This coming Tuesday, September 4th, thousands of children will start a new school year in Ontario. We’ve been waiting for this day for quite a long time: our youngest will start full time Kinder! Do you know what that means? That I will drastically reduce my day care budget! That is a relief, I tell you!
It also means that we have to get organized with many small details for the next few months: clothes, shoes, calendar, school supplies, where to buy all this stuff, if we want to go take advantage of some price differences in Quebec or at the Walmart in Ogdensburg, NY or simply buy them in the area, and many other things.
Today I wanted to share with you some information related to this. If you are already here, you may find it useful. If you are still in your way to Canada, it may give you some additional information for the future.
We just arrived to Ontario, Where should I register my son for school and what documents do I need?
Our children go to the Ottawa Catholic School Board. They have a specific place for newcomers to Ontario and whose first language is not English (remember that “First Language” is the one used at home)
These places are called “Family Welcome Centre” and is here you need to go to register your children for school. There, a person will talk to you about how the school system works and they are going to evaluate your son/daughter in Maths and English in order to have an idea on to help him the best when school starts. The results of those tests will be sent to his/her new teacher so she can get ready to help him/her in the best possible way.
Please check this link to read more about this and what documents you need to register your son/daughter at school: “Family Welcome Centre” Web Site, Ottawa Catholic School Board
If your children will go to the Public School Board, you may want to check this link: Settlement.Org – Education Guide
Mr. G, What about those in Quebec?
For you, I suggest starting your research in this page: Liste des commissions scolaires du Québec.
Use the site to find the School Board for your region and contact them,. They should be able to tell you what’s the school for your children how to register, etc.
Mr. G, I not going either to Quebec or Ontario. What should I do?
If I were you, I’d choose to Google starting from the Education Ministry for your province and then filter down to the city/region to find out what school should I contact.
Some homework for you, my friend!
What school supplies will my children needed?
When our children finished the past school year back in June, they came back home with a list of the supplies they were going to need this September.
I really don’t know if this can be a model list for all Canada, but I;m sure it must be very close to the average one.
Not lots of stuff as you can see, not very expensive and many things you can get them at a dollar store.
You can download the original document from this link.
My son/daughter already finished High School. How can I get some financial assistance for College/University in Ontario?
In Ontario there’s something called OSAP. OSAP is the “Ontario Student Assistance Program” and it has different programs that, based on your income and financial needs, can give you different loans and scholarships.
The OSAP website offers also an online calculator so you can have a rough idea on how much money they will be able to borrow you.
I know many people that after many years of having finished College or University is still paying these education loans, seems to be something frequent here.
Is it good or bad to ask for a study loan? Given the high coast of University education I think is kind of necessary for some families.
If you are in, you may want to check this site: AFE - Aide financière aux études
Other websites with information on study loans:
These web sites seem to have very good information on the subject:
- CICIC > Student Financial Assistance
- Human Resources Canada > Learning and Post-Secondary Education
Also, these sites are very good for some adults thinking on reinventing themselves in Canada. I am working on it, you will have new soon!
And speaking of reinventing yourself, I invite you to watch this video of Angela Mondou, author of a great book on the subject named “Hit the ground leading!”
Are you ready for School?