Kindergarten - Grade 12 Education

Public education in Alberta typically begins at age 5 in Kindergarten, and ends at age 18 in Grade 12. Parents have the option to send their child to school in kindergarten, or to wait until grade 1.

In Edmonton, parents have the option to send their child to either a public, Catholic or Francophone school. There are three main publicly funded school boards in the area that offer education opportunities for children from grade 1 to 12. There are two main English school boards called the Edmonton Public School district and Edmonton Catholic School District.

There is one Francophone school board called the Greater North Central Francophone School Board that offers education opportunities for children in Edmonton and surrounding communities. For parents who are wishing to enroll their child in a French program, French Immersion programs can also be found in both the Catholic and Public school districts and in French schools throughout the Francophone school district. A number of private schools can also be found throughout the city.

For parents wishing to homeschool their children, both the Edmonton Public School District and the Catholic School District provide support and resources for parents interested in home-schooling their children. 

Quick Facts

  • In the Province of Alberta children are eligible to start junior kindergarten on the calendar year that their 5th birthday falls on.
  • Children in Alberta start full-time school in September in where they are six years old. (Grade 1)
  • Parents have the choice to send their children to kindergarten, as schooling in Alberta is not mandatory until grade 1.
  • Generally elementary school serves children starting in kindergarten until grade 6, and junior and senior high school serves youth from grades 7 to 12. This varies from location in the province, and even varies depending on the school your child is enrolled in. Check with your child's local school for more information;
  • In Alberta provincial examinations start in grade 10

School Districts

Edmonton Public School District

Phone: (780) 826-3145

The Edmonton Public School District oversees all public schools from kindergarten to grade 12 throughout Edmonton and surrounding communities. French Immersion programs may be available through some schools.  Their website has a listing of all local schools. Go to their website to find a school near you.

Edmonton Catholic School District

Phone: (780) 441-6000

This school district oversees all Catholic schools in Edmonton and the surrounding area. Their website includes a listing and profile of all schools in the area. For more information please go to their website.

Greater North Central Francophone School Board (CSCN)

Phone: (780) 468-6440

This is the only school board that oversees all French speaking schools and programs for children from kindergarten to grade 12.

The Canadian Parents for French Alberta Branch has developed a great resource for parents or guardians who are wishing to enroll their child in a French program. It explains and provides information on what French programs are offered in Alberta schools, an overview of what they will achieve, as well as the difference between French Immersion and Core French programs and what type of program might be best applicable for your child.

Go to their website for more information at 

Children's Education Management


Children's Education Management ensures that the educational needs of Canadian Armed Forces families are supported and that children's education is compatible with that which is provided without charge in Canada when posted outside of Canada. Programs and services are designed to mitigate potential negative impacts on schooling due to geographical moves.

Private Schools

There are a number of private schools that can be found throughout the city of Edmonton.  If interested, please check for a complete listing and to find a program that best suits your child.

Post-secondary Education

Edmonton is known as one of the large educational centres in our country.  There are two large universities, one large college and a number of other small community colleges located throughout the city.

University of Alberta

Phone: 780-492-3111

Commonly referred to as Alberta U, this university's main campus can be found on the south side of Edmonton's river valley and offers over 400 programs at either the undergraduate and post-graduate level. Alberta U is a large school with approximately 36,000 students enrolled.

Grant MacEwan University

Phone: 1-888-497-4622

As a popular choice for residents in Northern Alberta, they have a large residence complex for students. MacEwan offers degree, certificate and diploma programs in areas such as Arts and science, Health and community studies, Business and much more. They also offer university transfer programs, preparation for university or college programs and English as a Second Language Training (ESL). Other unique services include an Aboriginal Education Centre and a Child Care centre for students who are looking for child care during school hours. 

Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT)

Phone: 780.471.NAIT (780.471.6248)

With over 30,000 part-time and full-time enrolled students, NAIT is a large school with a lot to offer students.  NAIT focuses on offering practical technology and apprenticeship programs to help students acheive meaningful employment. They offer certificate, diploma and applied degree programs in the technology, health, hospitality, business, engineering, applied science field and much more.  NAIT has the largest nationally accredited engineering and applied science programs in all of Canada.  

The following colleges are located approximately two hours from Edmonton:

Portage College

Phone: 1-866-623-5551

As the first choice for learners in North East Alberta, Portage College offers a wide variety of programs in areas such as business, general studies, health and wellness, human services, continuing education, and much more. They also offer distance education and adult upgrading programs.

Lakeland College

Phone: 1 800 661 6490

Lakeland College has a campus in Vermilion and Lloyminister. The closest campus is Vermilion campus, approximately an 2 hour drive from Edmonton and offers diploma and certificate programs in a wide variety of areas such as agricultural studies, business, environmental sciences, tourism, human services and much more. They also offer university transfer programs. Visit their website or call their toll free number at 1-800-661-6490 for more information.

For complete listings of post-secondary institutions in the area, Alberta and in Canada go to the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada website at

Adult Education

There are a variety of options for continuing education in the Edmonton area. There are continuing education programs available through Metro Continuing Education programs and the local college campuses.

Metro Continuing Education – Offers a variety of personal and professional enrichment courses to adults who are wishing to further their education. The Edmonton Public School Board oversees the Metro of Continuing Education. Courses can be delivered online or on campus. Please contact them for more information at (780) 428-1111 or visit their website.

The Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) offers continuing education programs and adult upgrading on campus. Courses are also available online through distance education. Please call the Student Success Centre at (780) 471-6248 or visit their website for more information.

MacEwan offers a variety of continuing education courses for those who are wishing to further their education for personal development, interest or in preparation for university or college. Their website has a listing of all available courses. Contact them for more information at (780) 497-5000 or visit their website.

If you don't find the answer to your questions please send us your question.

This page was updated April 26, 2017