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The 6 Best High Schools in Edmonton If You Want the Best Experience for Your Kids

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Let’s be honest, we all wanted to be THAT kid in school. The one for whom cranky teachers were no match, for whom traffic stopped in hallways, and all the other Hollywood stuff. 

But being a parent now, I know the opportunity to be cool isn’t all that – even though I’m biting my tongue as I say it. There’s actual education, enrichment, exposure to supportive peers, and so on.

That’s why for my son’s future, I considered all of that in my search for the best high schools in Edmonton. I braved school tours and even survived cafeteria coffee to find the ones with a promising student culture, good academic structure, and plenty of social opportunities. Oh, and ones that have clean toilet paper in the bathrooms!

1. Strathcona High School

Strathcona High School's Logo
(Source: Strathcona High School)
BEST FOR  Global initiative projects
ADDRESS10450 72 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 0Z6
CONTACT DETAILS+1 780-439-3957
OFFICE HOURSMonday – Friday: 7:00 AM – 6:00 PM

First on our list of best Edmonton high schools is Strathcona High (more colloquially known as ‘Scona). Having been established in 1955, it’s no wonder that plenty of local residents are graduates of Strathcona High.

They offer plenty of advantageous academic curriculums that can prepare your children for university or work after high school. They also offer German and Spanish bilingual programs, as well as advanced placement programs.

The fact that most of their graduates are locals from the area proves that they are trusted in providing quality education to local families for generations.


  • Public school
  • Bilingual programs
  • Advanced placement programmes available

2. Ross Sheppard School

Ross Sheppard School's Logo
(Source: Ross Sheppard School)
BEST FOR  Different options for academic programs
ADDRESS13546 111 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5M 2P2
CONTACT DETAILS+1 780-448-5000
OFFICE HOURSMonday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 AM

Ross Sheppard High School is one of the most well-known high schools in the area.

Their academic curriculum is composed of the International Baccalaureate program, as well as other academic programs such as a French Immersion program, fine arts program, off-campus education, and more. They also offer scholarships and opportunities for deserving students.

Their good track record and priority for better education makes them one of the best Edmonton high schools.


  • Different scholarships
  • Wide athletics
  • French immersion available

Customer Reviews 

Take a look at what the alumni of Ross Sheppard High School have to say about their experience in this school:

“ Shep is one of the most elite secondary schools in Edmonton. The math and science departments are extremely strong—with many passionate teachers not only capable of preparing students for university, but serving as a beacon of inspiration for many future endeavours. Various topics introduced (for student interest only) in my physics and chemistry high school classes provided a great foundation for many of my university level science courses. Shep has an elite fine arts program as well, providing the healthy balance essential for shaping a well-rounded individual. One of Shep’s most notably distinct characteristics during my high school career was the lack of a social hierarchy within the student body. There were no distinctions between nerd and jock, cool kids or outcasts. Everyone gets along with everyone, and thus the school celebrates a diverse array of backgrounds, disciplines, and ideas. Shep offers many clubs and initiatives for extracurricular activity, and many opportunities to begin building a portfolio at a young age. During my tenure as a student here, I did not realize the caliber of this school. It was not until I started meeting people in university that I realized how fortunate I am to have attended Shep. This high school lays a brilliant foundation, and provides an advantage for students pursuing tertiary education. Shep is unlike any other high school—a virtue to be celebrated. To current and future T-Birds: make the most of your time here because if you don’t, there will be one day you wish you did. To Shep teachers and staff: continue to motivate and inspire students, laying the foundation for our future generations.”

“Went here from 2016 – 2018, never encountered bullying here, lots and lots of students. Having a mall, the transit station, and skating rink plus work out facilities within walking distance made this school super fun. Always something to do! Sheptacular and totem hoop were the best times of the school year! I miss it so much!”

3. Old Scona Academic

Old Scona Academic's Logo
(Source: Old Scona Academic)
BEST FOR  Full IB program
ADDRESS10523 84 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6E 2H5
CONTACT DETAILS780-433-0627 | [email protected]
OFFICE HOURSMonday-Friday: 7:00am-5:00pm

Old Scona Academic is located in the Old Strathcona district of Alberta. They’re also one of the older institutions in the area and is considered as one of the top academic schools in Canada.

They are well-known to Alberta residents for their great academic programs and tight-knit student populace of less than 400 students. They also offer extracurricular activities such as a student union, clubs, and sports teams that your child can sign-up for.

Their long history of providing quality education makes them one of the best Edmonton high schools you can enroll your kid in.


  • Several sports teams
  • Student union available
  • One of the top schools in Canada

Customer Reviews 

Jiaming Richard Z. shares the possible academic opportunities for graduates of Old Scona:

90% of the people at this school go to good universities such as MIT,Harvard,Oxford ,Stanford etc. although they go though much pressure they may cope with it after.

Check out Grace D.’s review on why you should consider enrolling your child in Old Scona:

If you are on the fence on whether you should attend this school or not, I would urge you to take the challenge and accept your offer. There are some rumours and fear-mongering around the difficulty of the academics and the lack of social life. However, the vast majority of graduates from this school gained entranced to prestigious university programs and received hefty scholarship awards. If you are not well prepared in high school, the transition to university will be all the more difficult. Think about it. Would you rather find out which areas you need to strengthen in a relatively low consequence high school environment or risk it at your high stakes university program?

4. Austin O’ Brien High School

Austin O'Brien High School
(Source: Austin O’Brien High School)
BEST FOR  Catholic-based curriculum
ADDRESS6110 95 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T6B 1A5
CONTACT DETAILS+1 780-466-3161
OFFICE HOURSMonday – Friday: 7:30 AM – 4:30 AM

Austin O’Brien High School is one of the non-secular high schools in Edmonton. The school follows Catholic values and is generally well-liked by many parents who raise their kids in the Catholic faith.

They have a number of different academic programs such as dual credit programs, summer school, diploma prep, and more. They also make it a point to host programs that boost their students’ mental health and physical fitness.

This makes them one of the best Edmonton high schools for parents who want to educate their children in a Catholic environment.


  • Different programs available
  • Focused on good academic performance
  • Wide student resources

Customer Reviews

Hannah C., a proud alumna of Austin O’ Brien High School, shares her experience in this review:

“Really enjoyed my time here. They want to set you up for success. Friendly staff ! Even though I wasn’t apart of any team or club I still felt included as part of the student body here. Despite the challenges of graduating in 2020 everyone did the best they could to make sure we all felt celebrated. Thanks AOB !”

Here’s what Hannah F. has to say about his son’s experience as an Austin O’Brien student:

“Amazing school and staff. My son really enjoyed his time there. The teacher’s really care about their students. It’s not too big of a school so the students don’t get lost in the crowd; but, it is big enough to offer many opportunities for those who want it.”

5. Harry Ainlay School

Harry Ainlay School's Logo
(Source: Harry Ainlay School)
BEST FOR  Trade-focused education
ADDRESS4350 111 St NW, Edmonton, AB T6J 1E8
CONTACT DETAILS+1 780-413-2700

Next on our list of the best Edmonton high schools is Harry Ainlay School. They follow the IB curriculum and also offer the French Immersion program for those who want to pursue bilingual education.

They have plenty of sports teams for curling, volleyball, basketball, and more. They also established donation programs to support their athletes.

Teachers prioritize hands-on teaching for Harry Ainlay students. With their long history of helping their students succeed, they are a great choice for plenty of Edmontonians.


  • Student-focused
  • Athlete support programs available
  • Hands-on teaching

Customer Reviews

Read this review to know why Sue G. recommends Harry Ainlay School:

“The atmosphere in the school is positive and energized and the teaching staff are engaged and put in extra time if your child needs more support or guidance. People warned me that the school is too big but I’ve not encountered anything that makes me feel that way…if anything, having 2800 students adds to the strength of knowing what students in these grades need and respond to, and is large enough to provide something for everyone in extra curricula clubs and societies.”

An alumna named Marnie O. talks about her wonderful high school experience in her review:

“Went there through 2005 beginning school year to 2008 ending school year. This is an excellent high school focused on the field of trades. The teachers here are excellent, they made class enjoyable and all around, I remember my high school years very fondly.”

6. St. Joseph Catholic High School

BEST FOR  Christ-oriented curricula
ADDRESS10830-109 Street, Edmonton, AB T5H3C1
CONTACT DETAILSPhone: 780-426-2010
Fax: 780-425-1408
Email: [email protected]
OFFICE HOURSMonday – Friday: 8:00 AM – 4:00 PM

In their Guided Customized Learning program (GCL), special attention is paid to the individual learning abilities of their students, all of their approaches are rooted in core principles such as active participation and leadership. They also offer the Traditional Classroom Learning program (TCL) for students that wish to continue in the traditional type of classroom.

Parents can then easily register and enroll their children online which is supported and follows that of the Edmonton Catholic Divisions to ensure that not only is the process secure but also very easy to follow. You can see all the ECSD schools at

Overall, a comprehensive school finder feature will help their children have a solid foundation when it comes to consistent and values-oriented education. Furthermore, while they offer a diverse set of programs – fees may need to be inquired about first. The School Finder Tool can be found at


  • Best for Christ-centered Curricula and trade programs
  • Flexible programs
  • Online procedure is convenient
  • Virtual School Tour is available

And that’s the end of our list of the best Edmonton high schools. We hope this helped you look for a great school for your kid to learn skills that will prepare them for university or work.

Are there any high schools in Edmonton that we missed? Send us a message and we’ll update the article promptly.

And if you want to develop your kid’s musical talent, try checking out our list of options for the best piano lessons in Edmonton! They’ll find themselves learning about music in no time!