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Fast Facts

Sir John A. MacDonald, credit Queen's University Archives

First Capital Day!

Every year, Kingston celebrates its role as the first capital city of Canada with a First Capital Day festival of special events and activities.

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Schools, Education & Language Programs

There are many programs available for both children and adults in Kingston.

Children aged 6 to 18 are required by law to attend school in Ontario, even if they or their parents do not have permanent status in Canada. Children must be registered before they can attend school.

The school system in Ontario has four levels:

Most children start their formal schooling at the age of four when they enrol in elementary school (see Registering a Child). Following high school, students may opt to pursue post-secondary education at a university or community college. Homeschooling is another education option in Ontario.

Language Training Programs

French education is an important part of the Kingston education system. A variety of options are available from the four school boards (see Registering a Child). French language training is also available for adults.

ESL (English as a Second Language) programs are available for students whose first language is not English. There are also adult ESL programs for adults who want to learn English or upgrade their existing language skills.

Local school or post-secondary institutions often offer a variety of language courses. Some organizations also offer Heritage Language Programs for both adults and children.

Other Education Programs and Topics

The main Studying section has further information on the following:

  • Adult Education— Programs and courses for adult students.
  • Credential Evaluation —Information on foreign education, training, work experience and credential assessment and recognition in Canada. What you need to know to study and work in Canada.
  • Student Visas — Information on Canadian study permits. Who needs them and how to obtain them.
  • Trades & Apprenticeships — Information on skilled trades and apprenticeships in Ontario. What training, qualifications and certifications may be required, and how and where to obtain an apprenticeship.
  • Tuition Assistance — Where and how to obtain funding assistance for further education. University and college students may be eligible for loans, grants, bursaries, and scholarships.

For More Information

What are the different school systems in Ontario?
Information about publicly funded schools in Ontario, private schools, homeschooling, with links to local school boards across the province, and newcomer reception centres. Available in Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Gujarati, Pilipino (Tagalog), Punjabi, Russian, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

All Children Can Go to School, Regardless of Immigration Status
Information about Ontario education laws, schools that charge tuition fees to students that are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents and what to do if a school refuses to enrol your child.

Who Does What in Ontario’s Public Education System
Tip sheet with information about the roles of the Ministry of Education, Education Quality and Accountability Office, Ontario College of Teachers, school board, principal and vice-principal, teacher and school council. Available in Arabic, Chinese, Farsi, French, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tamil, and Urdu.

CLEO: Helping parents without immigration status get their children into school
Information on the legal obligation for children to attend school and for schools to admit children.

Information on using Registered Education Savings Plans (RESPs) to save for your child’s future education, including videos. Also available in Arabic, Spanish, Inuit, Portuguese, Somali, Filipino (Tagalog), Vietnamese, Chinese (simplified and traditional), Korean, Urdu, Farsi, Punjabi, and Tamil.

ISKA Multicultural After School Group for 8–12 Year Olds
A once-a-week Immigration Services Kingston and Area (ISKA) after-school program for newcomer youth aged 8-12. Activities include movies, fun, games, and homework help, as well as newcomer orientation and settlement services.

ISKA Newcomer Youth Programs
Immigrant Services Kingston and Area (ISKA) has many different programs — including a youth group and homework club — geared towards newcomer youth between the ages of 13-24. A video showcasing the program is available.

Loyola School of Adult Learning
Loyola School of Adult Learning – offers a wide range of programs for the adult learner returning to school. At Loyola, you can earn your Ontario School Diploma, become a Personal Support Worker, upgrade for a college program, improve your English, update your computer skills, develop your literacy and numeracy skills and more.

Build ON
Prepare to work in the skilled trades in Ontario. To help you find a job, this site offers one-on-one consultations with a coach, videos and documents in English and French.

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