HIGH SCHOOL TYPES IN ALBERTA
High school types in Alberta include:Public high schools: Public high schools in Alberta are generally non-religious, publicly funded schools overseen by the provincial Ministry of Education. Within local school districts, public schools are run by the public school boards. The main language of instruction in Alberta public high schools is English. However, French Immersion is available in many public school districts, as well as English as a second language (ESL) and French as a second language (FSL) training. Since public education is free for residents of the province, tuition for international students is correspondingly lower than at private institutions. Some public secondary schools have dormitories, and many have arrangements for homestay families.
Private high schools: Private high schools in Alberta are a privately-funded alternative to public schools. Many private schools have a particular religious or language affiliation; others may be focused on particular educational methods or philosophies that differ from the public system. Like public high schools, private high schools are regulated by the provincial government, but have more freedom to choose teaching methods or include instruction in multiple languages. Increased flexibility and lower enrollment means more room for personal attention to students' needs. Private secondary schools often have specific admission requirements, such as high grades, high scores on an entrance exam, or a special assessment. They may request or require an interview with the student and the student's parents. They may also have a dress code or uniform. The tuition for private secondary schools is often higher than that for the public system, and dormitories or homestay arrangements may be available.
Boarding schools: Boarding schools mean students live at the school as "boarders" in a safe, structured, supportive and encouraging environment. Boarding schools in Alberta make sure international students and their families remain closely involved despite the geographical distance. Boarding schools may be secular or have a religious affiliation, and can be found in cities and in more rural settings. Many boarding schools have programs not available at public or ordinary private schools, such as enhanced physical education and special facilities like equestrian stables. Like all secondary schools in Alberta, boarding schools are overseen by the province's Ministry of Education, although boarding schools generally aim to provide education that exceeds provincial standards of quality. Therefore, international student tuition at boarding schools in Alberta is likely to be among the highest of all the high school options, but this cost includes the accommodation or boarding fee.
All-girls schools: All-girls high schools are an alternative to traditional co-ed public schooling. Part of the private school system, these schools offer a single-sex educational environment for young women that encourages self-confidence and both academic and personal achievement. All-girls secondary school graduates often show higher self-esteem, higher grades and a greater sense of accomplishment than female graduates of traditional co-ed high schools. All-girls secondary schools in Alberta can be boarding schools or day schools, and some offer both options. These schools may also be religiously-affiliated or secular, and many require uniforms. Like all secondary schools, all-girl schools are overseen by the provincial Ministry of Education; however, all-girls schools are known for offering education that meets or exceeds provincial standards.
All-boys schools: Part of the private school system, all-boys high schools in Alberta offer an alternative to traditional co-ed public schooling by providing a single-sex educational environment for young men. All-boys high schools in Alberta can be boarding schools or day schools, and some offer both options. These schools may also be religiously-affiliated or secular, and many require uniforms. Like all secondary schools, all-boys schools are overseen by the provincial Ministry of Education; however, all-boys schools are known for offering education that meets or exceeds provincial standards.
Catholic high schools: Catholic secondary schools in Alberta combine both traditional and innovative educational programming with an approach rooted in Catholic values, ideals and beliefs. For example, many Catholic high schools require community service and volunteerism as part of students' academic program. There are Catholic boarding schools and Catholic day-schools, and tuition assistance is often available for those who have the academic credentials to get in, but who may not be able to afford the cost. For day-schools, help with international student accommodation or homestay within the local Catholic community is also often available.
Other Christian high schools: Christian high schools in Alberta may be run by a number of different Protestant Christian groups. Christian secondary schools may be affiliated with a particular Protestant denomination, or be non-denominational in character. Most Christian schools integrate Biblical teachings, values and spiritual values into the traditional educational curriculum so that students are encouraged to pursue academic success as well as personal and spiritual growth. All Christian high schools in Alberta must provide provincially-approved programs. Tuition at Christian high schools varies: costs may be similar to public secondary schools, or to the higher tuition at boarding or preparatory schools. Tuition assistance for qualifying students may also be available.
International students therefore have a wide range of options when considering high school study in Alberta.