Choosing the School That’s Right for You
There are many great schools in Kanata and there are many factors to consider when it comes time to choose the right one for your children. Whether you are getting your toddler ready for kindergarten or have moved to a new neighbourhood, choosing a school is an important decision. Let’s take a look at the options!
Choice of School Board
In Kanata, there are 4 school boards to choose from. Each one offers a slightly different program all within the Ontario Curriculum set out by the Ontario Ministry of Education. Important factors to look into with each Board, if they apply to you, include second language instruction (French), supports for special needs, and enrichment programs, as this is where the biggest differences between the Boards fall.
The 4 major school boards are:
- Ottawa-Carleton District School Board – English Public Board
- Ottawa Catholic School Board – English Catholic Board
- Conseil des écoles publiques the l’Est de l’Ontario – French Public Board
- Conseil écoles catholiques Centre-Est – French Catholic Board
Selecting a School
Each school board will have boundaries that outline which school your child should attend based on your address. It is always advisable to stay within district, if possible, as this will ensure that you child lives in the same neighbourhood as his/her classmates and is eligible for school provided transportation. If you would like your child to attend a school that is out of area, you will need to reach out to the school board for the process to apply. If you have multiple options that you are considering in terms of school boards, take some time to visit each of the schools and determine which one best suits your child and your family. One key factor to consider is the proximity of the school to your home. If you live close to one school, but your child would have to bus to the other, this is an important consideration.
Asking other parents is another great way to find out information about prospective schools. Parents know first hand how the school and the school community work and can provide great insight. If you don’t know any parents personally, check social media to see if there is a parents group for the school; if there is, read through the comments and messages and ask questions. Keep in mind though that most parents will tell you that their child’s school is the best (and they may be a little biased).
Registration for Kindergarten generally takes place in January for the following September. If you child will turn 4 at any time during the current calendar year, they are eligible to start JK in the fall. Most boards have a “registration week” at some point during the month but understand that registration is ongoing so if you have missed that week, you can really register anytime; the school boards do this to get an early idea of numbers.
If you are registering your child into any other grade, you can do so at anytime. Reach out to the school or board to find out the specific processes.
Choosing a Home Based on School District
While this is a common practice in some areas, it is not always the best idea since it may not work out the way you planned in the end. Choosing a home specifically because it is within the catchment area of the school you would like your baby to one day attend is a little risky as the school boards are often shifting those boundaries around in suburbs based on enrollment. It is always advisable to buy the house you really love and then start looking at schools. That being said, if you find the perfect home and it is right across the street from a school, it is highly unlikely that your child would not be with the boundary but that is about the only guarantee.
And remember, no matter where your child ends up, they will learn and thrive! All the school boards and schools are great!