Choosing Your Child’s Elementary School- Deadlines!

Choosing the right Kindergarten or Elementary School for your child can be an exciting decision. The Family Care Office recently held a panel discussion on the subject, where experts advised parents and guardians on how to pick the best schools for their kids.

The panellists urged parents to consider schooling options carefully. They suggested that parents think about which environments their children will do best in, and also which educational methods the parents prefer. The panellists also recommended that parents and guardians learn about neighbourhood schools by speaking to people knowledgeable about them, including local parents and real estate agents. Attending a Parent-Teacher Council meeting is also an excellent way to get a sense of a school’s environment.

You’ll find in this blog:

  1. Details on Toronto District School Board (TDSB) Registration
  • Kindergarten Registration
  • French Immersion and Extended French
  • Alternative Schools
  • Optional Attendance
  • Before and After School Programming

2. Details on Toronto Catholic District School Board (TCDSB) Registration

  • Kindergarten Registration
  • French Immersion and Extended French

3. Information on school registration in the Region of Peel

1. Applying to Kindergarten in the Toronto District School Board

Children who will be four years old by December 31st, 2016 are eligible for Junior Kindergarten starting in September 2017; children who will be five by December 31st are eligible for Senior Kindergarten starting in September.

Kindergarten registration begins in February. To register, find a local school and visit it with the following documents:

  • Proof of child’s age (birth certificate or passport)
  • Proof of address (two pieces of identification that show your address, such as a residential phone bill)
  • Proof of child’s immunization(this is a card provided to you by your doctor that shows a list of needles your child has received)
  • Verification of date of arrival (if applicable)

You must contact your local school for its specific registration dates and times.

French Immersion in the TDSB

Early French Immersion begins in Senior Kindergarten. To locate the French Immersion school in your area, you must first confirm the English school for your home address. The application deadline for the September 2017 year has passed. It was on December 1st, 2016.

The Junior Extended French program which has Grade 4 entry has an application deadline on February 2nd, 2017. The Intermediate Extended French program which has Grade 7 entry shares this deadline.

Alternative Schools

Admission to Alternative Schools is by lottery, but each school has its own admissions procedures and deadlines. You can apply to as many Alternative Schools as you want, anywhere in the city, but there is no busing service to these schools. Many schools have information nights in January and February. Make sure to attend a few so that you can get a feel for the school environment that would work best for your child.

Optional Attendance

Students have the right to attend a school which is designated to serve their residential address (‘local school’) but are permitted the opportunity to access schools outside of their district (‘optional attendance’). Acceptance to these schools is dependent on spaces being available as well as the program’s suitability. Schools accepting students on optional attendance are classified as ‘limited.’ If you are interested in a ‘limited’ school, contact its principal.

NOTE: The deadline to accept an optional attendance offer with an elementary or junior high school is Friday, March 24th, 2017. To accept the offer, you must contact the school directly.

Before and After School Programming

As part of the TDSB’s Kindergarten program, a Before and After School Program is offered. These programs will be made available at schools where there is a confirmed interest from the families of at least twenty children. You must complete a Kindergarten Before and After School Program Parent Survey of Interest each year and will receive confirmation if the program is to run in April. Families receiving a child care subsidy are able to request that it be applied to the Before and After School Program fees. For more information, contact your local school.

 

2. Applying to Kindergarten in the Toronto Catholic District School Board

All children born in 2013 are eligible to attend Kindergarten in September 2017. NOTE: Non-Catholic children of non-Catholic parents who are not enrolled in the RCIA/RCIC program are not eligible for admission to a TCDSB elementary school.

Kindergarten registration begins on January 18th, 2017 at 10 a.m. To register, find a local Catholic school and visit it with the following documents:

  • Child’s birth certificate
  • Passport/immigration documents (if child not born in Canada)
  • Child’s immunization record (this is a card provided to you by your doctor that shows a list of needles your child has received)
  • Child’s Catholic Baptismal Certificate (or proof of parents’ Catholicity or RCIA/RCIC letter)
  • Proof of residency in Toronto

The TCDSB recommends that you call your local Catholic school for an appointment. Otherwise, you are able to register your child at https://soar.tcdsb.org/Login.aspx. Application forms will be available on Wednesday, January 18th at 10 a.m.

If you are not able to register in-person during the designated school day, most schools host extended hours for registration on one evening in January. Contact the Catholic school closest to you for more info. Registration remains open until August 2017, though parents/guardians are encouraged to apply early.

French Immersion in the TCDSB

The Toronto Catholic District School Board offers Core French, Elementary, and Secondary French Immersion. Contact the Catholic school nearest you which offers your desired program for more information.

NOTE: You do not have to speak French in order for your child to be successful in a French Immersion program!

 

3. School Registration in the Region of Peel

Check out our March 2016 blog post on registering for schools in the Peel Region.

Please note that Kindergarten registration is open in Peel. Schools will hold a Kindergarten Registration Week with special registration activities during Feb. 6 to 9, 2017.

 

 

Originally published in 2014 by Carla Murphy, updated and amended in 2017 by Gabriele Simmons

About Gabriele

Gabriele Simmons is three years into her Women and Gender Studies undergraduate degree. When not obsessing over comma placement Gabriele can be found doing recreational modern dance, reading fiction, and energetically volunteering. You might know her from UofT's Early Learning Centre, where she's been a casual classroom support since September 2015.
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2 Responses to Choosing Your Child’s Elementary School- Deadlines!

  1. Vijay says:

    What is meant by special registration activities during Feb. 6 to 9, 2017? Does that mean the registration ends on 9th Feb for kintergarden?

  2. Gabriele says:

    Hi, Vijay. This is from the Peel Region’s website:

    “All Peel elementary schools are now open for kindergarten registration for the 2017-18 school year.​​ Visit the school your child will attend during school hours to register.

    Peel schools will also hold a Kindergarten Registration Week with special registration activities during Feb. 6 to 9, 2017. Visit your local Peel school from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 6, 7, 8 and 9 and from 5 to 8 p.m. on Feb. 9.”

    Please contact the Peel Region School Board with your questions!

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