Edmonton Public Schools

Edmonton Public Schools (legally Edmonton School Division) is the largest public school division in Edmonton, the second largest in Alberta, and the sixth largest in Canada. The division offers a variety of alternative and special needs programs, and many are offered in multiple locations to improve accessibility for students. As a public school division, Edmonton Public Schools accepts all students who meet the age and residency requirements set out in provincial legislation.[3]

Edmonton Public Schools
, Alberta, T5H 4G9
Coordinates53°33′17″N 113°29′45″W / 53.55472°N 113.49583°W / 53.55472; -113.49583
District information
SuperintendentDarrel Robertson
Chair of the boardTrisha Estabrooks
Schools212 [1]
BudgetCA$1.21 Billion (2021)[1]
Students and staff
Students105,384 (September 2021)[1]
Other information
Elected trusteesSherri O'Keefe, Ward A
Marsha Nelson, Ward B
Marcia Hole, Ward C
Trisha Estabrooks, Ward D
Dawn Hancock, Ward E
Julie Kusiek, Ward F
Saadiq Sumar, Ward G
Nathan Ip, Ward H
Jan Sawyer, Ward I [2]

Size edit

Edmonton Public Schools operates 212 schools. There are a total of 124 elementary schools, 38 elementary/junior high schools, 5 elementary/junior/senior high schools, 26 junior high schools, 4 junior/senior high, 15 senior high schools, and 7 other educational services offered. Approximately 105,000 students attend Edmonton Public Schools and there are over 9,700 full-time staff equivalencies. The proposed operating budget is $1.21 billion for the 2021–2022 fiscal year.[1]

Governance edit

A group of nine elected trustees sits on the board of trustees for Edmonton Public Schools. Each trustee represents one ward in the city. They are elected every four years, in the regular municipal election through First-past-the-post voting.

In the election, Edmonton voters can only vote for a trustee to one (not both) of the two main school boards. The last election was held on October 18, 2021.[2] The public and Catholic systems operate independently of each other, and are both under the direct authority of the provincial government of Alberta.

History edit

Edmonton's first schoolhouse was built in 1881 in the Saskatchewan River valley and was in use as a school until 1904. The wooden-frame building was the first free public school in Alberta, and sometimes served as a courthouse and meeting hall. The school building was restored as an Edmonton Public Schools' centennial project in 1982, and has been moved to the grounds of the former McKay Avenue School (now the Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum). It is a Provincial Historic Resource.[4]

Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum edit

Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum is located in the historic McKay Avenue School. The building's cornerstone was laid in 1904 by the Governor General of Canada, Lord Minto. The year 1904 marked the beginning of an important new era of growth and prosperity in Alberta, and the building was designed to reflect this importance and inspire awe and grandeur. The design included unique features such as the Ionic Romanesque pillared entranceways.

McKay Avenue School served as the site of the first two sessions of the Alberta Legislature (1906 and 1907). It was on the third floor of Assembly Hall that the important decision was made to make Edmonton the capital of Alberta.

McKay Avenue School was designated a Provincial Historic Resource in 1976. The venerable brick building had played an important role in the educational, social and political development of Edmonton and Alberta, but when in 1983 the enrolment fell to a low of 59 students the school was closed. At that time, in recognition of its importance in the early history of Edmonton and of Alberta, a history-conscious school board made a momentous decision:McKay Avenue School would be preserved to reflect the school district's past and to pass its history on to future generations.[4]

Site-Based Decision Making edit

Edmonton Public Schools pioneered the concept of site-based decision making (decentralization) in Canada. Site-based decision making gives principals, who are ultimately responsible for everything that goes on in their schools, the authority, the financial resources and the flexibility to make decisions based on the individual needs of their schools.[5]

In 1976, the district initiated a pilot project in seven of its schools and in 1980 had expanded the concept to all of its schools. This initiative has led to Edmonton Public offering an innovative school of choice model in which students have more options as to what school they want to attend to suit their interests, and has led to the creation of many very successful alternative programs such as Vimy Ridge Academy, Old Scona Academic and Victoria School of the Arts.[6][7][8] The Edmonton Society for Christian Education[9] and Millwoods Christian School (not part of the former) used to be private schools; however, have both also become part of Edmonton Public Schools as alternative programs.[10][11]

Today, school-based management is functioning successfully in other educational jurisdictions across Canada.[12]

Schools edit

Edmonton Public Schools' continuum grades are commonly found in two grade level groupings: kindergarten through grade six being Elementary and grades 7 through 12 being Secondary. Further, Secondary grade groupings can be broken into Junior High (7-9) and Senior High (10-12) schools. However, there are certain schools that include more than one grade level grouping or don't conform to the grouping system.

Programs edit

Edmonton Public Schools offers Regular programs, Alternative programs and Special education programs.[13]

Special education programs are available at select schools and include programs for students who are academically advanced, and students who have Behaviour Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities, Diagnosed Learning Disabilities and Academic Delays.[14]

There are more than 30 Alternative programs available with a focus on a specific type of arts, athletics, language, faith, culture or teaching philosophy. This includes: Aboriginal education, Cogito, American Sign Language, Hockey Training, Waldorf and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program.[15]

Early Years Programming edit

Early Education edit

This program supports children with mild/moderate and severe disabilities, aged 2+12 to 4+12 years. Programming focuses on cognitive, self-help and social skills, speech and language, and motor development. Parents and staff work together to support each child.

Early Learning edit

This program supports children 3+12 to 4+12 years of age who are English Language Learners or in need of specialized supports and services. Programming focuses on developing communication and co-operative learning skills, and is available to children attending their designated school.

Kindergarten edit

Children who are four years of age on or before March 1 of that year, may register in Kindergarten for the upcoming school year. Children may attend their designated school or apply to a school or program of choice. Kindergarten is offered half-day in the mornings or afternoons at most elementary schools, and full-day at some elementary schools for children living in the designated attendance area.[16]

Advanced Education Programs edit

Challenge Program [K-9] edit

For children who have high academic standards. This program is formatted to make the learning more challenging and focuses on problem solving and inquiry skills.

Extensions Program [1-9] edit

This program is for children with advanced intellectual abilities. These students enjoy being challenged, grasp new ideas easily, and perform far beyond their current grade level.

Academic Delay Programs edit

Literacy Program [4-9] edit

This program is for children for academic delays. This program focuses on literacy and numeracy.

Strategies Program [4-9] edit

This program is for children who have diagnosed learning disabilities and a high cognitive ability. It focuses on assisting students who need extra help.

Cognitive Disabilities Programs edit

Opportunity Program [1-12] edit

This program assists students with mild cognitive disabilities who experience significant academic and social challenges. Programming focuses on literacy, numeracy and skills necessary for responsible independent living and employment.

Community Learning Skills Program [1-12] edit

This program assists students with moderate cognitive disabilities. Programming focuses on assisting students to gain the independent life skills necessary for supervised living and employment.

Individual Support Program [1-12] edit

This program assists students with severe to profound cognitive delays, including physical, sensory or behaviour disabilities. The program is designed to enhance quality of life for students and emphasizes functional life skills development.

Behavior Programs edit

Behavior and Learning Assistance Program [1-9] edit

This program assists students with severe behaviour disabilities. Programming focuses on helping students make academic gains, learn socially acceptable behaviour and develop appropriate social skills in the classroom and community.

Behavior Learning Assistance/Opportunity Program [1-9] edit

This program assists students with both severe behaviour and mild cognitive disabilities. Programming focuses on helping students to learn behaviour control and the pro-social, literacy and numeracy skills necessary for independence in the community.

Community Learning and Behaviour Skills Program [1-9] edit

This program assists students with both moderate cognitive and severe behaviour disabilities. Programming focuses on helping students manage with their social, emotional and academic challenges.

Other District Centre Programs edit

Interactions Program [1-12] edit

This program assists students who have been clinically diagnosed within the autism spectrum. Programming focuses on assisting students to gain socially appropriate communication and behaviour patterns in the classroom and community.

Deaf and Hard Of Hearing Program [1-12] edit

This program assists students who have a moderate to profound hearing loss. Programming focuses on helping students gain communication skills and strategies necessary to complete school and access secondary education or employment.

Bilingual and Immersion Language Programs edit

  • American Sign Language Bilingual
  • Arabic Bilingual
  • Chinese (Mandarin) Bilingual
  • French Immersion
  • Late French Immersion (starting in Grade 7)
  • German Bilingual
  • Hebrew Bilingual
  • International Spanish Academy


Second Language Courses edit

  • Arabic
  • American Sign Language (ASL)
  • Chinese
  • Cree
  • English as second language (ESL)
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Punjabi
  • Spanish
  • Ukrainian

All students from grades 4-9 must learn a second language.

Alternative Programs edit

  • Aboriginal Education - Amiskwaciy Academy
  • Awasis (Cree)
  • Cree Extended
  • Academic Alternative
  • Advanced Placement
  • Arts Core
  • Caraway
  • Child Study Centre
  • Cogito
  • Dance Program
  • Edmonton Christian School
  • Logos Christian Program Schools
  • Meadowlark Christian School
  • Millwoods Christian School
  • Sports Training Programs
  • Hockey Training Program
  • Lacrosse Training Program
  • Soccer Training Program
  • Sport Recreation Program
  • Sports Alternative
  • International Baccalaureate Certificate
  • International Baccalaureate Career-Related
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate Middle Years
  • International Baccalaureate Primary Years
  • Pre-Advanced Placement
  • Sakinah Circle
  • Science Alternative
  • Victoria School Of Performing And Visual Arts
  • Traditional

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d "Facts and Stats". Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Board of Trustees". Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  3. ^ "Education Act 2012, cE‑0.3 s3; Education Act 2019, c7 s4". Queen's Printer, Alberta. 17 September 2012. Retrieved 9 February 2022.
  4. ^ a b "History". Archived from the original on February 13, 2013. Retrieved July 17, 2013.
  5. ^ "AASA | American Association of School Administrators". www.aasa.org. Retrieved 2020-04-09.
  6. ^ "Alternative Programs Handbook" (PDF). Edmonton Public Schools. April 5, 2016. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 3, 2019. Retrieved March 31, 2020.
  7. ^ "The Development of School-Based Management in the Edmonton Public School District". www.mun.ca. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  8. ^ French, Janet (August 27, 2016). "Retired Edmonton school superintendent bets he can overhaul massive Las Vegas school system". edmontonjournal.com. Archived from the original on 2016-08-27. Retrieved 2020-03-31.
  9. ^ Edmonton Society for Christian Education. "Edmonton Society for Christian Education". Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2009.
  10. ^ Edmonton Society for Christian Education. "Edmonton Society for Christian Education". Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
  11. ^ Millwoods Christian School. "Millwoods Christian School". Archived from the original on January 25, 2010. Retrieved April 18, 2010.
  12. ^ Kostek, M.A. (1992). A century and ten: The history of Edmonton Public Schools. Edmonton, AB: Edmonton Public Schools.
  13. ^ "Special Education Needs". Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  14. ^ "Learning Guide" (PDF). Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  15. ^ "Alternative Programs" (PDF). Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  16. ^ "Early years". Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved January 15, 2018.
  17. ^ "Programming: Language and Culture". Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved January 15, 2018.

External links edit