Our Kids lists numerous schools from across Alberta, with a number of private and independent options, including Montessori, boarding, Christian, Waldorf, traditional, and others.
Finding a private school in Alberta
Be sure that all schools you research are registered with the Alberta Board of Education. Research all the web resources you can find. You can find video tours of some Alberta private schools linked to the profiles below. Learn all you can about the school's reputation and check parent references.
Alberta’s private schools, especially private elementary schools, typically score very high on the Fraser Institute's Alberta rankings. In 2011, several private schools scored top spots out of 665 schools. Although the Institute's ranking system is far from perfect, rankings nonetheless are a useful introduction to the quality of private schools in this province.
Registered private schools vs. accredited private schools
Before you choose a private school for your child, you should fully understand Alberta's distinction between registered private schools and accredited private schools.
Registered private schools meet some essential provincial requirements such as code of conduct and property requirements but in most cases, private schools exceed government standards. Private schools offer more parental control in the classroom and schools exert more control over the student body. Graduates of private schools are more likley to feel greater accountability to their education, be better citizens, and score better on aptitude tests than they would at other types of schools.
Alberta's Accredited Private Schools are accredited under section 28(2) of the School Act. This category includes publicly funded private schools that must meet requirements of the province that go beyond basic registration.
In addition, Designated Special Education Private Schools provide special education programs for qualified students. These two latter schools must follow the same standards as public schools in order to get public funding.
One further category is Heritage Language Schools. These are private schools that offer specialized language and cultural instruction. Such schools are not publicly funded, but may be funded under the Credit Enrollment Unit (CEU) funding system of Alberta.
Financial Concerns in Alberta
Alberta’s private schools have a broad range in tuition rates, from as low as $5000 per year and up to $50000 or higher. We offer a list of schools that provide you with scholarships and financial aid (i.e. bursaries). Some schools will cover a portion of your child’s tuition, while others have scholarships and bursaries that cover 100% of the costs. However, when you are searching for an affordable school, you should be sure to inquire about hidden costs like textbooks, uniforms, and even information technology equipment, such as laptops.
If you are not from Alberta, but are thinking of sending your son or daughter to a school in this nature-filled province, you will be happy to know that Alberta does not have provincial sales taxes.
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