Dependent (minor) children and studying in Calgary
In Calgary, there are two types of schools for children:
Publicly funded: government subsidizes the tuition, parents only pay school fees*
Privately funded: government does not subsidize, and parents pay fees and tuition
In Alberta, children attend:
- kindergarten usually starting at age five
- grades 1–6 (known as middle or elementary school) from ages 6 to 11
- grades 7–9 (known as junior high) from ages 12 to 14
- grades 10-12 (known as high school) from ages 15 to 17.
Some schools will combine all grades (kindergarten to grade 12), and others only combine certain grades. There are 357 schools in Calgary, ranging from kindergarten to high schools and they're located in different neighbourhoods across the city.
There are three types of publicly-funded schools:
Private schools run independently.
Every child in Calgary has a designated school based on their home address and the program they choose. You can apply to attend any school, even if it's not your designated school. However, most families register their children in the school in their neighbourhood. Each principal determines if their school has capacity to accept out-of-boundary students. To confirm school attendance areas or program offerings, or for more information about registration, please contact the school directly.
The registration process for each type of school will be slightly different; refer to the websites for detailed information. In general, for the public and Catholic school system, once a family arrives in Calgary they meet with a school board representative at an admission centre to register in the appropriate grade levels. For more details for prospective inquiries, contact the school boards’ general lines:
- The Calgary Board of Education (secular): 1.403.777.7373
- The Calgary Catholic School District: 1.403.500.2007
Cost: It's best to confirm any costs directly with the applicable school board. In general, the costs of attending public school only includes general school fees, not tuition. These fees can be found on the Calgary Board of Education website and the Calgary Catholic School District website.
You will be charged general school fees if you (the parent) have a valid study permit and if you are registered in:
- a full-time provincially recognized diploma program or full-time degree program of study that is a minimum of two years in duration; or
- a full-time graduate or post-doctoral program of study that's a minimum of one year in duration
* If you do not meet the above requirements, you may also be required to pay tuition for your child, even if your child is enrolled in a public school. Please confirm your options with the specific school board you're interested in registering with.
There are a number of bilingual or immersion language schools in Calgary. For example, there are several French immersion, Spanish bilingual, and Mandarin language programs offered through both the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) and Calgary Catholic School District (CCSD). Visit their websites to explore your options.