In Alberta, the Education Act, The Family Law Act, and the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act define the definition of a parent. Parents are essential partners in education and have a right and responsibility to make decisions respecting the education of their children. With our new online registration system, we are ensuring our online practices and access to student information aligns with Alberta legislation.
While a parent is usually the legal guardian of the child, that is not always the case. Guardianship rights can be shared by parents or can be removed. As a student's right to attend any particular school is based upon the residence of the "parent", and as it is the parent who exercises the various powers, responsibilities and entitlements as a guardian under the Education Act, it is important that a school board determine who the legal guardians are. Under Section 20 of the Family Law Act, a stepparent is not a legal guardian unless granted that right through the courts.
Individuals, other than parents, who have been appointed guardianship through an Alberta Court or Court of Queen 's Bench are required to provide copies of the court documents to the school. Upon receipt of these documents, the individual will be granted the rights of a parent. This would include a separate PowerSchool Parent Portal account.
It is our responsibility to ensure that the legal parent/guardian provides and has access to student information.
The Parent: Education Act, Preamble and Sections 1(r), 2, 16.2
The preamble of the Education Act states that parents have a right and responsibility to make decisions respecting the education of their children. The definition of parent is set out in section 1 of the Education Act and includes
• the guardian as set out in section 20 of the Family Law Act,
• the guardian appointed under Part 1, Division 5 of the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act or section 23 of the Family Law Act if the guardian notifies the board in writing of the guardian's appointment,
• the guardian appointed under section 22 or 23 of the Family Law Act if the guardian notifies the board in writing of the guardian's appointment,
• the individual who has care and control of the student as a result of the change if the student's guardian resided in Alberta and has changed the guardian's residence so that it is outside Alberta or unknown,
• the guardian of a student appointed under a temporary or permanent guardianship order or a permanent guardianship agreement under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act if the guardian notifies the board in writing of the guardian's appointment, or
• the Minister of Justice and Solicitor General if the student is in custody under the Corrections Act, the Corrections and Conditional Release Act (Canada) or the Youth Criminal Justice Act (Canada).
Alberta School Act
Alberta Family Law Act
Alberta Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act