Adults: Visit Manitoba Advanced Education and Literacy > Post-secondary education.
Manitoba’s high quality school system
Parents are responsible for ensuring their children attend and do assignments, and are encouraged to participate in their children’s school life.
School is free and is available to every child. Boys and girls share classrooms and are taught together. Teachers must be university-trained and licensed. Manitoba public schools schools respect students’ diversity.
In Manitoba school starts in early September and breaks for summer holidays in late June. You can enrol your child at any time.
If your child does not speak English
Immigrant children are taught English within our school system. Get more information from your school or division, or visit the government’s Diversity in education.
How to enrol your children
One of the first things you should do when you arrive in Manitoba is to find a school near your home. Visit the school in person. If it is not the correct school for you child, staff will refer you to the proper place to go.
To find out how to register your child for school you can also phone your local school division. (Divisions administer schools within a set area. Each division is governed by an elected school board.) Manitoba Education has an online School Finder. Use it to look up your school division by name or by using a map, and get contact, calendar and other information.
If you need help contact your Neighbourhood Immigrant Settlement Worker.
Textbooks and supplies
Children will be given textbooks to use for the school year. Parents must purchase some school supplies.
Getting to school
If your child’s school is not within walking distance, the school division provides buses at little or no cost. Sometimes schools close for winter snowstorms or severe cold.
Your child will receive a report card about four times a year explaining how he or she is progressing. When report cards are given parents are usually invited to meet the teacher(s) to discuss.
Your child can take advantage of sports, hobbies and other activities schools offer outside class hours. Many schools have occasional field trips, such as visiting a museum.
What children wear to school
Each school has a dress code. If you have any questions about clothing for religious or modesty reasons contact the school or a teacher.
Ages are grouped in grades
Your child can start school at age 6. From age 7 to age 16 you must ensure that your child attends classes on time and completes assignments.
Grades (levels) are grouped as follows. (In many cases each group has its own, separate building.)
- Early Years: Kindergarten* to Grade 4 (age five to 10 years)
- Middle Years: grades 5 to 8 (age 11 to 14)
- Senior Years: grades 9 to 12 (age 15 to 18)
* Kindergarten is an optional, half-day “pre-school” program.
Placement of foreign-educated children
The school principal is responsible for deciding the grade in which children are placed. The decision is based on age and past schooling. Your child may not be placed in the same grade as they would be in your home country.
Up to Grade 9 the placement is made at the principal’s discretion. For high school placements principals may use the Manitoba Citizenship, Education and Youth document Evaluating Out-of- Province Course Completions for Senior Years Credits: A Guide for School Administrators.
Choice of programs
You can choose which school your child attends. You also have a choice of programs English, French Immersion (French for non-francophones), Français (for native French speakers), and Senior Years Technology Education (available for each language stream).
Children who are old enough to go to high school may want to find out about special programs at some schools before they choose where to go.
You can choose to send your child to an “independent school” (Jewish, Muslim, Catholic, etc.). These charge tuition. Funded independent schools follow provincial curriculum while maintaining their special environment (such as religion). See: Funded Independent Schools.
Parents’ questions are welcome
Parents are encouraged to become involved in their children’s education and to contact the school if you have questions about their programs and progress. The Manitoba Education, Citizenship and Youth page Parents, Families and Communities Resources and Reports has excellent information helping your children with school assignments, graduation requirements, etc.
Visit manitobaparentzone.ca for information on education at all stages of child development – from newborn to teen.