The Ultimate Guide To Schools in Edmonton


September 21, 2023

The Ultimate Guide To Schools in Edmonton - Featured Image

Edmonton is home to some of the best schools in Canada, from elementary all the way to post-secondary. Whether you’re looking for a top-rated high school, the best private schools in Edmonton, or the top elementary schools in Edmonton, this guide has you covered! 

With this guide, you’ll be able to find the best schools in Edmonton for your children or yourself, no matter your educational needs. We’ll provide you with an overview of the different types of schools in Edmonton, as well as a look at what makes each one unique.

School Options in Edmonton: An Overview

Whether you’re new to Edmonton or have lived here your whole life, you’ll have plenty of educational options to choose from. From public schools to private institutions, there are a variety of choices for parents and students alike. Here’s a brief overview:

The Basics of Schooling in Canada

Schools in Canada typically operate from late August or early September until mid or late June, with school days ranging from around 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. However, individual school schedules may vary greatly.

In Canada, children usually begin kindergarten between the ages of 4 and 6, depending on their birthdate and district cutoffs. Students continue to advance through grade 12 until graduation.

Primary school refers to the earlier grades, while the later grades, around grade seven, are considered secondary. Elementary schools typically include students from kindergarten through fifth or sixth grade, while junior high schools usually house grades seven through nine. High schools typically have grades nine through 12. These are general guidelines, and there may be variations depending on the school and district.

Before kindergarten, schooling is not mandatory, but some parents opt for preschool programs, especially if they require daycare services during working hours.

After high school graduation, many students pursue post-secondary education, which may involve attending college, university, or trade school. Once you have found a community you like, you can research the schools in the area to determine the specifics.

School Buses

Your Home = Your School Zone

When it comes to attending public school, children typically go to the school closest to their home, which is often their neighbourhood school. In some cases, the school may be within walking distance, but if not, bus transportation is provided.

If you’re considering moving to a new area, it’s essential to research the schools nearby, especially if you’re looking for a specialized program for your child. Even if you don’t have children, it’s worth being aware of the reputation of the neighbourhood schools since it can impact property values.

It’s worth noting that depending on the type of specialized program you’re looking for, such as a heavy arts program or a focus on sports, you may be able to enroll your child outside of your designated zone. Some schools also have a lottery program, but that means there’s no guarantee your child will be selected.

Types of Schools Available

Neighbourhood/Designated Public Schools

In Edmonton, the most prevalent schools are neighbourhood-based public schools, with each community having its own assigned school. When you move into a neighbourhood, your child is assured of a spot in the designated school.

However, if you want your child to attend a different school, you can do so if there is enough capacity, but you may need to organize your own transportation. It’s crucial to keep in mind that if a school is outside your designated area, there’s no guarantee your child will be able to enroll.

Catholic Schools

If you wish for your child to receive a Catholic-based education in Edmonton, there are numerous Catholic schools to choose from. These schools receive funding from both the Alberta government and the Catholic Church.

Private Schools

In Edmonton, there are private schools that are not financially supported by the government. These schools have comparatively expensive tuition fees, but they provide tailor-made education.

French Lesson

Language Immersion Schools

Edmonton provides various language immersion schools alongside the standard English-language education system. These schools impart knowledge in a different language like French or Mandarin, in addition to English. Opting for such schools can be an excellent choice for parents seeking bilingual education for their children.

Choosing an Alternative School

In certain areas, like those near downtown Edmonton, schools only accept children from the designated neighbourhood to keep the student population at a manageable level and guarantee spots for those who live there. 

However, newer schools may have space available for students from other areas, so it’s best to check with the school directly if you’re interested in attending.

While most families choose traditional neighbourhood schools, there are also specialty options available, both public and private. For example, some parents opt for language immersion programs where children learn primarily in French or another second language to improve their language skills. 

Others prefer Catholic schools for the religious education they offer, which can be found in both public and private institutions located throughout the area. Finally, some schools are more equipped to handle unique learning needs, such as those with learning disabilities, behavioural challenges, or autism, so it’s important to research the options available.

What Are The Best Schools In Edmonton?

No matter where you decide to reside in Edmonton, you will have access to a diverse selection of excellent schools to choose from for your children’s education. To assist you in making the optimal decision for your family, we have compiled a thorough guide to the top schools in Edmonton.

Kids Entering School

Southwest Edmonton

Living in Southwest Edmonton offers an abundance of excellent school options. Whether you are seeking an academic program, second language immersion, or specialized education tailored to your child’s needs, you can find a suitable school in Southwest Edmonton.

Donald R. Getty School

Donald R. Getty School is a fantastic public institution that provides students with top-notch education, empowering them to excel in their future careers and lives. The school offers a diverse range of extracurricular activities, such as sports teams, clubs, and academic competitions, in addition to state-of-the-art facilities that foster learning and growth. Whether you’re passionate about STEM subjects or the arts, you’ll find a welcoming community and ample opportunities to pursue your interests at this exceptional school.

Dr. Lila Fahlman School

One of the premier public schools in Edmonton, Alberta,  Dr. Lila Fahlman School’s innovative and progressive approach ensures that every student receives a high-quality education, tailored to their unique background and academic needs. Whether you’re seeking an enriching and rigorous curriculum, extra support through programs like ESL or special education, or exciting opportunities in the arts, sports, or other extracurricular activities, this school has it all! 

Johnny Bright School

Johnny Bright School is a highly-regarded institution catering to students in Edmonton. With a solid reputation built over the years, they offer a rigorous academic program and a safe, supportive community where your child can thrive. From a challenging curriculum to enriching extracurricular activities, Johnny Bright School is the ideal choice for your family.

St. Francis Xavier High School

Established in 1955, St. Francis Xavier High School stands as a prestigious Catholic institution serving the local community. With small class sizes and dedicated teachers, this school ensures individualized attention, both academically and personally. Check out St. Francis Xavier for an exciting and challenging learning environment that helps your child grow into a well-rounded individual.

Teacher helping pupil

St. Teresa Catholic Elementary School

If you’re searching for a faith-based school that fosters both education and religious values, look no further than St. Teresa Catholic Elementary School. As part of our list of great school choices, St. Teresa offers a close-knit community rooted in Catholic traditions. Provide your child with a top-notch education imbued with faith by choosing St. Teresa.

Private Schools in Southwest Edmonton

Looking for exceptional private schools in Southwest Edmonton? Look no further! We understand that families have their reasons for choosing private education, and our area offers a variety of outstanding options to meet your needs.

For instance, Tempo School provides a competitive academic environment with smaller class sizes to ensure personalized attention for your child. On the other hand, if you’re seeking a holistic approach to education, the Waldorf Independent School of Edmonton offers comprehensive teachings up until ninth grade.

Edmonton Academy is dedicated to providing an exceptional learning experience for students with diagnosed disabilities. With small class sizes and targeted programs, it fosters a supportive environment for your child’s success.

Bilingual and Language Immersion Schools in Southwest Edmonton

If you’re keen on ensuring your child becomes fluent in more than one language, consider exploring bilingual and language immersion schools. Southwest Edmonton boasts fantastic institutions like Greenfield School and Richard Secord School, both offering French immersion programs. Additionally, schools such as Malmo School and Rideau Park School provide bilingual programs in Arabic and German respectively. You can even find schools that offer Chinese, Hebrew, and American Sign Language.

International Baccalaureate Schools in Southwest Edmonton

Looking for a rigorous academic environment? Explore International Baccalaureate (IB) schools, where students take control of their education and collaborate on projects using an inquiry-based model. Notable IB high schools in Southwest Edmonton include Lillian Osborne and Harry Ainlay School, which also happens to be a French immersion school, offering the best of both worlds.

Kids in Class

Southeast Edmonton

Southeast Edmonton is another vibrant region offering an array of educational options. Renowned for its diverse selection of schools, parents and students can choose from a variety of institutions that best cater to their educational needs. Southeast Edmonton features several exemplary public schools, various Catholic schools, as well as numerous language immersion and private schools. The schools in this area consistently strive for academic excellence and nurturing environments, ensuring that every child receives a quality education that equips them for future success.

Ellerslie Campus School

Ellerslie Campus School caters to students from kindergarten to grade 9. They offer a diverse range of programs and services tailored to each student’s individual needs. Highly qualified teachers provide personalized attention and support to ensure that every student excels in their studies. Plus, their state-of-the-art facilities create an ideal environment for learning and exploring new ideas.

Michael Strembitsky School

Let’s not forget about Michael Strembitsky School, a public elementary school renowned for its exceptional educators. Their staff of dedicated teachers works tirelessly to provide every student with the necessary support and education to succeed. Whether your child is starting their educational journey in kindergarten or preparing for high school, Michael Strembitsky School is the perfect choice for your family.

Shauna May Seneca School

Shauna May Seneca School is an incredible educational institution nestled in the heart of Southeast Edmonton. This school is dedicated to fostering a positive learning environment where students can truly thrive and grow. Shauna May Seneca School prioritizes academic excellence and personal growth, making sure every student reaches their fullest potential.

With a team of knowledgeable and passionate teachers, combined with state-of-the-art facilities, Shauna May Seneca School offers an unparalleled education experience. If you’re a home buyer in Edmonton, Alberta, and searching for a reputable school that can truly make a difference in your child’s life, look no further than Shauna May Seneca School.

Corpus Christi Catholic Elementary/Junior High School

Corpus Christi Catholic Elementary/Junior High School, located in Southeast Edmonton, offers a high-quality education that cultivates well-rounded individuals ready to excel in any path they choose. Join a vibrant community where students thrive academically and personally, preparing for a bright future ahead.

Students working

Father Michael Mireau Catholic Elementary/Junior High School

Discover Father Michael Mireau Catholic Elementary/Junior High School, a top choice for Catholic education in Edmonton, Alberta. A rigorous academic curriculum combined with a strong focus on faith formation empowers students to develop holistically. With a nurturing environment and a commitment to service, this school instills lifelong values in every student.

Private Schools in Southeast Edmonton

Looking for top-notch private educational services in Southeast Edmonton, Alberta? Look no further! We’ve got you covered with a great selection of schools that provide an excellent education catered to your child’s needs.

Al Mustafa Academy offers a unique educational experience for children in grades K-12. The curriculum not only covers the Alberta core subjects but also includes Islamic Studies and Arabic language and culture. Explore the benefits of a well-rounded education that combines academic excellence with religious instruction. 

Just Montessori is all about embracing each child’s unique learning journey. Specializing in Montessori education for grades K-6, this school provides an environment where students can learn at their own pace and delve into their interests. Their approach cultivates independent thinking and a lifelong passion for learning. Discover the joy of education at Just Montessori!

Bilingual and Language Immersion Schools in Southeast Edmonton

Southeast Edmonton offers a variety of bilingual and language immersion programs for your child’s linguistic development.

Les Bouts d’Choux French Immersion Preschool is an ideal choice for families with young children. Through immersive play and everyday activities, this preschool gives your child an authentic French learning experience that’s both fun and enriching.

For older students seeking bilingual proficiency, École Frère Antoine is the perfect option. Their French immersion program ensures that students achieve functional bilingualism in French by the end of Grade 12, unlocking future opportunities.

Kids Raising Hands In Class

Northwest Edmonton

If you’re a parent or planning to start a family, finding the perfect place for your children to receive a top-notch education is crucial. Luckily, if you’re considering Northwest Edmonton as your future home, you’ll be thrilled to learn about the fantastic educational opportunities available in the area!

No matter your preferred educational style or your child’s specific needs, Northwest Edmonton offers a wide range of schools tailored to meet those requirements. Whether you’re seeking a traditional curriculum or something more specialized, you’ll find the ideal educational fit for your child right here in Northwest Edmonton!

David Thomas King School

David Thomas King School is the perfect educational home for students in Northwest Edmonton. This school offers an array of incredible features designed to enhance your child’s learning journey. 

David Thomas King School believes in encouraging exploration and personal growth. With a multitude of extracurricular activities, your child will have endless opportunities to pursue their interests and discover new passions. From sports teams and clubs to exciting cultural events throughout the year, there’s always something exciting happening here.

Lorelei School

Lorelei School is a vibrant public school nestled near the beautiful Eaux Claires neighbourhood. At Lorelei School, your child will have a supportive and nurturing environment that encourages creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking skills. Whether your child has a passion for the arts, music, mathematics, or technology, they will thrive and find numerous opportunities to explore their interests and discover new passions in our dynamic educational setting. Join us at Lorelei School, where the journey of knowledge and growth begins.

McArthur School

Discover McArthur School, an exceptional educational institution in Northwest Edmonton dedicated to teaching grades K-6. What makes this school truly unique? Its unwavering commitment to providing every student with accessible and effective technology. 

Archbishop MacDonald Catholic High School

Looking for the perfect Catholic school in Edmonton, Alberta for your kids? Look no further!

Archbishop MacDonald Catholic High School is an exceptional choice for older kids. With a strong commitment to academic and spiritual excellence, this school offers a variety of specialized academic programs. Plus, they have a range of athletic teams that compete in the Metro Athletic League. 

Bishop David Motiuk Elementary/Junior High

If you’re specifically interested in Catholic options, Bishop David Motiuk Elementary/Junior High is also a great school option for you. This highly respected institution provides students with a solid academic foundation and opportunities for spiritual growth. On top of regular classes, students can also enjoy sports, music, and various extracurricular activities.

Private Schools in Northwest Edmonton

Looking for the best private schools in Northwest Edmonton, Alberta? Look no further! With a range of options to choose from, including Coralwood Adventist Academy, Progressive Academy, and Edmonton Islamic Academy, you can provide your children with quality K-12 education in a supportive and enriching environment.

Coralwood Adventist Academy is dedicated to providing a top-notch Christian education, while Progressive Academy offers impressive facilities such as a technology center, library, music and art rooms, a full-size gymnasium, and an auditorium. For those seeking an academic environment intertwined with Islamic teachings, Edmonton Islamic Academy is the perfect choice.

And for the little ones aged three to six, Crestwood Montessori sets a solid foundation for their learning journey. Don’t miss out on these excellent educational opportunities for your family in Northwest Edmonton!

Kids using computers

Northeast Edmonton

If you’re considering Northeast Edmonton as your new home, you’re in for a treat! This vibrant area of the city offers a wide array of exceptional school choices for families. Whether you’re looking for a top-notch public school or a specialized program, you’ll find it all right here. Discover the perfect educational fit for your family in Northeast Edmonton!

John D. Bracco School

A fantastic option for Northeast Edmonton is John D. Bracco School, located near the Clareview neighbourhood. This top-rated public school caters to the diverse needs of students, including those with special needs or who are English Language Learners. With an outstanding reputation for academic excellence, John D. Bracco School offers an extensive array of programs and services.

And the opportunities don’t stop there! Students at John D. Bracco School can participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities, including sports, music, drama, and clubs.

Kirkness School

Looking for a school in Northeast Edmonton that offers exceptional education and a wide range of opportunities for your child? Look no further! Kirkness School is the perfect choice for families in the area. With its impressive features like a spacious library, dedicated teachers committed to student success and cutting-edge technology for online learning resources, Kirkness School has it all.

But that’s not all! At Kirkness School, your child will have the chance to explore their interests and discover new talents. With a myriad of extracurricular activities, including sports teams, clubs, and cultural events throughout the year, there’s something for every student.

Happy students

St. Bonaventure Elementary School & Junior High

St. Bonaventure Elementary School & Junior High is a Catholic school nestled in the Clareview neighbourhood of Northeast Edmonton. This school provides students with a strong academic foundation and an enriching spiritual journey. In addition to regular classes, they offer exciting opportunities in sports, music, and various activities to promote holistic development.

St. Dominic’s Catholic School

St. Dominic’s Catholic School, an exceptional elementary school located near the McLeod neighbourhood of Northeast Edmonton, aims to provide a well-rounded education, emphasizing Catholic values and traditions where students can thrive academically, and can also participate in an array of sports, music, and programs for a truly enriching experience.

Bilingual and Language Immersion Schools in Northeast Edmonton

Looking to give your child an edge in language skills? Consider language immersion and bilingual programs at Delwood School and Dickinsfield School. French immersion programs are particularly popular among parents in Northeast Edmonton. You can also find bilingual education in Chinese, Arabic, and German to foster multiculturalism and language proficiency.

International Baccalaureate Schools in Northeast Edmonton

For parents seeking an academically challenging environment, there are International Baccalaureate (IB) programs available. Designed to provide an international perspective on education, these programs are offered at M.E. LaZerte High School and McNally High School in Northeast Edmonton. Prepare your child for a global future with a rigorous and stimulating IB curriculum.

Edmonton is a great place to live and learn, and the schools in the area provide a variety of options to suit the needs of all students. From high schools to elementary schools, private schools to post-secondary institutions, there’s something for everyone. 

Edmonton also offers some of the best elementary and high schools in the country. No matter what type of school you’re looking for, Edmonton has something to fit your needs. With a diverse range of educational options, Edmonton is a great place to pursue your educational goals.

Originally published September 3, 2018, updated September 21, 2023

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