Alberta’s Education system

In Canada, each Province and Territory has jurisdiction over its own education system. Public education is free to all Canadian citizens and permanent residents aged less than 20 years.
Parents are responsible for providing school supplies, school uniforms are not worn but Band and Sports uniforms are also the parent’s responsibility. In Alberta, students are legally required to attend school between the ages of 6 and 16 years.

It is extremely important that you find out when the registration period is to ensure that your kids get the places at the schools you want. The registration normally takes place several months before the year starts (I.E. register in Feb. for September). Contact the particular school to find out the precise details. There may well be an administration fee charged to register your child!
There are a number of different types of schooling options available for your child’s education in Alberta. The choices are: Public, French immersion, Catholic, Francophone, Charter and Private Schools. Parents also have the option of home schooling their children.

Each school has its own attendance area; school boards are required to provide transportation for students that live more than 2.4 kilometers away. There may be a charge for this which you can expect to have to pay before the start of each school year. Your child does not have to enroll in the school in your attendance area as you may choose to enroll them elsewhere. However, the parents would then be responsible for transportation to and from school. Also, a percentage of the local taxes that every resident has to pay are paid to the school system of your choice (catholic, public etc.) in your catchment area.

The school year usually runs from the beginning of September through to June 30th. However, there may be variations to this from system to system. Most schools close down for the months of July and August as well as breaks at Christmas and Easter.

Preschool and Kindergarten

Schooling can start as early as 3 years old, at preschool. These tend to be privately run; therefore, you have to pay for them. Most children will attend pre-school until they are five years old.

Children’s Services set standards for day care, nursery schools, drop in centers and family day homes. This ensures the health and safety and well-being of the children that attend these facilities.

Kindergarten generally starts at the age of 5 years, although some school boards have different age cut off dates. The student will attend 5 days of either morning or afternoon classes. Kindergarten has 400 instructional hours per year. It is normally part of the school that your child will attend in Grade 1 and is good preparation for full time school.

If your kid(s) are around this age be sure to find out about vaccinations. There will be standard Vaccinations offered that schools MAY insist on being up to date before they start school. Check with your chosen school for more details.

This age or younger is a very good time to think about saving for your child’s post secondary education. Fees for post secondary education in Alberta are very expensive. There is a savings plan available in which the Federal Government will input a percentage of your contributions. These are called Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP).

Elementary and High School

Children start Elementary school at the age of 6 years (Grade 1) and stay there until they are 12 years old(Grade 6). There are certain subjects that are required in these grades; these include Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Art and Music, Health and Physical Education. There are also optional courses available; these vary from school to school.

Some school boards have a middle school for grades 5 to 8. If there is no middle school structure the children move on to junior high for Grades 7 to 9. (12 to 15 years)

Finally, there is Senior high school; this is for grades 10 – 12(15 – 18 years old). To graduate from high school, students need to achieve 100 credits. Credits are given for different subjects and courses that the student can take.
High schools also offer many different choices for students to help them to prepare for further education in Alberta.

Schools do not have to teach a second language, however many schools offer various language courses. Students are encouraged to learn French, Canada’s other official language. Depending on the school there are many other second language courses available.

There are three types of language courses offered:

Immersion – this is where French is mainly used during the school day to teach the pupils. At elementary level it is used for 50 – 100 % of the day and 40 – 80% at the secondary level. You do not have to have French speaking parents to enroll in French immersion.

Bi-lingual – in which the language is used 25-50% of the time.

Second language programs – in which a particular language is taught as a course.

Transfer from abroad

Students who are new to education in Alberta and are from a foreign (non Canadian curriculum) school system should submit an official statement of previous standing, such as a report card to the school they want to enroll in. You should also have the previous school records and transcripts, copies of course outlines and content.

After considering a number of factors including the students age, records and test results they will be placed in the appropriate grade.

Post Secondary Education

Post Secondary education in Alberta has a wide variety of institutes to choose from:

There are publicly funded colleges which are located at many different places. The courses that these colleges offer include academic upgrading, job readiness, apprenticeship certificate and diplomas.

The two main technical institutions of Alberta are North Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) which is located in Edmonton and South Alberta Institute of Alberta (SAIT) located in Calgary offer certificate, diploma’s, apprenticeship and continuing education in Alberta that are tailored to workplace requirements.

Three campus based universities, University of Alberta (Edmonton), University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge and one distance learning university, the University of Athabasca. There are also seven private colleges that are accredited to grant degrees at University level.
Another type of course available is the Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training System which is an industry and government partnership that ensures a highly skilled workforce in 54 designated trades. There are also scholarships available in this system.

Student loans, numbers and permits

As with all of Canada, the Post Secondary education in Alberta is NOT free. Several years ago, the Canadian Government launched Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP’s) to help parents save for their children’s future education in Alberta. These are great if you start them early, but if your kids are about to start when you land it is too late.

In that case, there are interest free student loans available if you attend a designated post secondary institute full time. These are only available to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. There are two sources of student loans for education in Alberta – the Government of Canada and the Government of Alberta.

To be able to enroll in any school or post secondary institute in Alberta or to apply for a student loan you must firstly apply for an Alberta Student Number.

Parents and Teachers – Supercharge a Child’s Motivation at School and at Home

If you’re like most parents, you’ve probably wished that your child would do more of what you asked and do it well, on time, and with a sweet attitude.

In this article I’m going to share four things your child needs to develop excitement and motivation, both in studies and around the house, and some unwitting mistakes parents and teacher sometimes make in trying to boost the unmotivated child. These four elements are encouragement, a conducive environment, example, and balance.

Encouragement: When a child does what he should, everything works smoothly, so it’s easy to forget to compliment the behavior. When a child forgets, or just isn’t very good at something, it causes some level of disruption, so it needs to be addressed a fair amount of the time. The challenge is to avoid imbalance. Compliment the good, and you’ll get more of the good, as long as the child isn’t secretly getting away with something! It’s hard to keep balance, but if the balance isn’t there, discouragement sets in. I’ve seen smart, eager-to-please children give up because this natural tendency to notice the error more than the success makes the child misinterpret the behavior to think she isn’t appreciated. In more advanced cases, a discouraged kid will stop caring what anyone thinks. For a parent or teacher, losing a child’s desire to please and seek your opinions and wishes has disturbing consequences. A parent can lose considerable influence to guide the child in the right direction, in any area of life. The good news is, this can often be reversed, since most children are very resilient when conditions change.

Another important asset of encouraging your child is that it prevents negative attention-seeking. Many children figure bad attention is better than none, so they misbehave on purpose just to hear from you. So quality time together is important, and it’s important to make a permanent habit out of looking for the good and commenting on it. Rewards are nice for spectacular achievements, but too much of that can create an expectation of entitlement that will ultimately disappoint the child in life, or the temptation may crop up to substitute quick, convenient rewards for the quality time and encouragement that any child needs, no matter how full a schedule is, for healthy development.

Besides too much or too little praise, other encouragement killers include setting expectations that are too high or too low, promising rewards for performance and then failing to give them for any reason, and comparing children to others (including yourself) in either a positive or negative light.

Conducive environment: In order for a child to obey or succeed in anything, he has to have what he needs to do the task. If you fail to notice and provide too many things, your kid won’t explain his sub-par work after a while. It’s possible you believe he’s just making excuses to get out of work, and eventually that may become the case, even after he receives what he needs, because a negative association has developed between work, and the possibility of achieving it. Imagine the consequences of a child thinking that work and tasks never work out to anyone’s satisfaction, so he might as well not even try. Imagine the consequences when the child becomes an adult and needs to work for a living! This is especially true if he gets an earful for not living up to his expectations and no one believes him when he explains why. Sure, some kids do it to get out of work, so it’s important to determine with absolute accuracy whether his laziness is his fault, or if there are other factors involved.

To succeed in his studies, then, your child needs a clean, well-lit, quiet study area with a comfortable temperature, freedom from hollering and other distractions, time to do the work, regular hearing, vision, and general health checks, an assignment notebook, communication with teachers, tutoring if there’s an area where he’s struggling, transportation to tutoring and the library, all necessary school supplies, proper diet, exercise, rest, and motivated friends who aren’t getting into trouble. Too many household chores, and he won’t have time to study. Too few and he’ll develop an addiction to entertainment. If there’s marital discord being expressed within his hearing, he’ll be thinking about that rather than his studies. So, it’s important to develop a system with your spouse to handle disagreements in such a way as to maintain a calm, supportive, quiet atmosphere so your child can avoid associating his studies (and more importantly, the home) with fear. Fear is unpleasant, and can cause her to develop an avoidance attitude toward anything she associates with it.

Instead, create a strong association between work and enjoyment. Why not turn off the television at dinner time and keep some encyclopedias by the table? Have fun quizzes and entertaining facts during dinner to encourage a love of learning. The child has to agree it’s fun, which will take some creativity on your part.

Also, you can leave a healthy but particularly favorite treat on your child’s desk at the beginning of study time. It’s best to avoid sugar, which can make your child tired and moody. Honey or Blue Agave are much healthier sweeteners. Alternatives to food can include fun pencils, cool assignment books, tickets to educational events like science centers with good programs for children, etc. Of course you can’t leave little presents every day, but the idea is to get a child to feel pleasure whenever he thinks about work…fun things associated with work. Leaving toys will only create another distraction.

Example: Children who love to read often have parents who read a lot. Children who enjoy work not only have parents who make it pleasant, but who take pleasure in working themselves. I know-this can be a challenge if your boss is unreasonable or your job is stressful and the tasks you face at home only add to the complete exhaustion you already face. Sometimes treating yourself to some well-chosen morale boosters can have a big impact on your kids as well. This also helps prevent the exhausted parent’s temptation to have the kids do everything, from making dinner to fetching shoes and glasses, taking care of the baby, bringing everyone drinks, and doing all the housework when guests are coming. If the kids are doing too much around the house, they’re not studying and it may lead them to the wrong impression about what you think of work. They need to see you enjoying being busy, too. If it means cutting down on activities, that’s fine-in the end you’ll feel better and more rested, too. For single parents, this can be tremendously difficult. Some ladies swap help time with close, trusted friends, each taking care of the kids after school on a specific day of the week while the other parents get a chance to rest.

Balance: Too much of a good thing can be bad. Praise for a child’s success is good, but too much praise for very small accomplishments can diminish the impact of the praise. Unduly withholding praise in order to increase its value can discourage a child, too. Too much of anything isn’t good. Time to study is important, but if it robs a child of family time, that will impact your kid’s development and attitude. Chores teach a child to keep a neat house, teach him the value of work, prevent him from having time to get into trouble or developing an addiction to video games or entertainment. Too many chores, or chores that are above a child’s development level, and you can end up with a child with a bad attitude or even health problems.

The bottom line is, if you make it easy for a child to do what you ask, he’ll develop inner motivation and rely less on parental policing to get things done to the best of his ability. This is the key to creating positive, permanent habits that won’t disappear as soon as he heads off to college and into the real world.

Discover the Artistic Side of Andalucia With School Travel Companies

When it comes to organising rewarding and successful educational trips, school travel companies are worth their weight in gold. Being experts, they have all the resources at hand, as well as the knowledge and experience to make these trips, not only academically enhancing but also plenty of fun. Booking with one of the top dedicated school travel companies makes the job of planning and orchestrating educational excursions so much easier.

The best school travel companies have a vast portfolio of itineraries, which encompass destinations all over the world and focuses on any number of subjects from the National Curriculum. Some may even be able to tailor-make an excursion or tweak them to suit the specific needs and the learning aims of a group.

Although with such a huge choice, many groups may travel to far-flung corners of the world, bear in mind there is so much on our European doorstep to discover, too. AndalucĂ­a, in Southern Spain, is an excellent place to take groups of young people and, for those studying art and design, in particular, this region has much to offer.

Art and Design in AndalucĂ­a

This fascinating region of Spain is full of history, and its strongly engrained culture continues to dominate the communities and cities today, adding to its considerable charm. Malaga is the capital of the region and lies at the hub of its art heritage. The Centre of Contemporary Art in Malaga houses a permanent collection of 20th century art, by artists such as Tracey Emin and Anish Kapoor, but also presents 24 exhibitions a year featuring other world class art, which attract contemporary art buffs from all over the world. There are also works by local Andalucian artists displayed here, as well as ongoing themed exhibitions.

Students will be keen to delve into the life and times of Picasso, who was born in this city. They can visit the house of his birth, the Casa Natal, which is open to the public. Here students can discover more about the life of this great artist, see fine examples of his preparatory graphic work, and explore his library. Of course there is also a museum in the city dedicated to the incredible works of this artist, and the collection is spread throughout 12 different rooms within.

For those students with a keen interest in photography, The Andalucian Centre of Photography is well worth a visit. There is a fantastic display of photographs here by several famous photographers. Seville is home to the Isabel Gallery, which again has an emphasis on the contemporary, with exhibitions that promote the work of new and upcoming artists.

Book with one of the top school travel companies and you can add various other excursions to your art-focused trip. Students should definitely see the Alhambra in Cadiz and a trip to a local flamenco show is always a great experience.

Permanent Cosmetics As A Profession

Permanent cosmetics, otherwise known as micropigmentation, is the use of tattoos as makeup. Rather than apply your lipstick and eyeliner every morning, and then touch it up all day long, you have your lips and eyes permanently tattooed so that they need no maintenance at all. In fact, you can have your whole face made up perfectly, to include eyebrows, eyeliner, eye shadow, and full lip color, so that you need never use cosmetics again. Professionals and stay at home mothers alike will have hours of more free time every day, while still looking their best.

This is at one end of the scale. The other is the man or woman who has been involved in an accident, leaving unsightly scars. What can be done in this situation? A technique called scar camouflage, can be used to make some scars less apparent. Pigment can be matched to the client’s natural skin tones to even out the light colored scar tissue. While not completely covering a scar, it can make it less apparent.

Of course this is just a cosmetic change, however to this client it can totally change their life and and help them gain self confidence in public. Would it not make you feel warm inside to know that it might have been you that changed that person’s life? Permanent cosmetics can make that change, so would it not make a wonderful career? Absolutely!

So let’s say you did want to take up this worthwhile skill as a professional. What is involved in permanent cosmetics training and licensing? Are there real opportunities available , or is it a closed shop? In fact , there are many opportunities available for individuals of different backgrounds. People as diverse as doctors, nurses, tattoo artists, and cosmetologists are expressing an interest in this remarkable art, having seen first hand how life-changing its effects can be. State laws vary, and the first step in your journey would be to check your state laws regarding educational and licensing requirements. Usually the state department of health oversees permanent cosmetic licensing.

What types of skills are required? Many of the procedures used are artistic, such as drawing beautiful eyebrows. Others require paramedical skills and some knowledge of medical issues. A good eye for skin tones and color matching helps. Most of these skills are taught in beginning and advanced permanent makeup classes. The secret is finding good education !

Once you have been suitably trained, imagine owning your own clinic and operating in conjunction with other professionals such as physicians, estheticians, makeup artists, etc. The opportunities are almost unlimited. Referral business is the name of the game ! Once you establish your good reputation in the community, then business will come from all directions.

Cosmetics of any sort are currently big business and offer many opportunities for high earnings. Pricing for permanent makeup procedures ranges from $300 to $800 per procedure, depending on many factors. Those working in a physician’s clinic usually charge more than those working in a salon or day spa. A tattoo artist or cosmetologist may charge less, however still command prices in the range of $300 to $400 per procedure. How many people do you personally know who can earn an average of $200 to $300 per hour?

Imagine the potential of being able to offer permanent cosmetics, and even having these procedures done on yourself? No more need to open that lipstick tube. No more wasted time in front of the mirror each morning. Just a quick shower and off to the clinic or gym!

That is the personal side of the career. It is also satisfying to help others like the client with facial scarring whose life was transformed by the use of a camouflage technique. Not all rewards are paid in cash. These are the potential benefits of a career in permanent cosmetics. The fun of setting up a group or practice of like-minded people offering a complete cosmetic service, and owning your own business. The potential high earnings to secure your future. The more intangible rewards of providing real help to people in real need.

Your training should be professional and offered by an educator who has a good reputation and credentials in the industry. The Society of Permanent Cosmetic Professionals can help you find a suitable course and permanent cosmetics training school that will turn you into the professional that you want to be. After reviewing the SPCP’s guildelines on choosing a school, you will be well prepared to begin your search for education.

If you choose your instructor well, and work hard to gain the skills and artistry needed to perfect your technique, then the clients will come ! Permanent cosmetics is a very rewarding profession and one that you will never regret entering!