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From ABCs to PhDs: The Complete Okotoks Schools Guide

Posted by Justin Havre on Wednesday, April 19th, 2023 at 12:05pm.

Schools and School Districts in Okotoks

For those who don't mind a commute on Highway 2 into Calgary, the bedroom community of Okotoks can be a great place to live and study. In addition to the public schools, there are several alternative education options for parents to consider in Okotoks, including some private schools. Plus, there are many college and university options for those who've graduated high school, since Okotoks is only 18 kilometres south of Calgary. Here is a closer look at the schools and school districts serving Okotoks, AB.

Public School Districts Serving Okotoks

The public schools and the surrounding communities in the south part of Calgary are served by the Foothills School Division. There are nine public schools operating in Okotoks itself, in addition to schools in the nearby communities of High River, Black Diamond, Turner Valley, Longview, Blackie, Cayley, Millarville, and others. The district's Find a School page is a useful resource for parents looking for a public school by address, or the map of school boundaries.

The public schools in Okotoks are as follows:

  • École Percy Pegler School: Grades K through 5, French/English Immersion school
  • Big Rock School: Pre-K, Part-Time Kindergarten, Full-Time Kindergarten
  • Dr. Morris Gibson School: Elementary school
  • Cameron Crossing School: Special needs high school for At-Risk students
  • Foothills Digital School: Grades 1 through 12, Full-time online learning
  • École Okotoks Junior High School: French/English Immersion junior high school
  • Meadow Ridge School: Grades K through 9
  • Westmount School: Grades K through 9
  • École Secondaire Foothills Composite High School: French/English immersion high school

The main high school in the town is centrally located on the south side of the Sheep River. It's actually three schools that have been combined into one: the École Secondaire Foothills Composite High School, the Alberta High School of Fine Arts, and the Foothills Composite High School. The French immersion school offers education in both English and French, while the Composite school is more focused on STEM and other education tracks. The Fine Arts school is focused on students hoping to pursue a career in art, choir, theatre or music.

Alternative Education Options in Okotoks

There are several alternative education options for parents and students in Okotoks.

The Centre for Learning@HOME is a Catholic-based homeschool support school, though parents and students don't need to be Catholic or Christian to enroll. This is a fully-accredited public school with coursework covering Grades 1 through 12. The Centre hosts an in-person "Cap and Gown" graduation ceremony every year for all students who finish Grade 12, and high school students work with education counselors to ensure that they're on the correct track for continuing in college.

The St. Luke's Outreach Centre in Okotoks partners with the Centre for Learning@HOME to provide additional assistance to homeschool families. This school assists families with students in grades 10 through 12 with the goal of helping students finish high school within five years of finishing Grade 10.

Cameron Crossing School, mentioned above, is a special needs high school that assists families and students with needs that put a high schooler at risk of not graduating. A handful of students graduate from the Cameron Crossing School each year who otherwise would not have graduated in a regular high school setting.

Okotoks Private Schools

Private schools are also available in Okotoks, including secular and religious options. 

The Edison School is a private school for Grades 1 through 12, located just within the northern reaches of the Okotoks city boundaries. It's a small school with an enrollment cap of about 300 students (about 12 per classroom). The school has both on-campus and off-campus living, with frequent field trips for outdoor and community learning opportunities.

The Summit West Independent School is a K through 12 private school in Downtown Okotoks, just north of the Sheep River. This private school emphasizes student-directed, self-guided learning.

The École Good Shepherd School is a private Catholic K-through-6 school that provides immersion in both French and English. Other private Catholic schools include St. Mary's Elementary School (PreK-6) and Holy Trinity Academy (grades 10 through 12).

The Strathcona-Tweedmuir School is a private school in the countryside to the north of Okotoks and is the first International Baccalaureate school in Southern Alberta.

Colleges & Universities Near Okotoks

Following high school, there are several colleges and universities near Okotoks for students to continue their education. Most of them are located in Calgary, though Bow Valley College has an Okotoks branch located on Riverside Drive. Graduates of this college tend to go on to careers in film and television production, business, healthcare and technology. The school is affiliated with the Alberta Association of Colleges & Technical Institutes.

Columbia College is a vocational school in Calgary. The school is about a 30-minute commute north from Okotoks and offers one-year certificate programs and two-year associate degrees. Under its accelerated programs, some associate's degrees can be completed in 12 months.

The Montessori Teacher's College is just a 15-minute drive north from Okotoks, in the Seton neighbourhood of southeast Calgary. This school offers diploma programs for early childhood educators who want to work within the Montessori network of private preschools and elementary schools.

On the north side of the Bow River, the Alberta University of the Arts is about a 40-minute commute north of Okotoks in Calgary. This public university has a student body of around 1,300 students and has four main schools: Craft & Emerging Media, Visual Arts, Communication Design, and Critical & Creative Studies.

The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) is less than 40 minutes north of Okotoks. This polytechnic college has four campuses in Calgary, with the main one located on 16 Avenue NW in the Downtown area. The school enrolls approximately 14,000 students each year and offers three baccalaureate programs, 86 diploma programs, and more than 1,100 continuing education or corporate training classes. The bachelor's degrees offered at SAIT are in Business Administration, Hospitality and Tourism Management, and Science Construction Project Management.

Join Calgary's Fastest-Growing Suburb in Okotoks

Okotoks is in a beautiful part of southern Alberta, and its proximity to Calgary provides an easy daily commute for those who want to live outside the big city. Those moving to Okotoks will be glad to find no shortage of places to get their education—living here doesn't mean sacrificing educational choices. From public and private to alternative options, there are many schools in town to get a diploma. Once a student has graduated, they can get their degrees relatively close to home as well, whether in Calgary or a branch right in Okotoks.

If you're looking for the perfect Okotoks home, contact Justin Havre with eXp Realty with Calgary Homes at (403) 217-0003 to get in touch with a local Okotoks real estate agent and discover your new dream home today.

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