What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?

Ottawa residents are fortunate to have access to some of the best learning institutions in the country. Whatever level of education you seek—from junior kindergarten to university preparatory—Ottawa public and private schools offer excellent programs to suit the needs of most students.

Due to the large population of French speaking residents, the option is there at all levels to choose from an English speaking school or a French speaking school. In addition, parents in Ontario have the option of sending their children to the nondenominational public schools system, the Roman Catholic separate school system or a private school of their choice. The first two are covered by taxpayer dollars and the latter by the parents themselves per admission. International or other language schools are considered private.
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What are some examples of these schools?

  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board has 117 elementary schools, 25 high _ schools and five secondary alternative sites.

  • Ottawa-Carleton Catholic School Board has 66 elementary schools, three senior elementary and 16 secondary schools.

  • Conseil des ecoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario includes 21 elementary schools and 14 secondary schools in the Ottawa-Carleton area.

  • Conseil des ecoles catholiques de langue francaise du Centre-Est operates 38 elementary schools and eight high schools, and includes 17,000 students from kindergarten to grade 12.

The schools from each board are situated throughout the Ottawa region, and it is likely that whichever one you choose will have a school near your area.

The other option is a private school, which can be French, English, bilingual, Christian or Islamic. Some private schools in Ottawa include: Ashbury College, Academie Providence, Westboro Academy, and the Ottawa Islamic School.
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Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?

Public schools are completely funded by the government through tax revenue. Therefore, there is no competition for spots in local public schools. A predetermined grid of Ottawa dictates the area in which your child may attend school, based on the ward that you live in. In contrast, private schools often require you to fill out an enrolment application. Some schools may also require a school interview with parent, child and school head accompanied by the child's portfolio for enrolment.
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Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?

Private and public elementary schools offer junior kindergarten and senior kindergarten for children ages 4 to 5.
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How are most kids transported to and from school?

  • School buses (funded by the government through tax revenue) are commonly used.

  • Public transportation (bus, streetcar, subway) is an alternative.

  • For students living in close proximity to the school, walking is another option.

  • Parents/private transportation: some parents choose to drive their children to and from school.

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When does the typical school year start and end?

Children are usually in school between 8:30 or 9:00 am to 3:30 or 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday; beginning from September to mid-June.

Schools are closed on all national holidays. In addition, all schools are closed between Christmas and New Year's Day and for one week in March.
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Is there anything else I should know about local schools?

Please contact Crown Ottawa with any questions or to arrange school search assistance.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.