Grades 9 – 12 (Team 3 & 4)

The senior high school program adheres to the Alberta Education Program of Studies and students write the same diploma exams as every other student in Alberta, often with results much higher than the provincial average.

Foothills Academy prepares students to enter a post-secondary program or the workplace and High School builds upon the strategies, programs and expertise of the earlier grades.  

Grades 9 and 10 (Team 3)

Grades 9 and 10 focus on preparing students for the transition to the new expectations of High School and achieving academic credits. Futures Planning begins in grade 9 Health and grade 10 CALM where students explore career interests, consider High School course streaming options and investigate steps into post-secondary considerations. Staff work with students to help them identify areas of strength and discuss, with families, future High School course choices that will best serve the passions of our students. Between grade 9 and 10, specific identification of course streaming takes place through continued communication between school, the student and home. Students begin to understand themselves as learners. And, with support from our staff, students identify which strategies, supports and accommodations work best for them. They also learn how they can be successful lifelong advocates for these supports.

Social-emotional well being continues to be important as relationships become more complex. Staff work with students to support their development as advocates of their learning but also managing the compounding responsibilities that begin to mount in later adolescence. Knowing the value of their journey and experiences which have led to success so far, our students are provided many opportunities to work with our younger students in mentoring roles.

Grades 11 - 12 (Team 4)

With grades 11 and 12 (Team 4) being the final two years at Foothills Academy before transitioning out of our program, we expand more upon furthering the lifelong skills developed to be a successful individual living with a Learning Disability. Students focus on an area of study to pursue and our homeroom and learning strategies teachers support them to evaluate and apply to post-secondary institutions as well as monitor their academic performance to ensure a smooth transition to adulthood. Students’ understanding of themselves as a learner is emphasized with open discussions about identifying strategies and supports that work best for them in preparation for large cumulative exams. Even at this stage of education, staff continue to support students to develop strong self-advocacy, organization, and interpersonal skills.

With important transition years such as this, staff work with students to support healthy choices for maintaining a balanced work-life and help to emphasize mindfulness and sensory tools that have been used in the past and continue to help the student. Students are given skills to construct resumes and interview for jobs to balance out the work that is being done to help students apply for post-secondary institutions and scholarships. As often as programming allows, students are exposed to professionals in various occupations and recruiters from local and national postsecondary institutions. As with each stage of development, relationships and social-emotional supports continue to be the strong relationships that have been built between staff, students and families.  

Student Support

In addition to the expert teaching staff we have in the classrooms, students have access to extra supports to enhance and maximize their learning potential. Educational Assistants, Assistive Technology and IPPs are available to and benefit all students. For those who require more, specialized support, we have additional Assistive TechnologyPsychologists and Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Therapy.


Students in grade 9 continue with the Junior High options which rotate each term providing students with the opportunity to explore a variety of interests and also develop already established strengths. Choices include Outdoor Education, Art, Photography, Foods, Videography, Drama, Cosmetology, Tourism, Computer Science Music, Board Games, and Model Building.

Our Senior High (Grades 10 - 12) school elective options are all recognized by Alberta Education as credit programs, either as a standalone or as a collection of modules under the Career and Technology Studies program. For some of our electives, students have the choice of a full year or half-year semester programming. Students have the opportunity to receive five to six credits per year that go toward the 100 credits required to earn a High School diploma. Staff encourage students to use the experiences they had exploring electives in Junior High to make informed choices about electives that they are passionate about and will lend themselves well to future post-secondary pursuits.

Physical Education

Through Physical Education, we empower students with knowledge and skills to live a healthy lifestyle, as students learn about the benefits of exercise and playing games to encourage a lifelong goal for health and wellness. We expose students to a wide variety of sports, physical activities and different methods of fitness. Together this can provide enjoyment of physical activity as well as build social, psychomotor and cognitive skills. Life skills are coached daily within team sports, individual sports, small group work, and whole class activities.  Respect, integrity, sportsmanship, teamwork, communication, and leadership are just some of the skills, recognized, encouraged and taught.

Rather than having a moody child who would sometimes be a little disruptive in class or who couldn’t sit still, would never do homework, barely passed anything, I now have a child who has such a sunny disposition and the most amazing attitude in school it makes me cry when I hear the teachers constantly telling me how thoughtful, polite, and positive he is – I think – is this my son? He does all of his homework, does his assignments, loves the school, and his math and other subjects? ….. He now realizes he is not DUMB, and finally understands that he just learns differently. — Foothills Academy Parent