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Fresh Start Academic Centres

Fresh Start High School Academic Centres are student-centered, self-paced programs for senior high school students who are not attending a traditional senior high school. Students have access to all levels of high school courses with a flexible schedule and one-on-one support from on-site Teacher Advisors.


Our Centres provide:
  • Opportunity for students who need an alternative to traditional high school to reconnect with their education in a meaningful, personal, and supportive manner.
  • Assistance for high school students up to 19 years who are at risk of not completing school, mainly due to factors that have affected regular school attendance.
  • Small, caring schools where students who are ready to reconnect with school can learn in a safe and welcoming atmosphere. The school staff are committed to nurturing student potential in a small learning community in which students are accepted, encouraged, and treated with dignity and respect. Supports are available to assist students on an individual basis.
  • The relaxed atmosphere encourages the student to build positive relationships with the staff and other students in a secure, non-threatening environment.
  • A less formal, less structured environment than traditional schools. There are no "classes", teachers do not give formal lessons, and there are no bells. Courses are delivered using a self-paced format (modules). The individualized, self-paced program at our Centres allow students to begin where they left off, and progress at their own rate.


In self-paced programming the subject is learned by working through a series of learning packages called modules. Students should be able to work independently for the most part, with the teachers assisting on a one-on-one or small group basis.

Students should be READY, WILLING, and ABLE to attend and work in a self-paced learning environment.

READY = You really want to be back in school. You are anxious to get your education back on track.

WILLING = You are committed to the required attendance, regular completion of school work and good behavior. You are willing to be reliable, responsible and respectful.

ABLE = You have the necessary reading skills, work habits and maturity to help you be successful with self-paced learning. Fresh Start is not intended for students who need a specialized program to support their learning or behavioral needs. Students must be able to work comfortably and respectfully with other students in an open setting, and help to create a positive atmosphere for everyone.


In our schools, students take on more responsibility for setting goals and completing work independently.

Students are expected to contribute to the positive nature of the program by acting in a mature manner. The atmosphere is suitable for motivated, independent people who want to further themselves by taking advantage of educational opportunities.

Due to the nature of the program, students with learning or behavioral needs will be referred to a more appropriate setting.

At Fresh Start Academic Centres, students can complete high school.  Our programs can be transitional, providing the student with the means to continue their education in a community high school.


The schools are open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. daily. (Note: School hours are subject to change.)

Our students are expected to maintain regular attendance - a minimum of 15-18 hours each week. You will develop your own schedule with your teacher-advisor after your Orientation Week is completed. Individual circumstances that affect attendance such as having a job or pregnancy and parenting can be accommodated.


Senior high core academic subjects at all levels are available, using either self-paced modules or online courses (English, Social, Sciences, Math).

Additional courses available are:
  • Art 10, 20, 30
  • CALM
  • Religion 15, 25, 35
  • Various CTS courses
  • Phys Ed 10, 20, 30
  • Work Experience 15, 25, 35


Communication between students, teachers and parents is a key factor to success at school. You and your teacher-advisor should be in regular contact. The teacher-advisors will maintain regular contact with parents.  Formal report cards are issued during the school year, with time set aside for parent-teacher-student conferences.  Parents are encouraged to call or make appointments as needed.


  • Counseling on site, available from the advisors or school social workers
  • Our Lady of Grace - a support program for pregnant and/or parenting students (female and male) featuring weekly group sessions at each school location plus individual assistance
  • Weekly Phys Ed classes located at various off-site venues
  • Work Experience and RAP
  • Close links with Edmonton Catholic Schools' Indigenous Learning Services to offer First Nations Metis Inuit cultural activities and counseling
  • Career and post secondary education information
  • Access to our student finance case manager
  • Reasonable school fees


To attain an Alberta High School Diploma, a student must meet the following criteria:
  • Earn a minimum of 100 credits
  • Complete English 30-1 or 30-2
  • Complete Social 30-1 or 30-2
  • Complete Math 20-1, 20-2, or 20-3
  • Complete Science 20 or 24, or Biology 20, or Chemistry 20, or Physics 20
  • Physical Education 10
  • Career and Life Management
  • 10 Credits, in any combination, from:
    • Career and Technologies (CTS) 3000 Series
    • Fine Arts
    • Second Languages
    • Physical Education 20 or 30
    • 35 level courses from any trade in the Registered Apprenticeship Program (RAP)
    • Religion
    • Work Experience
    • 10 credits in 30 level subjects (in addition to English and Social Studies)
Students wishing to graduate from a conventional Edmonton Catholic School District high school are required to complete 9 credits in Religion.

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Alternative Education Student Handbook

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