Fees & FAQs
How much does it cost?
Immanuel Christian Schools is operated by the Society for Christian Education in Southern Alberta. SCESA is responsible for the buildings, buses and Bible programming; hence, there are school fees associated with attending Immanuel Christian Schools.
Fee Schedule 2019-2020
Society Membership fee per family - $400
Grades 1 to 12
Society Membership fee per family - $400
Busing per family - $2,000
(Grades 1 to 12)
Kindergarten - $950
(if oldest child is in Kindergarten)
Early Education Program (EEP)
Society Membership fee per family - $400
School Fees, Busing and other Fees are set annually and subject to change.
Why does the school charge a fee?
Immanuel Christian Schools is, according to Alberta Education, an alternative school system under Lethbridge School District No. 51. That means that the government funds 100% of the instructional costs, as well as contributes some funds for building operation and maintenance. The government, however, does not provides funds for capital costs or busing costs.
Is there an option for school fee assistance?
Yes, to qualifying families. Please call Society Office at (403) 327-4223 for more information.
Will we receive a tax receipt for school fees?
No. In the past, the $400 received from parents for the Society membership/capital fee was tax receiptable. However, it is no longer because the $400 is an amount that each family is required to pay, and therefore not given of a person's free will. Each family is benefitting from being a member of the Society. Furthermore, the remaining school fees of $3600 or $5600 are not receiptable either because these funds pay for the cost of operating and maintaining the building ($3600) and transportation ($2000).
Since you are a Christian Alternative school, do you have your own curriculum or do you follow the Alberta curriculum?
(1) we follow the Alberta curriculum of studies and our students write the Provincial PAT's and Diploma Exams; (2) we follow the guidelines of Alberta Education with respect to finances and policies.
How well academically do ICS students rate compared to public schools?
Our students rate fairly high according to the Fraser Institute. Both campuses have been rated in the top 10% of Alberta schools.
Isn't ICS a church school?
While Immanuel Christian Schools is historically rooted in the Christian Reformed Church, today we are an interdenominational school. It was a group of Christian Reformed parents who took the initiative to set up a day school in the 1960's that would ensure that their children would receive an education steeped in the Christian perspective. As time progressed, parents from other Christian denominations who wanted the same education for their children were welcomed. Today, there are over 40 different churches represented in the student body.
So, your school is not run by a particular church?
No. In fact, our school is a parent-run school. The Society for Christian Education in Southern Alberta oversees the building, transportation, maintenance and fundraising events, while Lethbridge School District No. 51 oversees the instructional and staffing aspects of the schools. Parents are automatically members of the Society, and the Society elects a board of directors who ensure the mission and vision of our school is carried out. There are various committees that assist the board - committees comprised of parents. For example, the Transportation Committee ensures that the Society's busses are working, bus drivers are hired, and students are safely transported to and from school.
Are your schools members of a larger organization?
Yes. We are actually members of several organizations which we rely on for support. We are members of Christian Schools International which is a global organization designed to support and assist Christian schools. We are also members of the Prairie Center for Christian Education which operates out of Kings College in Edmonton. Furthermore, we are also members of Association of Independent Schools and Colleges of Alberta.
What does “Reformed” mean as it relates to Christian theology?
Many volumes have been written postulating Reformed theology. Given that we are exploring this in the context of day – schooling, “reformed” will be discussed as it relates to education.
To some, “Reformed education” suggests mainly that Reformed Christians are involved. While it is easy to see this connection, our understanding of reformed education has to do with worldview and not who is in the classroom. Thus, when we talk about reformed education we use a small “r” rather than a big “R”.
A Reformed approach to Christianity emphasizes the sovereignty of God, the sinfulness of man, and the recognition that the Bible is the authoritative word of God. Reformed teachings are shared by other denominations, what’s different is the emphasis placed on them.
For example, Reformed Christians place great emphasis on the Lordship of Jesus Christ over all things. It would be difficult to conceive of a Christian denomination that doesn’t believe in this, yet Reformed Christianity places more emphasis on this. One of the manifestations of this emphasis is Christian education – the notion of acknowledging Jesus Christ as Lord over the world of education. For a more detailed description of what this type of world and life view in education entails, please see the “Teaching to Transform” section.
Are you a Reformed school?
There is a lot of discussion of our “Reformed” nature. A little bit of background is necessary here. Our history is very much tied to the Reformed Church. In the 1960’s, Lethbridge and area Reformed Christians had a vision for Christian education to support what children were learning at church and at home from parents. Immanuel Christian Schools grew out of this vision and still enjoys tremendous support from these communities.
However, Immanuel Christian schools are not a parochial/church school model. Many different denominations are represented amongst our students, staff, and parents who sit on various committees. We have benefitted, not only from our roots and tradition, but also from the talents, energy and enthusiasm for Christian education from a diverse range of people representing a variety of Christian denominations.
We are proud to be a parent run, Bible based, interdenominational school that seeks to honor the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all that we do. We want to partner with committed Christian parents (regardless of denomination) in order to develop the gifts of each student for joyful service in the Kingdom of God.
What is “Christian education”?
The concept of “doing” Christian day-schooling seems obvious, yet when it is attempted it becomes apparent that there are more variables than initially thought.
Dr. John Hull of the King’s University College, a Christian university in Edmonton, writes that there is a difference between Christian education and Christian’s educating. In other words, having Christian teachers is necessary but not sufficient in providing a transformative Christian education.
An authentic Christian education involves chapels and Bible classes, but it also goes beyond this. Christian education is driven by a biblical worldview based on Creation, Fall and Redemption. All topics and subject matter need to be taught from a Christian perspective to avoid a “book-end” approach to Christian education (see Teaching to Transform). Furthermore, Christian education is more than Christian thought. Our curriculum, organizational structure, relationships, opportunities for student service etc. all need to reflect a Christian worldview.
This is a daunting challenge. We need to be reliant on God in charting a course for Christian education as well as meeting the challenges that come with operating an independent school. This is also an exciting opportunity to contribute to and develop a school system that honors God in what it does. We always looking for more people to join us in this mission!
Why should I send my child to Christian school when he/she can be a light amongst others in the public school system?
The number one reason for parents to send children to Immanuel Christian School is that the Christian values taught at home and at the church, will be reinforced at school. A strong sense of right and wrong, as shown in the Bible, permeates the decisions and programs in the school, leading to meaningful value and character development. Immanuel Christian School also has a very dedicated team of teachers, administrators and support staff who regard their role in education as a calling more than a job. The education found at Immanuel is of very high quality, and is holistic in nature. Given that the Immanuel Christian School Society is parent-run, our structure is one in which parents and staff work together for the betterment of student education.
At Immanuel we want to prepare students for some of the challenges they will inevitably face. While having students be “salt and light” in public institutions is a noble goal, the reality is that these students often do not have the support necessary to develop and deepen their faith in a school setting. There is less opportunity for people to express faith in public education, and as such helping students understand their learning in the context of a Christian framework is much more difficult. At Immanuel, our desire is to provide a setting where students can challenge and be challenged in relating their actions and what they learn to their Christian beliefs. We feel that operating as an independent Christian school society is a witness to others. We believe all of Creation, including education, needs to be transformed and dedicated to the glory of God.