Starting Elementary School in Canada: What you Need to Know


Welcome to Canada! We are so excited to have you here as a member of the Regina community. Part of establishing yourself and your family includes registering your children in school. We have put together this guide to help you understand how to register your child for school and some important information to know about schooling in Canada. 

Please read this document created by Regina Public School Division as a guideline for school admission requirements for Newcomers. It will help you determine (based on your and your child’s current status) what is needed to register your child to attend school in Canada. 

Newcomers to Canada and English as an Additional Language (EAL)

How to Register your Child in Elementary School

During the registration process, the Settlement Support Workers in Schools (SSWIS) team at Regina Open Door Society acts as a bridge between the families and schools by assisting in the documentation process and conducting an orientation session about school life in Canada. 

Follow these steps to register your child in school: 

Step 1: Contact SSWIS using one of the following emails to inform them that you wish to register your child for school: 

Step 2: Collect and provide all necessary documentation

Step 3: Attend a school orientation session (applicable for students entering grades 1-12)

Step 4: Students must participate in an assessment conducted by a school assessor to determine if English language support will be needed at the school. Grade placement will be age-appropriate for Kindergarten to Grade 10.

*Note: SSWIS does not have the ability to decide on where/ what grade a student is placed in. These decisions are up to the discretion of the school assessor and the school division. 

Typical School Day 

A typical elementary school day in Regina starts around 8:45 am and finishes around 3:45 pm, however, every school will have slightly different timings. You can speak with your school to get exact timings for the school day, look on your school’s website or on the division’s website here

Here is an example of a typical elementary school day: 

8:50 am                                    School Starts 

10:15 am – 10:30 am              Recess / Snack Break 

11:45 am – 12:45 pm               Lunch Break 

2:15 pm – 2:30 pm                  Recess / Snack Break 

3:40 pm                                    School Ends 


If your child is coughing, has a sore throat, is feverish, vomiting or otherwise not feeling well, DO NOT send them to school. Call your school as soon as possible to let them know that your child is sick and will be at home for the day. 

General School Rules in Canada

Schools operate under different rules in different parts of the world. It’s important for your child to understand what is expected of them when they attend school in Canada. Here are a couple of the general rules that are important for them to know about being a student in Canada. 

  1. Follow instructions given by the teacher 
  2. Call your teacher by their last time (for example: Mister Newton or Miss Diaz) 
  3. Keep your hands to yourself 
  4. No running in the hallways at school 
  5. Work quietly at your desk unless told otherwise 
  6. Ask permission before leaving the classroom to use the washroom or get a drink 
  7. Do not leave the school during any breaks without prior permission to do so 
  8. Have a positive attitude towards fellow students and staff 

Supply List 

Every grade will have a school supply list that will be given to you at registration. When you are shopping for supplies, follow this list as best as you can. Some items on the list will be just for the student (such as a backpack), and other items might be a contribution to the class (such as art supplies). 

Some basic school supplies include:

  1. Backpack 
  2. Indoor running shoes 
  3. Reusable water bottle 
  4. Binder or duotangs 
  5. Pencils 
  6. Pens
  7. Erasers
  8. Markers
  9. Crayons or colouring pencils 

If you have problems getting all the items that are on the list provided to you, please let your school or your SSWIS know. 

Lunch and Snacks 

During a typical school day, children will eat a snack in the morning, a meal at lunch and a snack in the afternoon. Every school expects the child to bring snacks and lunch with them to school. Some students might only bring snacks with them and then go home for the lunch period. 

Lunch and snacks can be any healthy food that the child prefers to eat, including their ethnic food. However, nuts are not allowed in schools as many children have severe allergies. Please do not send anything with nuts with your child to school. 

Children will not have access to a fridge or microwave at school so please keep that in mind when deciding what to pack. 

Suggestions for food items to bring to school:

  • Snacks: fruit, granola bars, cheese and crackers, vegetables, yogurt 
  • Lunch: sandwich, rice, meat, sushi
  • Drinks: water bottle, juice box, milk 
Questions or Concerns? 

The Regina Open Door Society has SSWIS workers (Settlement Support Workers in Schools) available in Regina to assist students with their transition into school in Canada. Learn more about how our SSWIS workers can support your child here.