Programming & Services » Programming & Services

Programming & Services

An Excellent Start for Learning

The Board understands the need for each child to be given an excellent start to learning with a focus on socialization, healthy living and healthy interactions, a process of inquiry, discovery, and excitement.  Therefore, we provide junior kindergarten programs for 4 year olds (3 year old may be accepted if space is available) and full day kindergarten programming for 5 year olds.   

Full Day Kindergarten Programming

Our schools, Vanier Community Catholic School (Edson), Ecole St. Mary School (Whitecourt), and St. Mary of the Lake (Slave Lake), offer full day kindergarten programming at no extra cost to the family. Ecole St. Mary also offers Kindergarten in French Immersion.Half of the day is spent with their Kindergarten teacher completing the program of studies and half of the day is spent with our Early Childhood facilitator completing enhancement activities to reinforce the program of studies. 


Alberta Education’s Program Unit Funding (PUF) is for students younger than 4 years 8 months on the first day of school. Students would meet the criteria in the Special Education Coding Criteria for severe disabilities qualify for speech language pathology and/or occupational therapy services.  

Kindergarten students are now part of the Special Learning Grant rather than PUF. For more information, please contact the principal or inclusive education lead at your community school.         


 Programming for students with inclusive needs will continue to be met at the school level.  The process for identification and assessment is well defined and effectively implemented.  Each school is staffed with an Inclusive Education Lead who assists teachers with programming and monitors student supports and programs.  The Inclusive Education Leads from each school meet regularly to share expertise and experiences and plan programs.  Funding for program planning and professional development for teachers and educational assistants has been established. Further development in inclusive programming will be consistent with Alberta Education’s Inclusive Education model.

In addition, each school in our division has a full time psychologist, who completes Educational Psychological Assessments. Student assessments are kept current to support student learning in the classroom. Living Waters exceeds provincial standards for inclusive education supports.

Living Waters also offers Specialized Support Services with two full time Speech Language Pathologists and one full time Occupational Therapist who provide services to our three communities.


Beyond the Classroom is intended to be individualized and personalized, focused on meaningful real world life skills, and hands on with practical and functional academics. Beyond the classroom is not a remedial or a behavior modification program.

There are strict admittance requirements for Beyond the Classroom. Students are only admitted to this program after careful consideration that removing them from a set curriculum is in their overall best interest and done in consultation with their parents.  


Students enrolled in this program meet the following criteria: 

1) A Completed Psychoeducational Assessment, 

2) IQ below 70, (this aligns with PDD criteria)

3) Appropriate Alberta Education Code, 

4) Evidence informed recommendation (varies - teacher anecdotal notes, PowerSchool Log Entries, academic reporting, student work samples, Individual Program Plans, additional assessments, Fountas and Pinnell, etc) and signed informed consent of parents.


Beyond the Classroom is a blended program where students are able to complete certain classes (depends on the student’s talents and interests) with their grade-level peers meeting one of our goals of inclusion wherever possible. Beyond the Classroom provides small class size ratios with high levels of support services, including the school psychologist, Speech Language Pathologist, and Occupational Therapist.

French Immersion programs in Living Waters Catholic Schools are offered in our Whitecourt Schools only.
For more information on programs being offered at either École St. Mary School or École St. Joseph School visit their websites by clicking on the following links:

For more informaiton regarding French Immersion, click on the link below: 

For more information on how you can help your child in French Immersion, click on the following link:

Living Waters Catholic School Division recognizes Canada’s status as a bilingual country with French and English as the two official languages, and the linguistic aspirations of our First Nations community and
therefore believes it has a responsibility to offer Second Language programs.
The Division will offer a Second Language program to all students in grades 4 through 12 with the goals for students to:
    • Acquire basic communication skills and develop competency in the language;
    • Develop cultural sensitivity and enhance personal development;
    • Develop originality and creativity in language;
    • Acquire additional concepts and generalizations about language and language
      learning; and
    • Develop a desire to extend or improve proficiency in languages through further
      language study, whether for interest, post-secondary requirements, or vocational

After participating in the French as a Second Language Program, your child will:

  • have developed basic skills in French as a base for pursuing fluency
  • be able to understand and appreciate Francophone culture and other languages and communities in Canada and around the world
Living Waters schools offer French as a Second Language from grades 4-9 and some high schools may also offer it in high school.
The Board earnestly wishes to continue to move forward with supporting the success of First Nations, Metis, and Inuit students in its schools.  The Board’s objective is to work with students, parents and community partners to improve the graduation rate of First Nations, Metis and Inuit students so that it falls within the provincial range for students in general.  The goal is to narrow the gap and have First Nations, Metis and Inuit students achieve on par with their peers.  The Division supports First Nations based language and culture courses as well as the infusion of indigenous ways of knowing, histories and world views into its schools. To this end we have established a First Nations, Metis and Inuit Team to lead the work in ensuring staff and students have foundational knowledge to apply in everyday situations and engage in acts of reconciliation to create a better tomorrow.