Welcoming New Families to Canada’s Capital – The OCSB Family Welcome Centre

Getting the help you need to settle into a new city can be challenging. It becomes even more difficult if you are new to Canada or don’t speak English. The Ottawa Catholic School Board (OCSB) Family Welcome Centre (FWC) is a department dedicated to supporting families settling into Ottawa.

How Can the Family Welcome Centre Help my Family?

We help families with children from Grades 1 to 12 by guiding them through the process of joining the OCSB community.

The Family Welcome Centre supports your child with Skills Assessments and School Registration Assistance

We provide a set of skills assessments to help determine how your child can succeed in our school community. An English-As-A-Second Language (ESL) Teacher will assess your child’s reading, writing and speaking proficiency in English and math. Once the assessment is complete, we will arrange a meeting to support you through the school registration process.

The Family Welcome Centre Connects You to Community Services

We offer newcomer students and their families essential services through the Multicultural Liaison Officer Program (MLO Program). The MLO Program supports newcomer students, families and schools in establishing respectful relationships to help ensure a successful school experience. The MLO program is part of a partnership between the Ottawa Community Immigrant Settlement Organization (OCISO) and the OCSB.

How Do I Book an Appointment at the Family Welcome Centre?

You must meet certain criteria to book an appointment with us at the Family Welcome Centre. Generally, we help families that have moved to Canada within the last six months. We also help families whose first language is not English. You can learn more about the qualifying criteria on the Family Welcome Centre page.

Kindergarten registration for the 2023-2024 school year is currently open, and High School students will be selecting their courses soon. If you qualify for support from our Family Welcome Centre, email us as soon as possible!

What are the differences between the Family Welcome Centre and the International Student Program?

The primary goal of the Family Welcome Centre is to aid students and their families in integrating into the community long-term.

Our International Student Program allows international students to attend any OCSB school and participate in academic studies and extracurricular activities. The program allows international students to improve their English and experience Canadian culture firsthand. Students can study for a period of time or graduate from high school in Canada. You can learn more about the admissions process on the program website.

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