As a newcomer, how do I register my kids for public school?

How Can We Help?

Registering your kids for school is one of the first and most important things newcomers need to do when they arrive in Canada. If your kids are over the age of 4 ½ – 5 years old, they should be enrolled in one of the Province of Alberta’s approved educational programs, offered through Public Schools, Private Schools, or home schooling.

Different registration procedures are required for different types of school, so in this article we are going to show you the procedure for registering your children in public school, if they are NOT Canadian citizens.

How do I register my kids for public school?

If you would like to see the following information in your first language, click on the links below (the links will take you to the Calgary Board of Education website):

عربي (Arabic)

中文 (Chinese)

Français (French)

한국어 (Korean)

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ (Punjabi)

Español (Spanish)

اردو (Urdu)

Việt (Vietnamese)

Make an appointment to register your child for public school

Children who are NOT Canadian citizens (Permanent Residents, Refugees, children of parents on work or study permits, non-Canadian children of Canadian citizens, and International students) must register for school at the Admissions and Assessment Office at Kingsland Centre, at 7430 – 5 Street SW.

  • Phone the Admissions and Assessment Office at 403-777-7373 (and then press 1 on your phone).
  • Interpreters are available to help you at your appointment – the office has more than 132 interpreters for 41 languages! Interpretation is free.

When you go to your appointment, bring the following documents:

  • Your child’s and your own Permanent Resident card or Confirmation of Permanent Residence or Record of Landing
  • Parent’s valid Work Permit or Study Permit
  • Student’s Study Permit (for International Students)

If you are in Canada on a work or study permit, you must bring:

  • Child’s proof of age and legal name (birth certificate or passport)


  • Proof of your address (on your driver’s license or a utility bill)

All non-Canadian citizen children that speak a language other than English at home will need to complete an English Language Assessment during the appointment.

Students will be assessed on speaking, reading, writing, and understanding English.

Congratulations! Your child has been enrolled in school.

As per the Alberta Government’s “Information for Newcomers” document, you may notice some differences between schools in Calgary and the schools in your home country. These are:

  • Schools encourage parents to involve themselves in their child’s education. Most schools expect parents to attend meetings with teachers and also invite parents to attend other events, such as concerts, sports activities, and science fairs.
  • Teachers are generally informal with students.
  • Teachers invite students to express their own opinions.
  • There is no tolerance for bullying in Alberta schools.

CIES Guides are a volunteer-led project made possible through contributions from the community.

If you want to suggest a correction to this guide, or want to submit one of your own, please contact us.

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