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A Private Matter: The Importance of Choice in Educational Institutions

This content is part of our Guide to Education advertising feature and was produced by Great West Digital.
GTE Spring 2020 – Educational choice677x488
Alberta's diverse ethnic population has many choices when it comes to private education to suit a wide range of cultures and beliefs.

There is seldom a one-size-fits-all solution for any situation, and that includes education. The public school system ensures that all Albertans have access to quality education, while the private school system ensures those that prefer a more specified path have the options they need too. Alberta is privileged to have private schools that give parents and students a path to education geared around religious preference, academics, heritage, abilities and more. Private schools in Alberta are available at all levels: elementary, junior, senior and post-secondary. Here are some of the reasons parents and students consider private education.

Class sizes

The Alberta Teachers' Association is working with school boards and government to ensure maximum class sizes, but not all schools are currently in compliance. This means some schools have larger-than-average classes sizes, which could impact student-teacher interaction and the learning environment. Private schools tend to have smaller class sizes, which makes them an attractive option for students that require more individualized attention.

Enhanced directional opportunities

Perhaps one of the biggest reasons parents and students gravitate to private schools is for the specific direction each school embraces. For some it is wanting to be in the community of a similar belief system such as Living Waters Christian Academy. Some prefer Progressive Academy’s technology centre. Waldorf Independent School of Edmonton infuses art, movement and culture into academic study.

Different educational philosophies

A school’s educational philosophy is at the core of its curriculum. A Christian school ties everything, including core subjects, to Biblical beliefs. Heritage schools ensure cultural traditions are learned and passed on. Academic and tech-focused schools strive to put their students ahead of the curve in innovation and practical skills. Private schools for the gifted or differently-abled reach students at their level and provide a positive environment for learning and growth.


Sometimes the choice to attend a private school comes down to legacy. A parent or grandparent may have graduated from that institution and would like the family to continue to choose that educational path, especially if the family generously donates to, or has created a scholarship for, the school.

In the end it’s all about choice

Alberta is home to 4.37 million people, each with their own beliefs, culture, identity, history, goals and dreams. Thankfully, we also have a public and private school system that allows each student a choice in how they receive the education they need. Be it a focus on the French language or interaction with a religious community, small class sizes for more interactions, or a tech-forward or drama-focused school, there truly is something for everyone.

Learn more about Alberta’s private school system by visiting