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Back to School in Calgary: A Guide for Pre-K to University

Mar 6, 2023  
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The popularity of Calgary has been increasing over time, and it is anticipated to continue growing. It has consistently been recognized as one of the best cities to live in across Canada, North America, and the world, which explains the population surge. As the population increases, those who plan to relocate to Calgary are likely to inquire about the schools available in the region. The local real estate, from Calgary condos to luxury homes, is conveniently situated close to exceptional public schools, charter schools, private schools, and universities. Keep reading to gain insights on the schools and school districts in Calgary, Alberta.

Public School Districts Serving Calgary

The largest school district in Western Canada is the Calgary Board of Education, which is further divided into smaller school districts within Calgary. In Calgary, there are more than 240 schools, and the location of a student’s home usually determines which school they attend. Nevertheless, all schools in Calgary strive to create a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for their students.

To cover the costs of opening three new schools and welcoming 3,000 new students, the Calgary Board of Education received an additional $20.6 million in funding for the 2020-2021 academic year, on top of its annual $1 billion budget. Those seeking more information about local schools can consult the Calgary Area School Directory.

The list below includes some of the most comprehensive schools in Calgary, given the city’s numerous schools:

  • Altadore School: Regular (K-6)
  • Cambrian Heights School: Regular (K-6)
  • Valley Creek School: Regular (4-9) & Early French Immersion (4-9)
  • Clarence Sansom School: Regular (7-9)
  • Alternative High School: Alternative (10-12)
  • Forest Lawn High School: Regular (10-12), Advanced Placement (AP) (10-12), Dual Credit (10-12), & Off-Campus Work Experience (10-12)

Calgary’s diversity is reflected in the availability of language options at some schools, allowing parents to choose their preferred language for their child’s education during enrollment. The Calgary Board of Education school directory offers several search criteria for parents to look up nearby schools and transportation options for their children’s daily commute.

Calgary Charter Schools

in Calgary, charter schools are designed to provide alternative education through unique teaching or learning methods. These non-profit public schools have the autonomy to teach different approaches, philosophies, and pedagogies as long as they meet the basic education standards set by the Alberta Department of Education. Currently, Alberta has 13 charter schools spread across 23 buildings, with many of them situated in Calgary. Here are some of the most prominent charter schools in Calgary:

Calgary Arts Academy Society offers K to grade 10 education focused on the arts, and students select one of the following five arts disciplines to specialize in: music, visual art, dance, drama, and literary art.

Calgary Girls’ School Society is an all-girls charter school that emphasizes STEAM education for grades 4 to 9. Teachers help students identify their strengths in STEAM areas and allow them to concentrate on these principles in their elective courses.

Aurora Academic Charter School offers traditional elementary and middle school education, but also focuses on developing diligence, dedication, academic achievement, and character in every assignment. The school aims to produce the next generation of leaders through its education efforts.

Calgary Private Schools

Private schools are a popular option for some parents in Calgary, with schools located in neighbourhoods such as Downtown West End, Crescent Heights, Bridgeland, and Renfrew. Tuition fees for these schools range from $3,000 to over $20,000. Here are some of the largest private schools in Calgary:

Lycée Louis Pasteur is a co-ed private school that offers education from preschool to grade 12. It teaches the French Ministry of Education and Alberta Education curricula in a traditional classroom setting and accepts students from all linguistic backgrounds. Tuition fees range from $14,700 to $20,000 per year, depending on the grade level.

The Calgary Academy & Calgary Collegiate provides K to grade 12 co-education in both in-person and online formats. The school offers two levels of education: Academy, designed for students with learning difficulties, and Collegiate, for students at or above grade level. Tuition fees range from $13,900 to $18,885 annually.

Banbury Crossroads School offers individualized education for preschool to grade 12 students with small class sizes and multi-age groups. The focus is on engaging children at all levels of learning, rather than drilling information. Tuition fees range from $9,000 to $10,000 per year.

Colleges and Universities Near Calgary

Calgary offers various options for higher education. Bow Valley College is a fast-track program institution that aims to help individuals accelerate their career upon graduation. Students can opt to live with roommates in Calgary townhomes close to campus. Tuition fees range from $5,000 to $8,000 annually, depending on the program.

The University of Calgary, being one of the largest universities in Alberta, provides a wide range of research and educational programs to its students, which include undergraduate and graduate coursework, open studies, and continuing education credits. The approximate average tuition fee for a term at the university is $5,500.

Columbia College Calgary is a non-profit college that provides technical degrees to students, aiming to assist them in their professional growth. The college offers programs at a cost ranging from $6,000 to $18,000 for the entire program.

Discover Education Opportunities in Calgary

Calgary is an ideal place to settle down for those seeking to thrive in a continuously expanding city. Students can receive a comprehensive education tailored to their requirements, equipping them with the necessary skills to excel in any location. They may either complete their higher education locally or pursue opportunities elsewhere. Additionally, Calgary offers a plethora of child-friendly activities, making it an excellent city to reside in. In terms of fostering a thriving and inclusive community, Calgary stands out among other cities worldwide.

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