Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers
If you’re new to Ottawa, or Canada, and English is not your first language, we can help you register your child for school! Our caring, experienced, and knowledgeable staff will help you learn more about our community and provide you and your child with a free assessment service to ensure your child has a great education here in Ottawa.
Who should visit
- families whose home language is not English, with children new to our schools and who have been in Ontario for less than six months
- families whose home language is not English, and have previously received instruction in a language other than English
- families whose home language is not English, and have been studying abroad for more than one year
- international students whose home language is not English
- this includes permanent residents, refugees, international students individuals with work permits, Canadian citizens and diplomats
Make an appointment
You will need to make an appointment before visiting us. E-mail Family.Welcome@ocsb.ca or phone 613-233-5670. Both you and your child will need to attend the appointment. Our services are completely free, but if your child is an international student, you will need to pay for their tuition. Read more about admissions procedures for international students.
Before you come to your appointment, make sure you have the following documentation so that we can help you fill out your registration forms:
- your child’s birth certificate
- proof of status in Canada for yourself and your child (Canadian citizenship, permanent resident, work permit, or study permit)
- proof of your address in Ottawa (rental or mortgage agreement, or utility bill)
- your child’s official report cards and/or transcripts for the last two years
- your child’s record of immunization, verified by Ottawa Public Health
- your, or your child’s baptismal certificate (only for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8)
What will happen
Your appointment will typically be two to three hours long. Here is a brief description of what a typical appointment with our Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers might look like:
- We meet with your family. You will meet with one of our caring staff members, and together will discuss your child’s school history, personal goals, and interests.
- We assess your child. We will assess your child by asking them to show their understanding of math and English (speaking, reading and writing). This is an assessment and not a test, so there are no marks or grades, and there is no need for students to prepare. The purpose and goal of this assessment is to help us create the best plan for your child to succeed in one of our schools.
- We provide your family with feedback. Our intake and assessment teacher will provide you with feedback and recommendations from the assessment results. We will also produce an Assessment Report that will be sent to your child’s new school.
- We help you complete your registration documents. Our staff will help you complete all the required registration forms, and will also set up an appointment for you to register your child at their new school.
- We help you get connected to community services. Our settlement workers are happy to provide you with information on the Ontario School System and will help connect you with community services to help you settle into your new location.
Supporting parent engagement
We are open Monday to Friday all year long except for the month of July. Hours of operation vary. You can visit us by taking OC Transpo bus routes #116 and #176. Use the OC Transpo travel planner to plan your route and arrival time.