Q. Can my child attend a high school other than their designated school?
Students can submit a Transfer Request form if they would like to attend a high school that is not their designated high school.
Transfer requests will be approved only if access to an academic program* that is not offered at the designated school (including space and resources) is available in the requested school/grade.
Transfer requests will not be granted on athletic programs.
The following requests will be considered in exceptional circumstances and only if space and resources at the requested school are available:
Peer group support
Siblings who wish to remain together
*Academic program: a series of courses, which culminate in credit or credentialing at the 30 level.
As part of the high school engagement process, the CBE is currently reviewing the out-of-boundary transfer process. If changes are recommended as a result of the review, they will be shared by November 2020 and implemented for the 2021-22 school year.
Q. If a student transfers to a high school other than their designated school for a particular program but doesn't continue with the program, do they go back to their designated school?
Students transferring for the purpose of studying an academic course sequence or program are expected to continue with the courses/program.
Expectations for continuing with the courses/programs will be addressed in more detail during the review of the transfer process which is currently underway.
Q. What is the CBE's process for accepting and placing international students?
CBE's Global Learning receives the applications from students outside of Canada wishing to study in our school system. Global Learning evaluates each application based on prior learning, references, student goals and assurances that arrangements have been made for the personal care and safety of the student. The application process/timeline frequently means discussions for student acceptance and placement can take place up to 18 months in advance of a student's arrival. Global Learning works closely with our planning department to determine the availability of space and resources in each of our high schools. New international students will not be placed in schools that are determined to be at capacity.
Q. What is the CBE's high school athletic recruitment policy?
As per the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association - Policy 5: Undue Influence, inducement and/or the recruitment of student-athletes is considered a violation of the Constitution. To maintain the proper relationship between the academic purposes of schools and their athletic activities, all member schools of the Calgary Senior High School Athletic Association (CSHSAA) and anyone directly connected to the school (including parents, alumni associations, booster clubs, guest/volunteer coaches, other parent groups) must refrain from recruitment by means of influence or inducement that could or do encourage a student to enroll in, or transfer to, a school primarily for athletic purposes. For complete information visit the CSHAA website and view
Q. Can the CBE make their address verification process more stringent?
Currently principals may ask for one of the following documents as proof of address: driver's licence, municipal/federal correspondence, financial/residential documents or a utility bill. The process is in place to remove driver's licence as a document for parents or guardians. Independent students will continue to provide driver's licences as proof of residency.
Programs at CBE High Schools
Q. Are licensing costs the only costs associated with the International Baccalaureate Programme? Updated June 1, 2021
The licensing costs are just a portion of the costs for operating this programme in our high schools. Other costs include but are not limited to:
- Ongoing training and professional development of staff required to maintain credentialing.
- Learning resources
- Exam-related costs
These combined costs vary from school to school and are directly connected to the number of students per location. Depending on the size of the IB programme, the costs vary between $40,000 and $80,000 per site. These costs are currently lower than might be typical due to restrictions on travel and all professional development taking place online during the pandemic.
Q. What is Advanced Placement?
The College Board's Advanced Placement Program (AP) is a collaborative community of teachers and students, districts, schools, colleges, and universities committed to developing college-level knowledge and skills.
Benefits of AP
Students experience college/university-level courses while enrolled in high school.
Rigorous and challenging academic courses.
Prepares students for the transition to college or university.
Improves students’ study skills .
All students in Grades 10-12.
Desire to be challenged academically in a particular subject.
Q. What is the International Baccalaureate Programme (IB)?
The International Baccalaureate Programme (IB) provides a comprehensive, balanced and challenging curriculum with a strong emphasis on the ideals of international understanding and responsible citizenship.
Benefits of IB
Prepares students for university or college.
Academic rigor and challenging work.
Students earn a year’s worth of academic credit upon entry to the University of Calgary (for IB Diploma students).
Enhances students’ personal and interpersonal development.
Provides opportunities for independent and in-depth research and study of a subject.
Students learn an additional language.
Students learn about global perspectives and responsibility.
Eligibility of Students
Students apply in Grade 9 to their designated IB school. Program courses begin in Grade 11.
Prepares students for university or college.
Q. What is the difference between AP and IB? They seem similar.
Advanced Placement (AP) is course-based whereas the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) and International Baccalaureate Career Programme (IBCP) are program-based. In AP, students choose course(s) in specific areas in which they have a passion and wish to study in more depth, e.g., Math - Calculus.
IB is a program in which students are required to carry a full IB program of courses; they complete an Extended Essay, Theory of Knowledge course, and the CAS component (Creativity, Activity, Service) as well as the regular Alberta Education program of studies.
IBCP requires students to take two or more IB courses and Career related courses, complete a Language Development Portfolio, a Service Learning Portfolio, a Reflective Project and Professional and Personal Skills (PPS)
Q. What programs/courses are available in each high school?
You can find the programs that are offered at each high school on its ‘Overview Sheet’ on the High School Engagement webpage.
All high schools follow the Alberta Programs of Study (curriculum).
All high schools offer a full range of core courses that students must take to earn their high school diploma.
All high schools offer complementary (option) courses that students can take based on interests, talents and future plans. These courses vary from school to school based on appropriate facility space, staff expertise, experience and interest; and student interest. There must be enough students interested in a course for it to be offered. Each course must also have a provincially approved curriculum.
Q. Can the CBE offer existing alternative programs that currently end in Grade 9, such as Mandarin Bilingual or Science, at the high school level ?
Expanding the grades offered for alternative programs that are not currently offered at the high school level (e.g., TLC, Mandarin, Science, etc.) is out of scope for the high school engagement. There are no specific curriculum in place for these programs at that level. In addition, the CBE does not have the teachers to support expanding these programs to higher grades.
Q. Will the regular program be offered at all CBE high schools involved in this engagement?
Yes. Analysis of the feedback provided through both the Fall 2019 in-person sessions and online engagement opportunities indicates it is important to our stakeholders that the regular program continue to be offered at all CBE high schools involved in this engagement process.
Q. Will the CBE consider a language-only high school?
No, all 20 high schools involved in this engagement process will continue to offer the regular program. High school diploma requirements, as mandated by Alberta Education, require students to take a significant number of courses that are not part of the immersion/bilingual programs (e.g., Fine Arts, CTS, Phys. Ed., academic courses). Any decisions the CBE considers must ensure that the expertise and financial sustainability are available to ensure access, flexibility and choice in programming to all students.
Q. Will the CBE consider making all high schools multi-track?
It is not possible to have all high schools multi-track. There isn't sufficient student demand and the CBE does not have the staffing or financial resources to sustain 20 multi-track high schools.
Q. an an under-utilized school offer a partial program (e.g., some French or Spanish classes or partial IB) to increase enrolment?
Because French Immersion and Spanish Bilingual are alternative programs with several course requirements, offering 'some' courses would not meet the requirements of each program. However, all high schools, with the exception of Jack James, offer courses in second languages. The specific languages offered may vary from high school to high school – dependent on student demand and staff expertise.
The International Baccalaureate Organization which governs the International Baccalaureate Diploma and Career Programmes requires schools authorized to teach IB courses to offer the complete IB Diploma Programme.
Q. If CBE were considering moving an alternative program, what are the staff and resource considerations that need to be managed? What are the budget and scheduling implications of a program move?
The CBE is not currently contemplating the expansion of any new programs. Program moves are supported financially through a system allocation when required, which is limited to our current fiscal realities. Should programs at the high school level be relocated as part of the high school engagement, consideration would need to be given to the phase out and transition of the students in that program.
When programs are moved from one school location to another, it is typical for a number of staff members to move with students. If a teacher is not required as a specific program requirement, then these teachers would be part of the CBE's staffing process and placed in another school accordingly.
Q. What other opportunities are there for students to pursue Spanish language learning outside of the Spanish Bilingual Program?
There are also Advanced Placement (AP) Language and Culture courses offered based on student interest and enrolment. Three high schools currently offer Spanish AP courses: William Aberhart, Dr. E.P. Scarlett and Ernest Manning high schools.
Students wishing to pursue international language accreditation can register at their designated IB school: Henry Wise Wood, John G. Diefenbaker, Lester B. Pearson, Sir Winston Churchill and Western Canada. The following courses may be offered at these schools depending on student interest and enrolment:
- Spanish Language and Culture 10_3 year _Standard Level
Spanish Language and Culture 20_3 year_ Standard Level
Spanish Language and Culture 30 _3 year _ Standard Level
Spanish Language and Culture 20_6 year_ High Level (6 year denotes high level)
Spanish Language and Culture 30_9 year _High Level (9 year denotes high level)
Students can apply at any time to write their DELE Spanish Diploma Exam.
Q. Can the Spanish Bilingual Program Be Offered Online in the Proposed Plan?
Although we were able to develop an expertise in offering our courses online because of the pandemic, the Spanish Bilingual Program also has cultural aspects and experiential learning that can only be offered in a face to face environment. Therefore, the Spanish Bilingual Program will not be continuing online.
Q. Using Calgary Transit's "Plan A Trip" tool, I don't see any feasible options for my new community.
As communities develop, Calgary Transit adjusts service levels. If there are no options within the community or in an adjacent community, yellow school bus service will be added until a feasible option exists to
regular program designated schools.
Q. Is transportation available for high school students?
Most CBE high school students take Calgary Transit to get to school if it is not within walking distance. Please visit our Calgary Transit webpage for more information.
Q. Is there a maximum commute distance or time to a student's designated regular program school?
When designating students to high schools, every effort is made to keep ride times to within one hour each way however this is not always possible due to locations of programs of choice and Calgary Transit service levels.
Q. Will a school express route be available from my community?
Calgary Transit determines the number of buses and the routes, based on ridership and available resources. CBE works collaboratively with CT by providing information on ridership numbers to help with route planning but does not decide where school express routes will be used.
Some residential districts have school express routes to the designated school. These routes are public transportation and can be accessed by the general public. Many residential districts do not have school express routes. Students in these residential districts must use regular service. Visit Calgary Transit's website for information on school express service variations .
Q. If an alternative program is moved or some alternative program students are redesignated, do existing students have to move or will there be grandfathering?
Whenever possible, we will implement changes in a way that enables students to complete high school at the same school where they started. This means that, if an alternative program were to be moved, the move would be phased out over time to enable students currently at the school to finish there.
Q. If boundaries change would students in Grades 11 and 12 also move
Whenever possible, we will implement changes in a way that enables students to complete high school at the same school where they started.
Q. If boundaries change, would students with siblings in the current school be grandfathered?
There are different ways CBE has addressed the transition period when designation changes have occurred in the past. One is to allow a sibling to attend the current school if the older sibling and the younger sibling were attending at the same time (concurrently). This is only possible if there is space and resources at the time of transition.
Alternatively, if families wish to keep students together, then the older sibling could move from the current school to the newly designated school of the younger sibling.
Out of Scope
Q. Why is online learning out of scope? What about virtual classrooms?
Online learning is offered through CBe-learn. Expanding offerings at CBe-learn would require significant expenditure on technical and human resources. At this time, the CBE does not have the budget to invest in such an expansion.
Q. Will the CBE consider split shifts or multiple shifts at high schools?
To date CBE has not investigated multiple-shift schooling designs and operations. In order to establish successful models for multiple-shift schooling, multiple factors would need to be considered in establishing a framework for analysis, determining economic, educational and social factors and action plans regarding school organization, timetabling staffing and management.
Q. Can the CBE cooperate with other boards to help address the issues?
The CBE has explicit policies and procedures outlining internal processes in support of projected resources and facilities needed as forecasted with student enrolment. Funding provided by the provincial government to the CBE is specifically allocated in support of student enrolment and space.