 21 February 2017.
  18. ^ "Brochure" (PDF). Centre for Academic and Personal Excellence. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  19. ^ "Welcome to New Horizons School". New Horizons School. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  20. ^ "Mother Earth's Children's Charter School in Canada: imagining a new story of school". Childhood Education. 81 (6). 15 August 2005.
  21. ^ "Our Charter". Valhalla School Foundation. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  22. ^ "Valhalla Community School Charter" (PDF). Valhalla School Foundation. Retrieved 22 February 2017.
  23. ^ Raham, Helen (23 May 1998). "Lessons Learned: First Canadian Charter School Closed". Society for Advancement of Excellence in Education. Retrieved 18 February 2017.
  24. ^ Sheppard, R (1998-07-06). "A school failure". Maclean's. 111 (27). ISSN 0024-9262.