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Edmonton Public Schools


Edmonton Public Schools

Edmonton Public Schools
One Kingsway Avenue Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, T5H 4G9
District information
Grades K-12
Superintendent Darrel Robertson
Chair of the board Sarah Hoffman
Schools 199[1]
Budget CA$939.5M (Proposed)[2] million (2012-2013)
Students and staff
Students 83,442[2] (2012)
Other information
Elected trustees Cheryl Johner, Ward A
Michelle Draper, Ward B
Orville Chubb, Ward C
Ray Martin, Ward D
Ken Gibson, Ward E
Michael Janz, Ward F
Sarah Hoffman, Ward G
Nathan Ip, Ward H
Sherry Adams, Ward I
Website .ca.epsbwww

Edmonton Public Schools (formally Edmonton School District No. 7) is the largest public school district in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada and the sixth largest school district in Canada. The district offers a variety of alternative and special needs programs, and many are offered in multiple locations to improve accessibility for students. As a public system, Edmonton Public Schools accepts all students who meet age and residency requirements.


  • Size 1
  • Governance 2
  • History 3
  • Site-Based Decision Making 4
  • Programs 5
    • Early Years Programming 5.1
      • Early Education 5.1.1
      • Early Learning 5.1.2
      • Kindergarten 5.1.3
    • Gifted Programs 5.2
      • Challenge Program [K-9] 5.2.1
      • Extensions Program [1-9] 5.2.2
    • Academic Delay Programs 5.3
      • Literacy Program [4-9] 5.3.1
      • Stratagies Program [4-9] 5.3.2
    • Cognitive Disabilities Programs 5.4
      • Opportunity Program [1-12] 5.4.1
      • Community Learning Skills Program [1-12] 5.4.2
      • Individual Support Program [1-12] 5.4.3
    • Behavior Programs 5.5
      • Behavior and Learning Assistance Program [1-9] 5.5.1
      • Behavior Learning Assistance/Opportunity Program [1-9] 5.5.2
      • Community Learning and Behaviour Skills Program [1-9] 5.5.3
    • Other District Centre Programs 5.6
      • Interactions Program [1-12] 5.6.1
      • Deaf and Hard Of Hearing Program [1-12] 5.6.2
    • Bilingual Language Programs 5.7
    • Second Language Courses 5.8
    • Alternative Programs 5.9
  • See also 6
  • References 7
  • External links 8


Edmonton Public Schools operates 199 schools.[1] The proposed operating budget is $939.5 million for the 2011-2012 fiscal year.[2] There is a total of 124 elementary schools, 26 elementary/junior high schools, 6 elementary/junior/senior high schools, 27 junior high schools, 3 junior/senior highs, 13 senior high schools, and 18 other educational programs are offered.[3]

Over 83,000 students attend Edmonton Public Schools and there are over 7,000 full-time staff equivalencies.[4]


A group of nine elected trustees sit 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. 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 in October 21, 2013. The public and Catholic systems operate independently of each other, and are both under the direct authority of the provincial government of Alberta.


Edmonton's first schoolhouse was built in 1881. The wooden frame building is situated on the same grounds as historic McKay Avenue School. Known now as the 1881 Schoolhouse, it was the first free public school in Alberta. While in use, until 1904, it sometimes served as a courthouse and meeting hall. Also a Provincial Historic Resource, the little school was restored as an Edmonton Public Schools' centennial project in 1982 and moved up from its river valley home of many years to within a few hundred meters of its original location.[5]

McKay Avenue School

Edmonton Public Schools Archives and Museum is located in 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 in the third floor 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.[5]

Site-Based Decision Making

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.

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. Today, school-based management is functioning successfully in other educational jurisdictions across Canada.[6]


Edmonton Public Schools offers Regular programs, Alternative programs and Special education programs.[7]

Special education programs are available at select schools and include programs for students who are Gifted, students who have Behaviour Disabilities, Cognitive Disabilities, Diagnosed Learning Disabilities and Academic Delays.

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 International Baccalaureate.[8]

Early Years Programming

Early Education

This program supports children with mild/moderate and severe disabilities, aged 2½ to 4½ 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

This program supports children 3½ to 4½ 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.


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.[9]

Gifted Programs

Challenge Program [K-9]

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

Extensions Program [1-9]

This program is for children for extremely high academic achievement who are in need of gifted programing. This program helps children develop coping strategies and skills that will help them in life.

Academic Delay Programs

Literacy Program [4-9]

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

Stratagies Program [4-9]

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

Opportunity Program [1-12]

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]

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]

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

Behavior and Learning Assistance Program [1-9]

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]

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]

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

Interactions Program [1-12]

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]

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 Language Programs

  • Arabic
  • ASL
  • Chinese
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Spanish
  • Ukrainian

Second Language Courses

  • Arabic
  • ASL
  • Chinese
  • Cree
  • French
  • German
  • Japanese
  • Punjabi
  • Spanish
  • Ukrainian

All students from grades 4-9 must learn a second language such as one that the designated school offers.

Alternative Programs

  • Aboriginal Education - Amiskwacity 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
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • International Baccalaureate Middle Years
  • International Baccalaureate Primary Years
  • Outdoor Pursuits Program
  • Pre-Advanced Placement
  • Sakinah Circle
  • Science Alternative
  • Victoria School Of Performing And Visual Arts
  • Traditional School
  • Wald

See also


  1. ^ a b Three-Year Capital Plan 2010-2013
  2. ^ a b c "Budget Services". Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved 22 January 2010. 
  3. ^ "District Overview". Edmonton Public Schools. Retrieved 2009-08-30. 
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b
  6. ^ Kostek, M.A. (1992). A century and ten: The history of Edmonton Public Schools. Edmonton, AB: Edmonton Public Schools.
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^

External links

  • Edmonton Public Schools' official website
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