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FAQ Open House 2022


Program FAQs






General Information

What is the difference between -1 and -2 courses?

Course sequences are designed based on the goals students have after they graduate high school.
 -1 courses are rigorous, as curricular content is more complex. These courses are often required for most post secondary programs.
 -2 courses are less rigorous, as curricular content is less complex and focused on practical skill development. These courses are recommended for some post secondary programs and are a minimum requirement for a high school diploma.

What grade do I need to get into -1 courses?

Students wanting to take core subjects in the -1 stream will need to achieve (and maintain) an average of 60%. Students not meeting this requirement will need to take -2 courses to meet high school diploma requirements.

What is a passing grade at the high school level? What happens if my son/daughter does not pass a course?

A passing grade for all classes is 50%. A pass results in the student receiving the credits assigned to the course. Any course where a student achieves less than 50% is considered a fail and the credits are not attributed to the student. Generally, it means the course will have to be repeated and may impact the students’ ability to take desired courses in the future.

We have filled out the application and submitted all the documents, what can we expect next?

All applications will be reviewed by the school administration. Near the end of April, a letter will be sent notifying the student of the final decision. If you’ve been accepted to the O’Leary school community, then the course selections will be entered into the system and a schedule will be available for your review during the summer. If you have not been accepted to O’Leary, then you could apply to your community school.

When reviewing my child’s schedule, what should I be concerned about?

Student schedules are computer generated so they may not reflect the courses chosen during application. The key concern would if you have more than two core subjects per semester. With the fast-pace of learning and the course demands of each class, we strongly recommend each student only take TWO core classes per semester. If your child is scheduled to take more than two, please schedule a meeting with the grade coordinator to change this.

My son/daughter has received accommodations or has adapted programming at their current school. Does this naturally transfer to high school?

Although junior high Learning Coaches are wonderful at communicating the needs of their students to their high school counterparts, it is best NOT to assume this information will be shared. With so many students registering to become members of the Archbishop O’Leary learning community, it is best to make contact directly with the Learning Coaches at the school to verify if this information has been shared.

What extracurricular opportunities are available for students at O’Leary?

There are lots of amazing activities that students can engage in outside the classroom experience. Students can get involved in athletics, Students Union and social justice activities. The high school experience is further enhanced when students get involved, so we encourage all students (in all grade levels) to participate! This is what makes O’Leary so special- the Spartan community coming together to have fun and encourage each other!

What supports can my child access if they require personal or academic counsel?

Our Success Centre has many wonderful resources available to support students as they navigate their high school experience. We have counsellors, Graduation Coach/FNMI Graduation Coach, ELL/International Student Advisor, Work Experience Coordinator, Family School Liason Worker (FSLW) & Humanities and Math/Science Specialist.

What is required of a student who is interested in the Soccer Academy?

Students of varying skill level are welcome to apply to take part in the AOL Soccer Academy. As this is a full year commitment, students will have time and access to training that will improve athletic performance and develop skills necessary for potential post-secondary opportunities. As this is a program of choice, there is a fee ($1000) that needs to be paid by all those accepted into the program

Soccer Academy

What is the cost of the soccer academy and when is it due?

The Soccer Academy fee is $1000. This must be paid in full by September 1st, 2022.  The fees include professional coaching, an apparel package, transportation, and facility rentals. Any money that is left over at the end of the year will be returned to the student.

Are payment plans available?

No, there are no payment plans available. Payments must be made in full to secure your spot.

What method of payment is acceptable?

Fees can be paid by cash, debit, Visa or Mastercard.   If there are any questions regarding payment, please contact the Archbishop O’Leary Business Manager, Francine Russo at

Does my child need to try out for the soccer academy?

No, the academy does not hold tryouts. It is important for you to fill out your form with as much detailed information as possible. Eg. current soccer team position and any references you might have.

My child has never played competitive soccer before. Can they join the academy?

The soccer academy is open to all skill levels and students will be placed in a section to best suit their needs.

Can my child add a soccer academy for 1 semester only?

No, the soccer academy is a full year program for all classes.

Can my child play school sports while being in the soccer academy?

Yes, academy students are allowed to play on as many sports teams as the like including the school soccer team.

Can my child use grants from organizations such as Kidsport or others to help pay for the academy?

Yes, you can, and we encourage everyone to apply for as many grants as possible. Once you are approved for a grant or subsidy, please contact our business office.

Where do the students train in the winter months?

Currently the academy trains at the Karly Widle Center during the winter months.

How many credits will my child get with soccer academy?

After passing a full year in the soccer academy a student will receive 5 credits for P.E and 5 CTS credits.

Will soccer academy hurt my child in their academic courses?

No, the soccer academy helps students with their academic courses as they have the flexibility to work  on homework or study.


Do I have to have dance experience to take Dance 15 at O’Leary?

Not at all! All students who are interested in learning how to dance are welcome and encouraged to register for Dance 15 simply because they love music and moving to it!
If I dance in a studio, will I find Dance 15 too simple or boring?

If you have dance experience and choose to join Dance 15, you will be given different kinds of opportunities to help enrich your current journey as a dancer.

What kinds of assessments are there in Dance 15?

In Dance 15 students can expect to do performance assessments of the choreography, technical evaluations of movements studied in class, reflections on their experience over the course of the semester and research-based assignments that include the history of dance and the study of cultural dance. A highlight of the course is that students also get to experience working on their own self developed choreography, alone or with their classmates.

Do we have to change for dance class?

Yes - students are expected to change for class, as we dance every day! However, time is given at the beginning and the end of class to change so that you do not have to wear your dance clothes to your other classes.

What kind of dance experience does the teacher have?

Mrs. Myrick grew up dancing at a local studio here in Edmonton. She has over 30 years of dance experience, ranging from that as a student to that as a teacher, across a variety of dance disciplines. She spent years teaching dance in a studio, as well as in other venues across the city. Otherwise, she has started two dance programs at two different schools in Edmonton Catholic and is fiercely honoured to be teaching dance to this day!

What can students expect to gain from taking Dance 15?

After experiencing what the Dance 15 course has to offer, students can expect to walk away with a strong sense of confidence, community and self-worth. More than just movement is gained in the studio - a family is built in the studio. Students can expect to find themselves more comfortable in performing in front of others, whether that be dance wise or even in presenting material for other classes. In addition, students will of course find more physical strength, flexibility, rhythm and enhanced dance skills from participating in this option.

Can Dance be used for post-secondary entrance average requirements?

Yes! Dance 35 is offered for 5 credits for this very reason. Students can use Dance 35 as a Fine Arts requirement for their post-secondary entrance average. This makes a huge difference for some students that would not have a high enough average without their Dance 35 mark!

Do students get to perform the choreography they learn in class?

Yes! Dance is a performance based Fine Art, and therefore each semester students are given opportunities to perform what they have learned in some capacity.

Is Dance fun?

“Yes! It is very fun! Dance offers students a mental break from their academics. It is a mental escape from the daily stressors students face. It allows us to make connections with a variety of other students that we may not have met otherwise. The atmosphere in the studio is comfortable and welcoming”
 - Dance 35 students, class of 2022

“Despite the stressful feelings of starting something new, Dance has proven to be a very fun and comforting environment”
 - Current Dance 15 Student

Is it worth taking Dance?

“Yes! Dance is a great physical activity if you aren’t drawn to organized sports. Students get to study Hip Hop, Jazz, Musical Theatre and Contemporary dance, so the program offers multiple dance opportunities. You will get to express yourself with the creation of your own dance, and you will get to learn how to be more comfortable in your own body!”
 - Dance 35 students, class of 2022

“Yes - Dance is worth it! The environment allows for students to engage in their uniqueness, and they are encouraged to be themselves!”
 - Gigi - Current Dance 15 Student


What grade to I need to register in Science 10.

The answer to this question is a grade of 60% or higher in Science 9 is highly recommended.  Generally, it is found that students with grades in the 50’s, or lower, have great difficulty passing Science 10.  

If I am not able to take Science 10, what course do I take?

To graduate from high school, a student needs 10 credits.  If your average is less that 60% in Science 9, it is recommended that a student takes Science 14 in their grade ten year and then Science 24 in their grade eleven year. Both these courses are five credit courses so a student will then have ten credits in science that is necessary for high school graduation.  

What is the content in Science 10?  

It is important to note that Science 10 is an academic course. The topics in Science 10 are: biology, chemistry and physics.  These topics prepare the students for Biology 20, Chemistry 20, and Physics 20.  An additional topic taught in Science 10 is Climate Change.  The purpose  of this unit is to review some concepts in the disciplines mentioned above and to inform   students about the challenges faced by all in the generations to come because of climate change.   

Can a student take Science 10 after the completion of Science 14?

The answer to this is yes but with a caveat.  It is recommended that students complete Science 14 and then Science 24 before they take on the rigours of Science 10.  We find that students who complete both courses have greater success in Science 10.  

What is the difference between Science 10 and Advanced Placement Science 10?  

Students taking AP Science 10 will be taught the Alberta curriculum. They, however, will be exposed to a little more depth in the areas of biology, chemistry, and physics.  Because additional information in these two disciplines.  They will also be informed as to what these courses can offer and the benefits of taking AP courses in their future high school study.  It is important to note however, that although students are exposed to a greater depth of materials compared to a Science 10 class teaching only the Alberta curriculum, students will NOT be examined on this material and will only be examined on the Alberta curriculum.     

Advanced Placement

Where can I get detailed information on the AP program?

Visit O’Leary’s special AP website at to find information for students and parents.

If I take AP, do I have to take all AP classes?

Not at all. The AP program lets you choose a selection of classes based on your strengths, interests, and plans for post-secondary. Let’s say you really do great in the humanities, but struggle with math and science; you could take AP Art, AP English, and AP Art History, while taking Math 10-3 and Science 14.

What kind of marks do I need to be in AP?

We recommend that you should be “honors-level” in any courses you are considering for AP. This usually means that you should have a mark of about 75% or higher.

If I take AP classes I will have to do more difficult work, so my mark will go down! Shouldn't I just take regular classes and get higher marks?

Penalizing students for choosing AP would go completely against our philosophy at O’Leary. At the end of the day, the only material that your teachers can assess you on to come up with a mark is the Alberta Curriculum. Any additional AP material is done as bonus material and (at the discretion of the teacher) could actually be used for bonus marks… this means you have a chance to get a higher mark in the AP class than you would in a regular one!

Doesn’t doing extra AP work mean that we are rushed all the time in AP classes?

Think about regular classes where the teacher has to help students from all levels of ability, from those struggling to those who excel. In those regular classes the teacher needs to spend a lot of time going over material again and again to try to help the struggling students, leaving the strong students waiting and bored. In an AP class filled with strong students, the teacher doesn’t need to spend so much time going back over topics. With the saved time there are opportunities to cover the additional material.

In AP classes the teachers won’t take time to help me if I have difficulty with something.

Everyone has questions, no matter what the class is. The AP teachers know this. The reality is that the students in AP classes usually need help with clarifying concepts, not going over material from the beginning. Also remember that everyone is welcome to attend PDT sessions for extra help. Some AP classes have specific AP PDTs scheduled.

Do universities care about AP?

Oh, wow! Yes! This is actually a question that has a lot of ways to answer, but to just mention the highlights… AP students who do well on their AP exam can earn transfer credit. This is real credit at the university for the 100-level of the course that they did in high school. The course is done, shows up on the university transcript, does not need to be taken again or paid for. Many universities have scholarships available only to AP students. For example, the University of Alberta has one that is worth $5000. Universities know that AP students are much better prepared for the transition to university. Unlike the high number of first year students that drop out from the overall population of universities, the drop out rate of AP students is much lower. Universities want these AP students since they are going to be good “repeat customers” as they spend several years at the university getting their degree, not dropping out. Colleges in the United States have an especially favorable outlook of AP students, since in the United States the AP program is the gold standard of an academic program recognized at a national level. Planning to go to the States on a scholarship? Better have some AP classes on your transcript!

If I get a bad mark on an AP exam, will the universities I am applying to hold it against me?

Nope, the exact opposite! They know that even if you did not do well on an AP exam, you are still better prepared for university courses than your friends that did the regular classes. Your first year classes at university will be an upgrade opportunity for you!

Where is AP accepted / recognized after high school?

AP classes, the transcript that you will have of AP exam marks, and possible transfer credits will be accepted in universities and colleges in over 100 countries around the world. Do a search for the university you are interested in with “advanced placement” and you will find the page they have that talks about how the value the AP program.

What are these transfer credits I have heard about?

If a student does well on the AP exams at the end of their course, then universities will give them transfer credit in a 100-level course on their university transcript. For example, let’s say you finish English 30-1 AP and get a good mark on the AP exam, and you are registered to go to the U of A next year. When you start university, your transcript from the U of A will already say “English 1xx - Credit Earned.” You do not have to redo the course or pay for it. It’s done!

If I take AP I guess I won’t have time for anything else?

O’Leary has so much to offer, and we want everyone to be able to experience all they can during their 3 years of high school. AP students still take “fun” courses like drama, foods, and music, while also playing on our sports teams.

Is there a fee?

Because of the cost of extra course materials, textbooks, teacher training, and the AP exams themselves (which the school pays $120 each!), students pay a fee of $150 over a two year period. This is the same fee no matter how many AP courses and exams the student does. This is a fee that ALL Edmonton Catholic Schools offering AP charge.

Why is there no AP Social class?

The AP program was created and is managed by the College Board, an organization based out of the United States. For this reason, the AP Social curriculum is all United States topics. We do recommend that students taking AP strongly consider taking Fast Track Social Studies… check with the Social department for more information!

Besides the main core courses, what other AP courses are offered?

Besides Math (Calculus and Statistics), English, Biology, and Chemistry, we also offer Art, Computer Science, Psychology, and our Capstone program. You can also take online courses through our partnership with Revelation Online in subjects like Art History, Environmental Science, and European History. A complete course list is at

Why are some courses offered over three years, and others aren’t?

Core subjects like English take three years to complete because we have to match up the AP program with the regular 10-20-30 schedule of Alberta courses. Other course, like AP Psychology, are single semester courses that are finished without having to do a multi-year program.

What if AP is too hard for me?

Sometimes students might choose a program that is not a good fit for them, whether AP or not. If you need to change to the regular program in the following school year, then that is what you will do. At least you gave the AP program a try.

Why don’t I just do regular classes in grade 10, and then I’ll switch up to AP in grade 11?

First, why are you delaying the choice by a year? If you are doing great in a subject coming from grade 9, then you need to be in the AP class in grade 10. Also, it is more difficult (and rare) to switch up to AP in grade 11, since that means you are a year behind on the additional AP content that the other students have covered. Remember, the advantage of having you in AP in high school is that we can spread the content across three years, not one or two.

Why are some of the courses offered as online courses?

The reality is that some AP courses do not have as big a demand as others. We still want to give all students and opportunity to do AP classes in subjects that fit their needs, so we offer some courses through our partnership with Revelation Online.

What can you tell me about a particular AP course?

There is a lot of information that we can discuss for any particular AP course. We suggest you visit , click on the Parent tab, and choose Course Descriptions. If you need any other information, please contact the AP Coordinator.

If I am writing an AP exam does that mean I get to skip the final exam / diploma exam?

No, all students still need to write their regular final exams and diplomas, just like any student in the regular classes. Remember, everyone has to meet the Alberta requirements first! The AP exams are written each year in May and are separate from other exams.

I’ve read through all the FAQs but I still have questions about AP… what should I do?

Contact the AP Coordinator by emailing . We can set up a Teams meeting and discuss whatever questions you need answered.

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