Choosing a school

Register your children in school

Parents must register children for school. This can be done at the local school or school board office. A school board is an organization that oversees public schools in your area. For more information about the school boards in your area, visit the Ministry of Education website for the province or territory in which you live. You can also find the Ministry of Education for your province or territory listed in the blue pages of your local telephone book.

When you register your child, you must bring the following documentation:

  • Permanent Resident Card, Record of Landing (IMM 1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM 5292)
  • Your child’s birth certificate
  • Your child’s vaccination certificate

You should also bring records from your child’s previous school. If the originals of the documents are in languages other than English or French, you should have them translated into English or French. Translation services available in your community are listed in the yellow pages of your telephone book.

Choosing a school

Your choice of school will be based on where you live and which system you prefer for your child. There are anglophone and francophone school systems, as well as immersion programs in which, for example, anglophone students are taught some or all subjects in French. Since French is the official language of Quebec, children of newcomers are usually required to attend a French school until the end of their secondary school studies.

Contact your local school board for more information about how to register your children in school and to find out what options are available.

New student assessment

In some cases, students who have arrived from other countries may be tested before they can enroll in school. The purpose of this testing is to gather information about a student’s educational background so they can be placed in the right grade. Tests or assessments are done in two key areas: mathematics and language.

If the tests show that a child needs additional language training, the child might be placed in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class. If the tests show that a student will succeed in regular classes, the student is placed in the appropriate grade.

Schools monitor and revise placements regularly. Children are moved between classes depending on their skills and needs.

Transportation to school

Many schools are not within walking distance of children’s homes. When this is the case, children often take school buses provided by the school at minimal or no cost to you. Depending on where you live, your child may also be able to take public transportation to get to school or they may even be able to walk to school. Parents may also decide to drive their children to and from school each day.

Immigrant services in your area

Our interactive map will help you to search for immigrant services in your area.

Education video

This video offers information about:

  • English language classes
  • Translation and evaluation of your previous education
  • Enrolling your children in school

To watch the video, select your language and the topic “Education”.

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