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Administrative Procedure 273: Alternative Programs

The Board believes in providing a variety of programs in order to meet the specific needs and interests of students and their parents. To provide an opportunity for parental choice, alternative programs may be offered by Palliser School Division.

An “alternative program” is defined as an education program that emphasizes a particular language, culture, religion or subject matter, or uses a particular teaching philosophy. An alternative program is not a Section 47 special education program, a Section 10 Francophone education program, nor a program of religious education offered by a separate school board.

  1. Proponents shall submit a proposal to establish an alternative program to the Superintendent or designate. A submission shall be made with sufficient notice before the expected start-up date in order to provide adequate time for clarification, discussion, and planning. Feedback on the proposal will be provided to the originators of the alternative program proposal. Once the proposal is deemed to be complete, the Superintendent will arrange for the originators to make a presentation of the proposal to the Board. The Board may reject the proposal or direct administration to bring recommendation(s) to the Board for further discussion and a decision to accept or reject the proposal. If the proposal is accepted by the Board, detailed preparations such as timelines, transportation, student recruitment, staffing, and location will be carried out through the office of the Superintendent.
  2. Each alternative program proposal must include, but is not limited to, the following elements:
    1. Background research;
    2. Philosophy, objectives, and mission statement;
    3. Distinguishing feature(s) of the alternative program;
    4. Operational budget;
    5. Staffing profiles to meet the alternative program objectives;
    6. Evaluation of alternative program methodology and objectives;
    7. The projected student population and geographical location and ages/grades of students;
    8. Transportation of students to and from the alternative program;
    9. Curriculum and instructional materials in addition to Alberta Education curriculum; and
    10. School council implications.
  3. Criteria for development and continued support of an alternative program:
    1. All Palliser School Division policies and procedures apply unless specifically exempted by the Board;
    2. The approach to education is pedagogically sound and the numbers of students are sufficient to warrant the program;
    3. The program respects and supports the rights of other students in the division;
    4. The program follows the Program of Studies for the Province of Alberta;
    5. The program is accommodated within an existing school wherever feasible;
    6. The program is financially viable;
    7. Transportation to the program is at no additional cost to the division; and
    8. Staff is employed, evaluated and responsible to Palliser School Division, according to Palliser policy and procedures.
  4. The Board may charge a fee for defraying all or a portion of any non-instructional costs to parents who wish to enroll their children in an alternative program if the per-student cost of the alternative program exceeds costs incurred by the Board in providing its regular education program or to defray costs that may be incurred by the Board in developing and offering the alternative program.
  5. Alternative program(s) will be reviewed on an ongoing basis by the Superintendent to assess viability.
  6. The Board, school council, or another advisory body, which is delegated authority by the Board with respect to an alternative program, shall provide at least 18 months' notice that it no longer plans to offer or support the alternative program. Notice of fewer than 18 months may be accepted by mutual agreement, or a specific agreement between the Board and an alternative program may detail other provisions for notice of termination of the agreement or termination of the program.

Education Act
The Guide to Education ECS to Grade 12
The Alternative Program Handbook