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Cannot Enroll My Son in Kindergarten? 

Posts: 1

Posted On: 6/22/2018
Posts: 1
So I am faced with an interesting situation:

I am a Canadian citizen who just returned with her kids to Canada.

My kids are French citizens. I will begin the process of sponsoring my family in September when my husband joins us, but I need to enroll my son in kindergarten in September.

The school refused, saying that he needs to be either Canadian or a PR. My understanding is that if one parent is a Canadian, then the child has the right to an education.

The person I spoke with from IRCC over the phone said I can extend his visitor visa status online... But he has an ETA so I have no idea how to do this.

I feel so bothered by this flawed system where no one seems to be able to give me a straight answer.
Can the French school board deny my son?

We're based in Windsor, ON and the school board is Providence.

Thank you for your help!
Posts: 4099

Posted On: 7/3/2018
Posts: 4099

Thank you for sharing your situation and question with us.

We can appreciate that you would be concerned and frustrated about this situation.

You can find some information on the Ministry of Education website in the Who is entitled to French-language education in Ontario? (“Rights holders”) section. Here is an excerpt,

Children whose parents are French-language rights holders are automatically admitted to a French-language school if they submit an application.

Who are rights holders?

Section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms addresses the right to instruction in English or in French of a minority population.

A rights holder is a parent or guardian who lives in Ontario, is a Canadian citizen and meets at least one of the following criteria:

  • His/her native language is French, that is, the first language learned and still understood; or
  • He or she has received his or her education at the elementary level in a French-language education institution in Canada ; or
  • He or she is the parent (guardian) of a child who has received or receives his/her education at the elementary or secondary level in a French-language education institution in Canada.

In terms of who can attend school in general, you can find some information on the Ministry of Education website in the Policy/Program Memorandum section. Here is an excerpt,

Accordingly, no children should be refused admission to school solely because of their or their parents' inability to produce any of the following:

  • proof of immigration status or application for legal immigration status
  • a work permit or social insurance number
  • health documentation that is different from that required of all other children
  • other documentation not required of other children seeking admission to school

Please note, however, that for admission to a school in a French-language school board, proof of Canadian citizenship may be required.

You may want to contact the Ministry of Education for some additional information and to find out if they can provide you with some detailed information regarding your options in this type of situation.

I hope this information is helpful. Please let us know if you have further questions and if there is any follow up to your question/situation.
Settlement.Org Content and Information/Referral Specialist, CIRS