Homeschooling parents in Alberta must provide notice of intent to homeschool. Parents must also submit a written description of their proposed education plan which must allow students to achieve the goals set forth in the Alberta Programs of Study. An education in core subjects of language arts, math, science, and social studies must be included.
Parents are expected to maintain detailed records of student activities and evaluations. In addition to the parent conducting regular evaluations of student progress, the associate school is responsible for providing a teacher to conduct two assessments of student progress per year. School credit may be earned for homeschoolers who are following the Alberta Programs of Study.
Regulations for homeschooling in Alberta are outlined by Alberta’s School Act under Home Education Regulation.
Section 2 of Alberta’s Home Education Regulation states that all children between the ages of 6 and 16 must attend school.
Notification of intent to homeschool must be given via form provided by Minister of Education to a school of the parent’s choosing. Options are not limited to local schools, parents may choose a public or private school from anywhere within the province.
The school that accepts a parent’s notice of intent to homeschool will become the “associate school” of the home education program and will have the responsibility of supporting, and evaluating the home education program.
Outlined in Section 3, the Home Education Regulation requires parents to provide a written outline of their education program. This outline must include: activities, resources, means of evaluation, and instruction methods.
If the education program does not follow the Alberta Programs of Study, the parent must certify that the activities included in the education plan will allow the student to achieve the goals set out in the Alberta Programs of Study. The associate school will review the program and will either approve, or suggest changes to the program in writing. Once approved, The parent may alter the program but must notify the associate board of any significant changes.
At the parent’s request, a teacher from the associate school may help in the development of the education plan.
Days or Hours:
Regardless of whether the program follows the Alberta Programs of Study, students are to receive a core education in Language arts, mathematics, science and social studies.
A schedule of learning outcomes for programs which do not follow the Alberta Programs of Study is included at the end of the Home Education Regulation.
Parents are expected to maintain dated samples of student work, records of student activities, evaluations, and document their evaluation methods.
Section 4 of the Home Education Regulation requires parents to regularly evaluate student progress and maintain dated records of these evaluations.
The parent must also ensure that the student is available to participate in regularly scheduled evaluations conducted by the associate school. The associate school will arrange for a teacher to conduct at least two progress evaluations of home educated students each year.
Dates and locations of these evaluations will be determined through mutual agreement between the homeschooling family, and the associate school. The teacher who conducts the evaluation will record the test results and inform parents of the progress. Recommendations may be given to the parent based on the results.
Students at grade levels equivalent to grade 3, 6, and 9 will be given the opportunity to write the provincial exams administered at those grade levels.
Section 8 of the Home Education Regulation outlines the steps that occur when the associate school board determines that a home education program should be terminated.
During the school year, the associate school may terminate the home education program if:
- the student is not making reasonable progress
- The parent has not met the requirements outlined in the homeschool regulations
If a homeschool program is terminated, written notice outlining the reasoning for ending the program will be given. The parent will also be informed of their right to ask the Minister of Education to review this decision.
If the home education program is terminated, the student’s education remains under the responsibility of the associate school for the remainder of the year and they must ensure the student has access to an appropriate education program.
Obligation to report suspicions of abuse:
Section 4 (1) of the Child, Youth, and Family Enhancement Act states:
“any person who has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that a child is in need of Intervention shall forthwith report the matter to a director. Subsection (1) applies notwithstanding that the information on which the belief is founded is confidential and its disclosure is prohibited under any other Act.”
Reports must be made to a local Child and Family services Authority or by contacting the Child Abuse Hotline at: 1800-387-5437.
Services Available to Homeschooled Students:
Parents may decide on a Shared Responsibility Program which allows students to take some courses at the associate school while completing other courses through the home education program. This allows parents to choose to teach the subjects which they feel most qualified to teach while giving students access to the remaining classes at school.
The Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association’s official handbook for 2015-2016 sets forth guidelines under which homeschooled students and students enrolled in distributed learning programs may participate in athletic programs. Pages 42- 45 contain specific qualifications for homeschooled students wishing to participate in school athletics programs.
Distance Learning Programs are also an option for alternative education. The Alberta Distance Learning Centre offers flexible online options for students to complete their education programs.
The Associate School will offer:
- Advice and assistance in developing yearly Home Education Plans.
- Supportive teachers who are respectful and informed about home education will be assigned to provide support for home education program
- Access to a copy of all home education policies notifications of any changes
- Records maintained by the Associate School about each home educated student
- High School Credit for eligible students receiving a home education program that follows the Alberta Programs of Study
- Funding to defray the costs of purchasing materials and carrying out the home education program
Overview of Shared Responsibility Program
Reimbursement For Home Education Expenses –Alberta Government
Alberta Home Education Handbook
Alberta Schools Athletic Handbook 2015-16
Alberta Distance Learning Association