Skip to content

Registering for and Attending School

If you are between the age of 6 and 17, the law in Ontario says that you have to go to school.

How do I sign up for school?
• You can contact the school board in your area. A school board is the organization that runs the schools. There might be more than one school board in your area. For example, most areas in Ontario have a Catholic School Board and a French School Board.
• To find your school board, go to this website and enter the name of the City where you live.
• The website for your school board should have some information about how to contact them or about how to sign up for school. If you are having problems finding this information, you can contact the Centre for Refugee Children.

What papers do I need to sign up for school?
• The school will probably ask you for documents like: identification, proof of your address, proof of vaccinations, and proof of guardianship if you are living with someone who isn’t your parent
• They will probably also ask you for proof of your immigration status. If you are a refugee claimant, you can give them your Refugee ID (brown paper) or your Acknowledgement of Claim paper
• If you do not have some of these documents, you still have the right to go to school!

Do I need to do a test first?
• This depends on where you live. In some areas, you have to do an English test or a Math test before you start high school. This is because the school board wants to know what is the best grade and school for your learning.

Do I have to pay to go to school in Ontario?
Most children and youth do not need to pay to attend elementary and high school in Ontario.
• If you have no status or you are a refugee claimant, you do not need to pay.
If you are in Canada on a temporary visa like a visitor visa, you will probably have to pay fees. The fee will depend on the area / school board, but will probably be around $15,000 per year

What if I need help to sign up for school?
• It can be a difficult process! Sometimes the people who work for the schools and school board do not know how to sign up students who are refugee claimants or who do not have status.
• If you need help, you can contact the Centre for Refugee Children or another refugee centre near you.
• If you are being told that you are not allowed to attend school, you can get legal help! Contact Justice for Children and Youth for free legal help.