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Schools in Calgary
Alberta Education oversees a range of supports and services for students with Learning Disabilities, ADHD, and other diagnoses in the Public, Separate, Charter and Independent education systems.
The Alberta Government (Alberta Learning) acknowledges the importance of local autonomy, flexibility and choice in meeting the diverse learning needs of students. That means there might be some variability in how school districts deliver those supports to diverse learners.
There are 3 public school districts within the Calgary area and they are all required to provide a continuum of support to students with Learning Disabilities.
When you are considering the most appropriate school and classroom setting for your child, you may also consider one of the private schools that specifically serve students with Learning Disabilities and ADHD.
Public School Districts in Calgary Region
Calgary Board of Education (CBE)
Calgary Board of Education
CBE has 240 schools across Calgary. Your child is designated to a school based on their home address. The school may be in your community or in another community, depending on space and the program your child is enrolled in. CBE provides appropriate programming for students with exceptional and special needs in all of their community schools. They also provide programming at various sites across CBE to meet specialized needs of some students.
Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD)
Calgary Catholic School District
CCSD is the largest Catholic school district in Alberta, serving more than 58,000 students in 116 schools located in Calgary, Airdrie, Cochrane, Chestermere, and Rocky View County. Students with diverse learning needs should register at their local school. Through a referral process, a student’s diverse learning needs are identified and discussed in order to help determine how best to support that student. The child, once assessed, may then be assigned to another appropriate school.
Rocky View School District
Rocky View School District
Rocky View Schools serves residents to the west, north and east of the City of Calgary. The areas include: Airdrie, Chestermere & Area, Cochrane & Area, Crossfield & Area, and Springbank & Area. The jurisdiction provides educational services to over 25,000 public students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 through 51 schools.
Designated Special Education Private School (DSEPS)
There is a range of private schools for students with disabilities and some are serving the specific student population with Learning Disabilities.
Designated Special Education Private Schools (DSEPS) are funded, independent schools that have been given special approval and funding by the Minister of Education, where the sole purpose of the school is to serve students who are identified with a mild, moderate or severe disability. The funding provided by the province is added to by the private tuition paid by parents.
DSEPS in Calgary that target their support for students with Learning Disabilities are Foothills Academy, Calgary Academy, and Rundle Academy.
Foothills Academy welcomes students with identified Learning Disabilities in grades 3 to 12 who are struggling to succeed in the regular school system. Each class has 12-14 students and follows the Alberta Education curriculum.
Foothills Academy school was built around the belief that with the right supports and remedial intervention students with LD can achieve success in school, post-secondary, and the workplace. We understand the difficulties and challenges facing students with LD, both academic and social-emotional. Our philosophical approach is to: Find Understanding; Build Confidence; and Maximize Potential.
Foothills Academy also offers programs and services for the larger LD/ADHD community through Estelle Siebens Community Services, including:
-Psychological Services and Programs; psycho-educational assessments; counselling; and groups programs
-Read/Write & Math; remedial instruction
-Amicus Camps and Recreation; summer camps and year-round recreation programs
-Community Education; workshops and online courses for families
-Professional Development; workshops and online courses for educators and other professionals
Calgary Academy Stream
Students in the Academy program have been diagnosed with one or more learning disorders and/or ADHD. The primary focus of the Academy program is to remediate learning difficulties. The classroom ratio is smaller, so students receive the personalized supports they need to capitalize on their strengths while targeting areas of difficulty in reading, writing and/or mathematics. Every student receives daily remedial instruction to support their area of need. The school has a Learning Supports Team that provides the following services: Speech and Language, Occupational Therapy and Literacy and Numeracy specialists who work with students that are performing well below grade level to close the learning gap as quickly as possible.
Using the Alberta curriculum, students develop an understanding of their own unique way of learning and transferable tools and strategies that empower them as learners. When students become more independent and outgrow the intensive supports in the Academy program, they can transition into the Collegiate program.
The Collegiate program pushes students to collaborate, to challenge themselves and others, and to engage richly in the world around them. With a focus on preparing for post-secondary, students leave with the mindset and skills to continually take on new challenges. Students share in the creation and direction of their learning, while supporting and challenging their peers. Teachers move seamlessly among their different roles as mentors, instructors, guides and facilitators as they encourage students to drive their own learning. Students learn creativity, collaboration, critical thinking and communication skills, empowering them to embrace an increasing level of independence in their learning for future success in post-secondary and beyond. The ratios average 1:12 in Elementary and 1:18 from grades 7-12.
Starting September of 2021 for grades 9 and 10, Blended+ is a third program at Calgary Academy that combines the best parts of in person, online, and off-site learning. It will expand each year to grade 12 by 2023. Blended+ is designed as a flexible and highly supported learning experience to meet the needs, strengths, and interests of students—including students with learning disabilities and learning challenges who are at grade level. Rich off-site experiential learning and access to CA extra-curricular activities continue to be the plus in Blended+ and a differentiator for this program.
For more information about Blended +, go to:
FAQs and Other Information on the Blended +
YouTube video: Calgary Academy’s new Blended Program
Calgary Academy offers a full day, play based kindergarten program which features three themes: exploration, connection, and motivation. Their Kindergarten program provides students with a strong foundation in literacy and numeracy and a head start on the skills, knowledge, and strategies they require to enjoy school and engage successfully in Grade 1.
Rundle Academy is part of Rundle College Society and provides a premier educational experience for students in grades 4-12 with diagnosed Learning Disabilities and/or ADHD. Their individualized approach to teaching and learning supports students to achieve their full potential in all aspects of their education. Their small class sizes, exceptional teachers, strong sense of community, and focus on character development set this program apart.
At Rundle Academy, students have access to the strategies and accommodations that allow them to be successful at the post-secondary level. Graduates of Rundle Academy attend a variety of post-secondary institutions and take with them the curricular understanding, self-advocacy skills, and executive function competencies needed to succeed wherever they choose to go.
In the fall of 2021, Rundle Studio will be “opening our doors” online to a new way of learning for grade 7 & 8 students with learning disabilities, ADHD and/or ASD who live in Alberta. We are building on the success of our Academy program and bringing that to an interactive, online environment. Rundle Studio provides a dynamic, interactive online learning environment for students with diagnosed learning disabilities designed to meet their personal learning styles, regardless of geographic location.