Answering common questions about education in Canada for your children

Posted on June 7, 2023 at 07:00 am EDT

school children sitting on the stairs

Canada is known for the quality of its education and school systems. When it comes to your child’s education, you need to do your research first. coming to canada to determine which school would be the best fit for your child.

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Education is Canada it is managed at the provincial level, so the school system differs between provinces. Even within a province, education can vary between school types and school districts.

This article will answer some questions you may have about the Canadian education system.

What types of schools does Canada have?

Canada has public schools in all of its provinces and territories. All children are entitled to a free public education, which means there is no fee to enroll your child in public school.

Public schools tend to serve a particular area within a neighborhood, so the school your child can attend will depend on where you live. Public schools are available in both official languages.

There are also private and independent schools in Canada. These schools charge tuition to attend. Some private schools offer scholarships for students who display special academic, artistic, or athletic abilities who might not otherwise have the funds to enroll.

Some private schools are day schools and some are boarding schools, which means the student will live on campus with other students.

Canada also has French immersion schools, which are public schools that predominantly teach non-native French speakers in French. Students are expected to become fluent over time and French immersion is a great way for your child to become bilingual.

Catholic, Jewish, and other religious schools integrate religious education as a central subject in their curriculum. They may have specific admission requirements and may be public or private depending on the province you are in.

When does school take place each year in Canada?

Primary and secondary schools in Canada typically start in late August or early September and the year typically ends in June. The months of July and August are summer holidays and most public schools have free time during the holiday season, as well as a week in March.

The typical school day in Canada starts between 8 am and 9 am and will last until 3 pm and 4 pm.

What subjects will my child learn in school?

Canadian provinces set the curriculum for their schools, so subjects may differ between provinces. However, your child will learn a variety of subjects including math, science, English, French, history/social studies, art, and physical education.

As your child progresses through the educational system, they will have more opportunities to choose which classes to take based on their interests and what they excel at.

How do I enroll my child in school?

To enroll your child in public school, you should contact your local school district office or school board to find out the process for enrolling your child. It is important to contact the school board as soon as possible because there may be limited spaces available and you may need to find another option for your child.

If you wish to enroll your child in a private school, you must contact the school directly.

If you are enrolling your child for the first time. The school board or the school itself will likely want your child to complete some type of assessment to understand where she stands academically and what level is appropriate for her. You can allow the school to determine if your child would benefit from any additional resources the school may offer, such as language training.

What supplies do I need for my child?

Your child’s school will usually give you a list of supplies needed for the school year. Sometimes the school will provide certain supplies, other times you will have to buy them yourself.

In addition to school supplies like notebooks and pencils, some things you may want to consider getting include:

  • Clothing – Some schools have a uniform or dress code that dictates what your child can wear
  • Sportswear – Physical education is part of most curricula, so your child will need appropriate clothing for the gym.
  • Backpack
  • Electronics like a laptop or tablet

How will my child get to school?

School boards in Canada manage the routes of the school buses that will take your child to and from school. Bus routes will depend on where you live and will generally only serve areas within a certain zone/distance from the school. You can also drive your child to school yourself.

Depending on your child’s age, he or she can get to school by walking, public transportation, driving, or bicycling.

What will my child eat at school? Do I need to provide lunch?

Students will eat lunch during the day at school and eat breakfast and dinner at home. Each school will have different lunch options. Some public schools have a cafeteria with lunch available for purchase, while some private schools include lunches in the school fees.

Some students may bring their own lunches, but you must ensure that this is allowed at school. Some schools will make exceptions for students who have severe allergies or food restrictions (kosher, halal, etc.).

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