Skip Navigation LinksDurham Portal > Learning > Primary and Secondary School

Primary and Secondary School

There are six provincially-funded school systems in Durham Region.

In addition, there are a variety of private and independent schools. Students attending private and independent schools pay fees to attend.

Visa students: Newcomer students who come to Canada on a student visa and pay fees to attend public schools are called visa students. 

Parent-teacher interviews are held two or three times a year at the end of each term when report cards are sent home. They are opportunities for parents and teachers to talk together about how to help each child succeed in school. Learn about what to expect and how to prepare for these on the website.

Registering for School

What to bring with you when you register for school:

  1. proof of student's age – birth certificate or passport
  2. proof of address – copy of a bank statement, telephone or electrical bill, or apartment lease with your name and address
  3. proof of guardianship if the student is under 18 and is not living with a parent
  4. proof of student's immigration status
    1. Canadian passport, or
    2. Record of Landing (IMM 1000), or
    3. Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292) or
    4. Permanent Resident Card, or
    5. Refugee Protection Claimant Document (IMM 1442)
  5. student's record of immunization

Usually your home address determines the school your child will attend. This is called the “home school”.

Children from 6 years to 18 years are required by law to attend school.

Kindergarten programs are also provided for children at age 4 and 5. In addition, students may choose to attend secondary school past the age of 18 years.

Students are placed in elementary school by birth date. Secondary school students will have their credit status evaluated and will be enrolled in courses that are appropriate for each individual student.

ESL/ELD - English as a Second Language & English Literacy Development

In secondary schools, students learning English as their second (or additional) language may take courses in ESL (English as a Second Language). These are credit courses that count towards the student's graduation diploma. ESL courses help students develop English proficiency while learning content in other subject areas at the same time.

English Literacy Development (ELD) courses are for students who are learning English as a second (or additional) language and have gaps in their schooling.

Special Education

Special education programs provide support for students with identified learning difficulties, complex learning needs and/or significant health needs. Students may need additional support for many reasons including physical, intellectual, emotional, speech or behavioural difficulties. Special education programs are also provided for students who are identified as intellectually gifted.

School Community Councils (SCC)

School Community Councils are an important part of our school communities. They provide strong links between home and school to create positive learning environments for students.

School Community Councils include parents, school staff, students and community.



School Locators

Copyright © 2010 Durham Region