Getting ready to send your little one off to school can be emotional. There are also some decisions to be considered, as well as deadlines to keep in mind.
This blog post highlights some important dates to keep in mind if you have a child beginning kindergarten in September 2023. The most imminent deadline, if you are considering French immersion in Toronto, is the TDSB’s deadline to apply for early French immersion, which begins in JK. That deadline is this month (November). Most other deadlines are in early 2023. This blog includes deadlines in the:
- Toronto District School Board
- Toronto Catholic District School Board
- Peel District School Board
- Peel Catholic District School Board
- Durham District School Board
- Durham Catholic District School Board
Children can attend Junior Kindergarten in the calendar year that they turn four and Senior Kindergarten in the year they turn five. While the majority of kids go to kindergarten in Ontario, it is optional. Both are full day programs. It is mandatory for kids to attend school beginning in Grade 1.
Another matter to pay attention to very soon, if you have not already done so, is before & after care (if your family needs it).
Finally, we provide some food for thought for the French immersion decision. In some boards, that decision comes a bit later, but for those interested in having their children attend a school within the TDSB, the decision process begins now. Note that there is an additional entry point into French Immersion in the TDSB in grade 4 (referred to as Middle French Immersion).
Next month we’ll post about registering children for high school.
Toronto District School Board
Registration for the English Kindergarten program begins in February.
If you are considering French immersion or alternative schools, you will need to act earlier.
French immersion: The entry point to Early French Immersion is now Junior Kindergarten (there is a second entry point in Grade 4, referred to as Middle French Immersion). The application process opens on October 31, and applications are due November 25, 2022. The TDSB is hosting online and in-person Early French Immersion information sessions in November.
Note: The Middle French Immersion Program has a grade 4 entry (open to students in Grade 3, not currently enrolled in a French program). Applications must be completed online between January 9 and February 3, 2023. For more information, visit the Middle French Immersion website and plan to attend an information session in January.
Alternative schools: Learn more about the TDSB’s alternative schools. From the TDSB website: “Each school has a distinct identity and focus, such as democratic education, holistic learning, physical art, mindful living, entrepreneurship, social justice, community outreach and more.” The application process will be online in January 2023. To help inform your decision-making process, many alternative and mainstream public schools will host open houses, some as early as November. Check out the open houses.
Elementary Academies: The TDSB has a handful of Elementary Academies, which need to be applied for by the February Out-of-Area admissions deadline.
The Urban Indigenous Education Centre offers a range of services to First Nation, Metis, and/or Inuit students and families, utilizing a holistic approach to support overall achievement and well-being.
As part of the kindergarten registration process, the person enrolling the child in school is asked to fill in a Development History Form. To enrol a student with special education needs, the TDSB asks caregivers/parents to communicate with your school of registration.
Toronto Catholic District School Board
According to the TCDSB website, registration for the 2023-2024 school year will begin in January 2023, and key registration dates and deadlines will be posted in late 2022. If you are interested in French immersion, the program begins in kindergarten (JK). The application deadlines for French immersion are the same as kindergarten registration.
To enrol a student with special education needs, communicate with your school of registration and/or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peel District School Board
Visit the Kindergarten webpage on the Peel District School Board in a few weeks for 2023-2024 registration dates. French immersion begins in Grade 1 within Peel.
To enrol a student with special education needs, review the Parent letter – Enrolling students with special needs prior to registration.
Peel Catholic District School Board
Visit the Kindergarten webpage on the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board in a few weeks for 2023-2024 registration dates. French immersion begins in Grade 1 within the PCDSB.
To enrol a student with special needs, submit the Entry Planning Form for Students with Differing Abilities following registration.
Durham District School Board
Registration for the 2023-2024 school year opens in January 2023. Durham registration instructions are here. If you are interested in French immersion within Durham, the program now begins in Grade 1. Starting September 2023, “single track FI schools will no longer offer the Kindergarten Program.”
To enrol a student with special education needs, communicate with your school of registration and/or DDSB Inclusive Student Services.
Durham Catholic District School Board
Registration for DCDSB is not yet open. Check the DCDSB website to register. If you are interested in French immersion, the program begins in Grade 1.
To enrol a student with special education needs, communicate with your school of registration and review the Parent/Guardian Guide to Special Education.
Regardless of which board you are enrolling your child in school, if you might need before and/or after school care, we’d suggest getting on the lists as soon as possible! You can sign up at the school(s) you hope your child might attend, if the school has a before and after care program, or at other programs/care options that would work for your family.
Food for thought:
- Opinion piece in the Toronto Star: Breaking the spell of French immersion Written by then PhD candidate at OISE, now Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa, Sachin Maharaj. .
- A response to Sachin Maharaj’s piece: French immersion a success that should be celebrated , by Mary Cruden, Canadian Parents for French Advocacy Committee Chair
The Family Care Office also reached out to the Multilingualism and Literacy Lab at OISE for resources about French immersion. Here’s what they shared with us:
- Toronto District School Board targets newcomers for French immersion – A recent article in the Globe and Mail
- Canadian Parents for French – brochures and pamphlets for parents
- Article published in New Canadian Media on French Immersion: Demand for French Immersion Admission Remains Strong Among Newcomers
- Is French Immersion a Good Idea for your Child from The Reading School
- OISE PhD student, Dianne Burchell’s YouTube channel with presentations
- OISE PhD student, Krystina Raymond’s YouTube channel with a podcast on French Immersion
- Promoting Second Language Learning during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Parents’ and Teachers’ Coping Strategies in the Globe and Mail
- TDSB French as a Second Language Review: summary of findings
Thank you to Dianne Burchell, who studies under the supervision of Dr. Xi Becky Chen in the Multilingualism and Literacy Lab, for sending along these resources!