Registering a Child
Children must be registered before they can attend school. Parents will be asked to present a number of documents to school officials, including:
- The child's birth certificate or passport
- Proof of address
- Proof of immigration status
- Immunization record — All school children must provide proof of immunization for diphtheria, tetanus, polio, measles, mumps and rubella unless there is a valid written exemption. Parents who decide not to immunize their child must provide a written exemption to Kingston Frontenac Lennox & Addington Public Health.
Older children who have recently arrived from other countries may be assessed in mathematics and language (English and French) before they are placed in a secondary school grade.
Except for private schools (see below), elementary and secondary schools are funded through the tax system, so parents do not pay extra fees to enrol their children. Kingston has four publicly funded school systems:
- English Public: Limestone District School Board
- English Catholic: Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic School Board
- French-Language Public: Conseil des écoles publiques de l'est de l'Ontario
- French-Language Catholic: Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est
The school year in Ontario starts at the beginning of September and ends in late June. Except for certain Catholic schools, most students are not required to wear uniforms to class.
French education is an important part of the Kingston education system. Francophone residents can choose to educate their children in the French language and culture through the two French-language school boards.
The Limestone and Algonquin school boards offer special programs to students who want to become proficient in French. Some schools are also designated as French-immersion schools, which mean the majority of the programs are taught in French.
The Limestone and Algonquin boards both have special programs for international students in the elementary and high school grades. Most international students live with Kingston families during the school year. They also pay an annual tuition fee that includes medical coverage during their stay in Canada.
Students with special physical, intellectual or emotional needs are fully integrated into Ontario schools. In some instances, they will be provided with special programs and services. See the special education section for more information.
All four school boards in the Kingston area provide bus transportation to students from kindergarten to Grade 12 who live within a specified distance from the school. In most instances, the travelling time is less than an hour.
There is no charge to ride the school bus. Parents are responsible for ensuring their children arrive at the pickup point safely and on time. Younger children must be met by parents or a designated adult when they are delivered to their home at the end of the school day.
Private schools are also an available educational option. There are a number of private schools in Kingston (see For More Information links below) that cater to different grades.
Unlike publically funded schools, private schools are independent and do not receive government funding. Usually students must pay to attend them and there may be admission requirements or a waiting list.
Programs are generally diverse and may have a smaller classroom size and student-teacher ratio than conventional schools. Often there is a focus on a specific religion, culture, language, or teaching methodology.
For More Information
Information on childhood immunizations, how and where to get your child immunized. Includes a special section for newcomers.
Information on registering children for school, the documents required and immunization record. Includes links to other useful documents.
Ontario government site explaining the difference between French education and French immersion programs.
Information on the public school board’s French as a Second Language programs, including early French immersion and the Extended French Program.
An explanation of ESL programs offered by the public school board.
Information on the Catholic school board’s French programs, including French immersion, Extended French, Core French and International Baccalaureate.
Information about the French public school board in Kingston.
The French Catholic school board in Kingston.
The English public school board in Kingston.
The English Catholic school board in Kingston.
General information about school bus services to the four school boards in the Kingston area. Includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page and an online application form.
Listing of private schools in the Kingston area.
A department of the public school board, Limestone Community Education offers ESL programs, international language instruction, workforce training, academic upgrading and programs to help immigrants find work in the health-care field.
Information about English as a Second Language (ESL) schools, programs and resources in the Kingston area for adults and children. Includes courses on language test preparation, part-time and full-time classes and information specific to immigrants.
The Limestone District School Board offers elementary and secondary education to international students. Includes information about tuition, medical coverage and living arrangements.
Information on private schools in Ontario.
A large resource of general legal information for Ontarians, compiled from hundreds of organizations across Ontario. While the site itself is only available in English, materials are available in multiple languages, including French. Managed by Community Legal Education Ontario.
Article on general school rules and what is expected and appropriate behavior in Canadian schools. Also addresses how the school will handle improper behavior and rule breaking by students or staff.
This is a 4 week summer enrichment scholarship program for secondary school (high school) students currently completing grade 10, 11, or 12 or the international equivalent. Students spend a month living in universities across Canada (including Kingston!). The programs focus on the sciences, engineering, technology and entrepreneurship.