Black Gold School Division


  • New skilled trades collegiate school coming to Calmar

    Posted on    Posted in BGSD, Black Gold School Division, Calmar Secondary School, Featured, General, Media Release, New Schools / Modernizations

    Illustration of the new collegiate school addition.

    The Black Gold School Division is excited to announce that it recently received notification of funding approval from Alberta Education for an addition to Calmar Secondary School that will house the Calmar Secondary Collegiate School. 

    Construction on the new school addition is planned for Spring 2024, and the facility is expected to be complete in September 2025.

    “The Board’s goal with this new collegiate school is to maintain a strong focus on career exploration, readiness, and preparation for a meaningful career path for our student population,” said Board Chair Esther Eckert. “We want to increase awareness and create opportunities for students to take courses in the skilled trades. Reducing barriers to entry into apprenticeships can lead to highly rewarding careers in the trades needed to support Alberta’s growing economy.”

    A collegiate school offers specialized programming in a particular subject or field, and provides all students with a clear pathway into post-secondary education and careers in their chosen field, whether in the skilled trades route or other pathways.

    “We are proud to be working in partnership with Northern Lakes College and industry partners to bring together students to benefit from enriched programming, specialized facilities and enhanced learning opportunities through a unique delivery model,” said Superintendent of Schools Bill Romanchuk. “Engaging students in authentic work that gives them experience at a business or job site is a key factor in supporting successful transitions from school to work.”

    The primary focus of the Calmar Secondary Collegiate School will be to provide students the opportunity to complete their first period apprenticeship training and related work/registered apprenticeship program placements as part of their high school graduation. The school will continue to provide excellent academic programming as well as providing specialized programming for students in grades 7-12 for careers in the skilled trades (enhanced career explorations, work experience and/or registered apprenticeship programs). 

    In the first year, the focus will be on carpentry, electrical and plumbing. Grade 12 students enrolled in the trades pathway will work on projects such as bunkies (small cabins under 108 sq. ft.) and eventually tiny houses, which will be marketed to local communities.

    Calmar Secondary Collegiate School will continue to offer a full range of academic programming. Students who choose not to pursue the skilled trades pathway can take courses in business, finance, management and entrepreneurship; fine arts and design studies; sports; technology, and more. They will also play a central role in marketing the projects made in-house.

    Illustration of the new collegiate school addition.

    Currently, the Division has in place a robust Dual Credit program that supports students in their transition to post-secondary; however, until now there has been a gap in dual credit programming for students who choose to enroll in an apprenticeship program. The new collegiate school addition and our partnership with Northern Lakes College will open up new pathways and opportunities for students across the Division and beyond.

    “Students in our rural schools have historically lacked access to the degree of specialized programming available in our urban schools, due to the lack of lab spaces, equipment, and scheduling challenges,” said Curriculum Manager Terri Reid. “The collegiate school will be close to the Nisku Business Park, centrally located within our school division and easily accessible to partner school authorities, business and industry.” 

    The Black Gold School Division welcomes other school divisions and First Nations education authorities across the province to enter into agreements with Black Gold for their students to attend Calmar Secondary Collegiate School alongside Black Gold students.

    For more information, please contact Terri Reid at

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