Elementary and secondary

Alberta is recognized internationally for its excellent K–12 (kindergarten through high school) education system. In Alberta, education is free for children and young people under the age of 20 who are enrolled in Grades 1 to 12.

By law, children living in Alberta must attend school from ages 6 to 16.

School system options

Most children attend public, separate, francophone or charter schools that are part of Alberta's public education system.

These schools are funded in part through:

  • provincial government revenues
  • taxes homeowners must pay to local governments

This means that you do not have to pay tuition fees; however, you may have to pay for:

  • art supplies
  • textbook rentals
  • transportation (e.g., school bus or public transportation)

Some of those fees are paid when your child registers as a student. School districts have an appeal process that lets families who do not have enough money ask not to have to pay the fees.

If you wish, you may educate your children at home as long as you meet the requirements of the School Act and Home Education Regulation.

If you choose to send your child to a private school, you will have to pay some or all of the costs. Before registering your child in a private school, find out:

Private schools set their own standards for enrolment, often based on a particular religious faith or educational philosophy.

Enrolling your child in school

When choosing a school outside local area, your options will depend on the availability of space in the program, services and transportation.

To enrol your child in school, take your child and the following documents (if you have them) to the school:

  • identification documents
  • your child's vaccination records
  • school documents from your child's previous school

The school principal:

  • may ask questions about your child
  • will place your child in the appropriate class