The Boyle Street Education Centre grew out of Boyle Street Community Services in September 1995. As inner-city adults coming into the co-op for support often brought youth with them, we realized something needed to be done to support them. We didn’t intend to grow a school out of the co-op, but youth showing up at our doorstep needed a learning environment where they could be given a chance. Students who come to Boyle Street Education Centre are often reluctant to return to conventional school systems in Alberta – where they have been treated unfairly and without regard to their needs.
Boyle Street Education Centre focuses on trauma-informed education. We support students from all walks of life. Our students come from diverse backgrounds and have complex needs. We strive to meet those needs in a variety of ways, from helping with housing, feeding students breakfast and lunch, counseling services, legal advice, funding, and work experience. After the human needs are fulfilled, we support students in their educational pursuits.
No fees are collected at our school. All programming such as camping, skiing, land-based learning, swimming, and skating are provided at no cost to our students. Our program gives students the chance to learn at their own pace while keeping achievable goals in sight. Students can learn in our commercial kitchen, professional music studio, woodworking studio, and gym/workout center complete with a basketball court.
Since over 90% of our students are Indigenous, our wrap-around support model is based on the teachings of the medicine wheel and aims to support students across mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional domains. Within those domains, there is much non-traditional support that our students ordinarily would not have access to such as cultural teachings, massage, acupuncture, animal therapy, yoga, meditation, and improvisational drama. We care deeply for our students and meet them where they are at while striving to lift and serve them in all capacities of life.
Many of our students do not live at home or have a family to care for them. Our school strives to become that family which our students can lean on when times are tough. We could not achieve this without our many partners, including the food bank, Children’s Services, our local police department, Boyle Street community services, the many youth shelters, and Alberta Education. Alberta Education understands the unique nature of what we do working with put-at-risk students. Without their support, we could not support these young people.
Some of our students go on to achieve their high school diploma or certificate of achievement. We are extremely proud of the work being done at Boyle Street Education Centre and could not achieve the level of success we have without the support of all our partners.
Marginalized students in Alberta are faced with racism, cultural abuse, and feelings of abandonment. At Boyle Street Education Centre, we offer something truly different – a trauma-informed, reconciliation-first approach that accepts students for who they are – one that nourishes and heals their spirits.
Our program gives students the chance to learn at their own pace while still keeping achievable goals in sight. Students can learn in our commercial kitchen, fully-stocked music room, woodworking studio, and full-sized gym and workout centre complete with a basketball court. If students feel like they need space and time away from the classroom, we’re here to give it to them.
Students at BSEC don’t have a conventional education in our school. They are given the opportunity to learn skills that are often out of reach for students in conventional classrooms. While students in other schools can pay to take extracurriculars (band class, woodwork, etc.), students at BSEC have the opportunity to take extracurriculars for free – led by inspiring, wonderful instructors.
We provide students a space free from harm – no matter your identity, ethnicity, gender or sexuality – we welcome you home.
Hairstyling & Cosmetology
Woodworking & Painting
Indigenous Cultural Experiences
Yoga & Meditation
We care about our community. It’s a sentence often replicated by most schools, but at Boyle Street Education Centre, our teachers have been volunteering and working alongside inner-city youth their entire lives. We’re not just here for our students’ academic highs – we’re also here right alongside them for every low they may face.
We are proud to have such a dedicated team of caring, supportive staff who want to see you succeed. Our teaching and administrative team is supported by mental health professionals and social workers.