Select Page

Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers to Canada

If you’re new to Ottawa, or Canada, and English is not your first language, we can help you register your child for school! Our caring, experienced, and knowledgeable staff will help you learn more about our community and provide you and your child with a free assessment service to ensure your child has a great education here in Ottawa.

Who should visit the Family Welcome Centre

Students from Grades 1 to 12 who fit one of the following criteria: 

  • Newcomers to Canada.

  • Students coming from out of province whose first language is not English.

  • Students who have been studying in a language other than English and whose first language is not English. This includes French speaking students from French schools in Ottawa.

  • Students who have been living abroad for 6 months or longer and whose first language is not English.

This includes permanent residents, refugees, international students, individuals with work permits, Canadian citizens and diplomats. 

What to bring to your appointment

You will need to make an appointment before visiting us. Both you and your child will need to attend the appointment. Our services are completely free, but if your child is an international student, you will need to pay for their tuition. Read more about admissions procedures for international students.

Before you come to your appointment, make sure you have the following documentation so that we can help you fill out your registration forms:


  • your child’s birth certificate
  • proof of status in Canada for yourself and your child (Canadian citizenship, permanent resident, work permit, or study permit)
  • proof of your address in Ottawa (rental or mortgage agreement, or utility bill)
  • your child’s official report cards and/or transcripts for the last two years
  • your child’s record of immunization, verified by Ottawa Public Health
  • your, or your child’s baptismal certificate (only for students in Kindergarten to Grade 8)

What will happen during your visit

Your appointment will typically be two to three hours long. Here is a brief description of what a typical appointment with our Family Welcome Centre for Newcomers might look like:

We meet with your family.

You will meet with one of our caring staff members, and together will discuss your child’s school history, personal goals, and interests.

We assess your child.

We will assess your child by asking them to show their understanding of math and English (speaking, reading and writing). This is an assessment and not a test, so there are no marks or grades, and there is no need for students to prepare. The purpose and goal of this assessment is to help us create the best plan for your child to succeed in one of our schools.

We provide your family with feedback.

Our intake and assessment teacher will provide you with feedback and recommendations from the assessment results. We will also produce an Assessment Report that will be sent to your child’s new school.

We help you complete your registration documents.

Our staff will help you complete all the required registration forms, and will also set up an appointment for you to register your child at their new school.

We help you get connected to community services.

Our settlement workers are happy to provide you with information on the Ontario School System and will help connect you with community services to help you settle into your new location.

How we help your child grow and learn

In all of our classrooms, we foster a safe, inclusive, and accepting learning environment where all students are valued for their unique strengths and talents. We provide opportunities that support each students on their learning journey. We also help our students to develop the skills required to become caring and responsible citizens who respect and promote the dignity of all persons.


Supporting parent engagement

Featured video

Make an appointment

Family Welcome Centre
Phone: 613-233-5670
Fax: 613-233-8762

We are open Monday to Friday all year long except for the month of July. Hours of operation vary. You can visit us by taking OC Transpo bus routes #116 and #176. Use the OC Transpo travel planner to plan your route and arrival time.

School locator

Enter your address and go!


Offer the best possible start

French pathways

Explore our French pathways

Self identification

Honour indigenous ancestry