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School Age Children

The school system encourages children to attend school in the neighbourhood in which they live because it encourages peer relationships in their community. There are many different programs available that can be beneficial for your child, so it is important for parents to do their research before enrolment. There are a number of programming options available in both the Edmonton Public and Catholic School system. The following are examples from the Edmonton Public School Quick Guide. (Edmonton Catholic Schools also has integrated programming – please visit the website at ecsd.net for more information.)


  • Regular program:
    Regular programming is offered in most schools but can be delivered differently depending on the school. Alberta education has a mandatory curriculum at all schools.
  • Alternative program:
    Some schools have a focus on a specific type of arts, athletics, language, faith or cultural philosophy while meeting the mandatory curriculum.
  • Special education program:
    Special education services are available at some schools. These programs will offer specialized services and support to children with special needs.

    • Behaviour and learning assistance helps students with chronic, extreme pervasive anti-social behaviours achieve academically
    • Challenge programming is for students with high-ability learning who have special needs
    • Community-learning skills/behaviour-learning assistance focuses on students with moderate cognitive disabilities and significant developmental delays

Some of the resources available through the schools division are physical and occupational therapy, speech pathology, social work and psychiatry. These consultants can provide tools and exercises that will help your child and family.

Not all programming is available at all schools, so it is important for parents to do their research before enrolment. Visit the school’s website, Facebook page or attend an open house. Many schools have open houses from February to April.

It is important to meet with the team (teacher, aide, principal, OT, PT, SLP and special ed coordinator) throughout the year to discuss programming progress.

Working together as a team, you can create achievable goals. It is important to be realistic with your goals for your child but also to challenge them to be the best they can be.

Educators are on our child’s side; they want them to succeed and they care about their accomplishments. Keep that in mind. Working together efficiently and respectfully will not only help your child – it will make the school experience better for everyone.

Some therapists who might work with your child are

  • occupational therapists (OTs)
  • physical therapists (PTs)
  • speech-language pathologists (SLPs)


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