Starting High School in Canada: What you Need to Know

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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 high 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. 

Guidelines for Admission of Students Who Are Are Not Canadian Citizens (2021-02-25) 3533-21 – Google Drive

How to Register your Child in High 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: sswis@rods.sk.ca or nwc@rods.sk.ca 

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 their appropriate grade placement

*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 day in high school in Regina starts around 8:30 am and finishes around 3:15 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 schools website or on the divisions website here

Here is an example of a typical daily schedule in high school: 

8:30 – 9:30 am                       Period 1

9:35 – 9:50 am                        Advisory

9:54 – 10:55 am                      Period 2

10:59 – 12:00 pm                    Period 3

12:00 – 1:04 pm                       Lunch

1:04pm – 2:05 pm                   Period 4

2:09pm to 3:10 pm                 Period 5

Clubs and Sports 

Extra curricular activities are a big part of high school in Canada and include sports and other clubs that take place outside of classroom time such as before or after school or during the lunch hour. Participating in these activities is a great way to meet new friends and get involved with the community in your school.

Sports: Most schools have a variety of different sports teams including basketball, soccer, football and volleyball. Students usually have to try out for the team as there are a limited number of spots available. Being part of a team includes attending practices numerous times per week and also travelling to other schools to play games.

Clubs: Every high school will have different groups and clubs that students can join based on certain interests or causes. For example, drama club, debate team, chess club or LGBTQ+ Alliance. Usually, these clubs are open to anyone who would like to join! If you’re passionate about a certain cause, you can also approach the school to start your own club!

Absence 

If your child needs to miss school for any reason, you must call the school to inform them that your child will not be attending school that day. Reasons for missing school might include illness, appointments or personal reasons. 

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. Complete assigned homework
  8. Have a positive attitude towards fellow students and staff 
Supply List 

Student’s should be provided with a school supply list at registration. Depending on the classes that they register for, they might need different supplies (for example, special items for art class). When you are shopping for supplies, follow this list as best as you can. 

Some basic school supplies include:

  1. Backpack 
  2. Indoor running shoes for Physical Education class 
  3. Reusable water bottle 
  4. Binders 
  5. Pencils or pens 
  6. Erasers
  7. Calculator

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 

In high school students have a designated one hour lunch break. They can also eat snacks in the small break times between class period as most teachers will not allow students to eat during class time. Student’s should eat breakfast before arriving at school.

Several students bring snacks and lunch with them to school from home. However, some students might go home for the lunch period or decide to purchase their lunch from the school cafeteria. High schools in Regina all have a school cafeteria where lunch items are made fresh daily, however students need to pay for these items. 

Lunch and snacks can be any healthy food that the student prefers to eat, including their ethnic food. However, nuts are not allowed in schools as many students have severe allergies. 

Students will not have access to a fridge at school so please keep that in mind when deciding what to pack. Some schools have microwaves in the cafeteria that can be used to warm up lunches. 

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.