Back to school: How to register your kids for school in Canada (grade school and high school)



How to register my kids for school in Canada? Summer’s over and it’s time for a brand new school year. Here’s everything you’ll need to know to answer a very popular question for newcomers: “How to register my kids for school?”


1) Proof of student’s age – Birth Certificate or Passport2) Proof of address – Bank Statement / Telephone or Electrical Bill / Rental Agreement or Apartment Lease with parent’s or guardian’s name and address3) Proof of Guardianship – if the student is under 18 years old and not living with a parent4) Proof of Immigration Status – Birth Certificate, Passport, Permanent Resident Card, Certificate of Permanent Resident COPR or Record of Landing5) Immunization Record
All children in Canada between 6 to 18 years of age can attend school no matter what their parents’ immigration status may be.


Depending on the school board, you may be able to register your elementary school aged students directly at school. In most cases, newcomer high school and elementary school aged students must be assessed prior to registration at the school. Some school boards may require Newcomer students to be assessed at a Reception Centre for Math and English.

Google: School Reception Centres in (your city of residence)

After the students’ assessment is complete, the results are forwarded to the school.

For high school or secondary school students, it would be a good idea to schedule a visit with the guidance counsellor. Speaking with the guidance counsellor will give your family a better idea how the course selection system works, and how it will lay down the foundation for your child’s academic future in college or university.

Settlement organizations funded by the Government of Canada provides settlement assistance for Newcomers. Settlement Workers in Schools help newcomer families navigate the processes of settling into their new communities and school environments.

Google: settlement workers in schools

Reception Centres – School Boards assess newcomer students for English and Math through Reception Centres. Reception Centres are staffed by school board administrative staff and teachers.

There are also private and elementary schools available in Canada, but are not publicly funded. Private schools follow provincially legislated curricula, and charge tuition fees.

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