| Official name
|| Boyle Street Education Centre
| Board chair
|| Tracy Pelland
|| John Brosseau
|| S. Minard
| School type
|| Public charter
| Operated by
|| 10312 - 105 Street|
(David H. Building)
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
| Religious affiliation
|| September 1996
| Maximum enrollment
| Information current as of
|| September 2005
Boyle Street Education Centre (BSEC) is a Canadian public charter high school (secondary school) in Edmonton, Alberta. It helps mainly native students aged 14-19 whose education has been interrupted. Some students may enter with a grade level well below normal for their age, so the school doesn't have the same strict grade structure of other schools.
Starting in the 1980s, the Boyle Street Co-op
worked with troubled youth to help them get back into the education system, along with other problems they had. In September 1996 they obtained a charter for BSEC to accomplish this as an independent school. Boyle Street Co-op and BSEC are technically two distinct organizations, but work very closely together, with the Co-op continuing to provide a variety of services that go beyond a school's normal function. The charter school initially kept the original location of the Co-op, but moved to its current location in September 2004. As with other charters in the province, the school is directly accountable to the province, and does not report to the Edmonton Public Schools
district board, despite being within its physical territory. Like other charter schools, it has fought to preserve its independence from any district board. It must continue to justify the need for its independent existence every five years, when its charter is renewed.
Most students who attend the school have been out of school for at least three months, many for longer periods. Over half the students have been arrested at least once by police. A number have serious behaviour problems in their past.
The school addresses the problem of frequent interruptions, partly, by letting a student take a single short course (or a limited number) at a time. This ensures students can "drop-in" or "drop-out" at various times of the year, while still acquiring credits needed to graduate. The school still tries to get students to stay full-time until graduation, but will work with those who continue to have attendance problems. In other schools, a student may be taking a larger number of courses, for an extended amount of time; any extended absence means they would lose all the course credits for that period. At BSEC, a student leaving after a couple months will at least have more course credits than they started with, and be closer to graduation.
The school primarily assists First Nations
students, who are 90% of the student body
, but also accepts other students who are in need. Native studies is an optional program at the school.
As well, in Alberta there is a mandatory course, Career and Life Management 20. BSEC allows students to achieve the credits for this life skills course in a unique manner, such as boys and girls' talking circles. For the girls this involves going on a short term retreat from the city.
- Since many of the students come from poor families, there is a breakfast and lunch program. The preparation is done by Work Experience Students
- Assistance is given with transportation for students around the city
- Like any public charter (or other public) school there is no tuition. However, unlike almost all other schools in Alberta, BSEC has no school fees or supply expenses of any kind. Legally no public school can charge for attendance, but most others charge most students various fees of some kind, but such fees are not officially considered "tuition".
- A liaison/counsellor is provided for one-on-one outreach and intervention. BSEC works with Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) to help students with addiction issues. Also counselling on career and post-secondary selection is provided.
- Registered Apprenticeship Program and Work Experience Program
- Low ratio of student to teacher
- Assistance is given to individual students seeking help from various social service agencies
- Access to free birth control
- "Not just for white, middle-class kids" By Carla Yu. Alberta Report. Edmonton: Nov 9, 1998.Vol.25, Iss. 47; pg. 33, 2 pgs
- "Aboriginal community making steady advances: Education seen as first step toward healing" By Karen Kleiss. Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alta.: Jun 25, 2005. pg. B.3
- "Ordinary Joe makes good: Boyle St. school gives 23 students new lease on life" By Karen Unland, Journal Staff Writer. Edmonton Journal. Edmonton, Alta.: Jun 29, 2000. pg. B.1.FRO
- "2003 – 2004 Boyle Street Education Centre’s Annual Education Results Report" (PDF) - Report filed by school, as required, with the Alberta government, to show the board is meeting its charter requirements.