In Alberta, there are 3 kinds of school authorities: Public, Catholic (or separate) and Francophone.
From Kindergarten through Grade 12, they all provide a high-quality, publicly financed education to pupils (generally children from about age 5 to about age 18) based on the same provincial curriculum while providing a diverse range of educational opportunities.
Edmonton Public School Board
With about 106,000 students in 212 schools, this is Edmonton's largest public school district. Its boundaries are the same as the boundary of the City of Edmonton. Edmonton Public Schools admits any student who lives in Edmonton.
With 3,700 pupils in 19 schools dispersed across a vast area of north-central Alberta, Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord (CSCN) is Edmonton's smallest publicly financed school authority. Edmonton has eight of these schools.
Alberta allows for a limited number of Charter schools. These are publicly funded schools run by a non-profit organization that reports directly to the Province of Alberta. They are outside the authority of any provincial school district (such as the Edmonton Public School Board). There are 3 Charter Schools in Edmonton. A complete list of Charter Schools is available from the Alberta Ministry of Education.
Provincially, about 5% of the K-12 student population is educated in a private school setting. Private schools are provincially regulated but not obligated to teach the provincial curriculum. Many of them serve particular linguistic, cultural and faith communities. They are all free to charge tuition. The Association of Independent Schools and Colleges in Alberta has information on private school options in and around Edmonton.
Within these school systems, parents and students are offered many choices in programs. Living within a given school boundary gives parents the right to enroll their children in that local school, but they have the option of sending their children to other schools that offer specialized programs.
In addition to offering the provincially mandated curriculum, these schools offer enriched programs in academics, instruction in a variety of languages, sports academies and schools dedicated to the performing arts, to name a few.
All 3 publicly funded school authorities are committed to the principle of inclusion: accommodating differences in students’ abilities to communicate, to learn and to adapt to life in the classroom.
They all employ or are prepared to employ a variety of different resources (including teaching aids and specialized learning programs) to ensure that all children who are enrolled in their district receive the best education possible.