Policy 18

Alternative Programs

The Board believes that to provide parental choice and to meet specific student learning needs, Alternative Programs may be offered in Fort McMurray Public Schools.   An “Alternative Program” is outlined in Section 19 of the Education Act and is a program that emphasizes a particular language, culture, religion, or subject matter, or uses a particular teaching philosophy. It is not a special education program or a Francophone education program or a program of religious education offered by a separate school board.

Specifically

  1. A proposal for an Alternate Program shall be submitted to the Superintendent or designate.
  2. The proposal must include the following:
    1. Background research to support this type of program
    2. Philosophy, objectives and mission statement of the specific program
    3. Distinguishing features of the Alternative Program
    4. Proposed operational budget
    5. Staffing profiles desirable in meeting Alternative Program objectives
    6. Evaluation of Alternative Program methodology and objectives
    7. Projected student population including ages/grades/geographical location
    8. Transportation of students to and from the Alternative Program
    9. Curriculum/instructional materials in addition to Alberta Learning requirements
    10. School council implications
  3. Criteria for Alternative Program in Fort McMurray Public Schools
    1. All Fort McMurray Public Schools policies and regulations apply unless specif­ically exempted by the Board of Trustees
    2. The educational approach is supportable
    3. There are sufficient students to warrant the program
    4. The program is financially viable
    5. Alberta Programs of Study are followed
    6. The program is integrated into Fort McMurray Public Schools wherever possible
    7. Transportation to the Alternative Program is at no cost to the Board
    8. Staff are employed, evaluated and responsible to Fort McMurray Public Schools according to the same policies as other staff members
    9. The Board may charge a fee for non-instructional costs to parents who enroll their children/students in an Alternative Program, if the per pupil cost of the program exceeds that of a regular program
    10. The program's students are eligible for consideration for Division Special Education programs
    11. A Program Advisory group can be established for an Alternative Program, for alternative schools a School Council must be established instead of an Advisory Group.  The program advisory group shall be approved by the Superintendent, a School Council shall follow School council Regulation for establishment.
  4. The Alternative Program will be reviewed annually by the Superintendent to assess its viability
  5. Six (6) months notice shall be provided by the Board or Alternative Program's recognized representatives if it is the intention to no longer offer or support the program. Notice of less than six months may be accepted by mutual agreement.

Amended:

February 19, 2020

Legal Reference:

Section 7, 11, 19, 55 Education Act
SCHOOL COUNCILS REGULATION AR 94/2019

Reference:

Alternative Programs Handbook — April 2010