The public school system is the most common. While it is free to Canadian citizens, international students must pay fees to attend. This costs CDN$10,000-12,000 annually. Many schools offer French Immersion programs in addition to the regular English-language programming. Each region of the GTA has its own school board. Visit the appropriate website for the area you plan to live in to learn about the school board and its international student program.
- Toronto District School Board: http://www.tdsb.on.ca
- Halton District School Board: http://www.haltondsb.on.ca
- Peel District School Board: http://www.peel.edu.on.ca
- York Region District School Board: http://www.yrdsb.edu.on.ca
- Durham District School Board: http://ddsb.durham.edu.on.ca
Like the public school system, the Catholic school system is government-supported and free for Canadian citizens to attend. International students are welcome to attend, but must pay an annual fee. Unlike the public schools, Catholic schools offer Catholic religious education in addition to the regular curriculum. Each region has its own Catholic school board. Rates are similar to public schools, and non-Catholic children may attend a Catholic School, provided the parents meet with the trustees and staff of the school of their choice, first. Registration for kindergarten and French Immersion begins February 1st across the Toronto Catholic District School Board.
- Toronto Catholic District School Board: http://www.tcdsb.org
- Halton Catholic District School Board: http://www.haltonrc.edu.on.ca
- Peel Catholic District School Board: http://www.dpcdsb.org
- York Region Catholic District School Board: http://www.ycdsb.ca
- Durham Catholic District School Board: http://www.durhamrc.edu.on.ca
French Public Schools
Ontario has a separate school system for French-language students. Like the other public school boards, Canadian citizens may attend for free. International students are welcome, but must pay annual fees, which aren’t much different than those of public schools. The French school board is reserved for students who have one or more French-speaking parents. To learn more about the French public school system, visit http://www.franco.ca/acepo. To learn about the French school board that covers the GTA, visit http://www.csdcso.on.ca.
For those interested in a Catholic education in French, try visiting the French Catholic School Board’s site at http://www.afocsc.org. (Note – the website is in French.)
The application process for these schools is similar across the board, with most schools starting their registration process in early February. Parents wishing to enroll their children must first meet with the school’s trustees, and provide a birth certificate, a health card (or health insurance information), proof of immunization for communicable diseases, and proof of residency (like a utility bill or lease agreement with the proper residential address on it). Applicants for Catholic schools may also need to provide proof of baptism. Tours and meetings with your child’s teaching staff can be arranged through the school. You will then need to fill out a registration form, and a file for your child will be created. Once your child has been registered, they are free to begin attending classes.