Learn about the French-language school system, if your child is eligible to go to a French-language school and how to enroll.
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In Ontario, four school systems are publicly funded:
- French public
- French Catholic
- English public
- English Catholic
There are twelve French-language school boards, with more than 470 French-language elementary and secondary schools. There is also the Consortium Centre Jules-Léger, which operates a French-language provincial school and demonstration school for students who are deaf, blind, deafblind or who have severe learning difficulties.
In these schools the curriculum is taught exclusively in French, except for:
- courses taught in international languages
- Indigenous languages curricula
- Québec sign language (LSQ)
French-language schools have a mandate to protect, enhance and transmit the French language and culture.
French-language education serves students whose parents are French-language rights-holders according to section 23 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Admission to French-language schools
French-language rights holders
Children whose parents are French-language rights holders are automatically admitted to a French-language school if they apply.
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:
- their native language is French, meaning French is the first language they learned and still understand
- they received their elementary education in a French-language school in Canada
- they are the parent or guardian of a child who attends or attended a French-language elementary or secondary school in Canada
If your child speaks French
You can apply for admission to a French-language school if you are not a rights holder. An admission committee will review your request using your school board’s process.
Newcomers who don’t speak English or French
French-language schools also welcome newcomers who do not speak English or French (Canada's official languages).
School boards offer various programs and services to help the learner and their family to better integrate into the community and ensure that the student is successful at school.
Enroll your child
To enroll your child in a French-language school, contact:
- French-language school of your choice
- French-language school board of your choice
- French-language school board closest to your home
To find the French-language school that best meets your needs, please use the school information finder or the French-language schools search tool available on the Éducation en langue française en Ontario website.
Students in French-language schools learn from the same curriculum as students in English-language schools. The difference is that students in French-language schools:
- learn the curriculum in French and in a French-language cultural setting
- have access to additional French-language supports through the Actualisation linguistique en français (ALF) and the Programme d’appui aux nouveaux arrivants (PANA) curricula
Students at French-language schools are taught English from Grade 4 to Grade 12 and follow the same curriculum as the one delivered in English-language schools. As a result, students from the French-language system graduate with high levels of competency in both French and English.
Applying to college or university
French-language school students can apply to French-language, English-language or bilingual post-secondary institutions and training programs.
Resources for school staff (including administrators and student support)
Policy statement and guidelines on the admission, welcoming and support of students in French-language schools in Ontario
The Francophone population in Ontario is constantly changing, both demographically and culturally. For this reason, in 2009, the Ministry of Education issued a policy statement and guidelines for French-language school boards to support a more consistent approach for admitting children whose parents do not have rights holder status.
Our goal is to ensure that French-language schools are inclusive and welcoming places where:
- all students feel welcome and receive the support and supervision they need for their academic success, personal development and well-being
- parents understand the school’s mandate and play an active role in their child’s education
- teaching staff are equipped to teach in heterogenous classes in a minority language setting
- the community gets involved with their children’s schools to create a school-community bond that expands the “espace francophone”, specifically, the physical or virtual space where Francophones interact
According to the Policy statement and guidelines on the admission, welcoming and support of students in French-language schools, French-language school boards are required to review their policies, protocols, and practices of admission, welcoming and support to ensure that they comply with:
- the Canadian Constitution
- the Education Act
- school board responsibilities
- regional realities
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a copy of this document in English or French.
Apprenants du français et nouveaux arrivants (AFENA) — A strategy for French-language learners and newcomer students
The objective of this strategy is to:
- support French language learners and newcomer students’ academic success, personal development and well-being
- help these students transition into the French-language community and society
At the centre of the AFENA strategy is the revision of two curriculum policy documents, the:
- Actualisation linguistique en français (ALF)
- Programme d'appui aux nouveaux arrivants (PANA)
These programs are adapted to the specific needs of students. The first program allows students to fully participate in the curriculum and feel equally valued and included by supporting French-language learners with second language acquisition. The second program supports newcomer students in their learning, according to their needs and to facilitate their adaptation to Canadian society.
Having recently arrived in Canada, some of these students may have:
- experienced a very different education than what is offered in Ontario
- suffered interruptions in their education
- little education
These programs and the AFENA strategy aim to develop skills for a rapid transition to the regular curriculum. To ensure an environment based on inclusive education, educators embrace Culturally Responsive and Sustaining Pedagogy (CRSP), which recognizes that all students learn in ways that are connected to:
- family structure
- social and cultural identity
For this reason, the educator adapts and responds to the needs of the students to help them feel engaged and empowered by their learning experiences. These two programs were implemented in all provincial French-language schools in September 2010.
Another objective of the AFENA strategy is to provide teaching staff with training on welcoming and support for students who are newcomer students and to hone their ability to teach and evaluate the language skills of French-language learners.
Students with special needs
Students who have behavioural, communicational, intellectual, physical, or multiple exceptionalities may require special education programs and/or services to benefit fully from their school experience.
Special education programs and services primarily consist of instruction and assessments that are different from those provided to the general student population. These may take the form of accommodations (such as specific teaching strategies, preferential seating, and assistive technology) and/or a program with modified learning expectations from the grade level appropriate to the student's age and/or special needs for a given subject or course.
The Special Education in Ontario, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Resource Guide (2017) supports educators in the implementation of effective programs and/or services for students with special education needs.
Alternatively, Francophone families of children and students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, are deafblind, or have severe learning disabilities may wish to learn about the services and programs provided by the Consortium Centre Jules-Léger (CCJL).
- Aménagement Linguistique Policy for French-Language Education - read the policy that supports the promotion of French language and culture in French-language schools and Francophone communities.
- Special Education in Ontario, Kindergarten to Grade 12: Policy and Resource Guide (2017) – read Ontario’s guide to support school boards and schools in the effective delivery of programs and services for students with special education needs.
- Policy statement and guidelines on the admission, welcoming and support of students in French-language schools in Ontario – available on demand
Additional resources for parents and guardians
Consortium Centre Jules-Léger Provincial and Demonstration Schools
The Consortium Centre Jules-Léger (CCJL) operates a provincial school, a demonstration school, and consultation services serving students of the 12 French-language school boards across the province.
The CCJL is governed by six elected trustees drawn from the French-language school boards.
Instruction is in French and, depending on the student, can also be in the Langue des signes québécoise (LSQ) or in Braille. The CCJL also manages a team of travelling consultants who provide individualized supports in the fields of speech pathology, psychology and social work to students enrolled in French-language schools.
The Centre Jules-Léger (CJL) Provincial School provides schooling and a lodging program for Francophone children and students who are deaf or hard of hearing, blind or have low vision, or who are deafblind. For its part, the Demonstration School provides instruction and a lodging program for Francophone students with severe learning disabilities.
Consortium Centre Jules-Léger
281 Lanark Avenue
Etablissement.org is a bilingual website developed by the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants that provides newcomers with information and resources to settle in Ontario. It also offers an electronic community where newcomers can:
- get information
- read relevant news
- ask questions
- share their experiences with others
- access a database of community organizations
Groupe Média TFO
Groupe Média TFO offers a wealth of French-language educational, cultural and current affairs content on its television channel and various digital platforms. This includes resources such as IDÉLLO, specifically tailored for children attending French-language schools.
Parents partenaires en éducation
Parents partenaires en éducation is a parent-run organization that strives to inform, support, and equip parents and guardians of children attending French-language schools in Ontario to play an active role in their child’s education. You can find out more about this organization’s various activities and workshops.
French-language school boards
Below is a list of French-language school boards in Ontario including their contact information.
French-language public school boards
Conseil scolaire Viamonde (formerly Conseil scolaire de district du Centre Sud-Ouest)
116 Cornelius Parkway
1 Vanier Drive
Tel: 905-732-4280 Fax: 905-732-1628
2445 St-Laurent Boulevard
296 Van Horne Street
North Bay (head office):
820 Lakeshore Drive
North Bay, Ontario
Timmins (regional office):
111 Wilson Avenue
French-language Catholic school boards
Toronto (head office):
110 Drewry Avenue
52 Pearl Street South
875 County Road 17
4000 Labelle Street
Conseil scolaire catholique NOUVELON (formerly Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario)
201 Jogues Street
681-C, Chippewa Street West
North Bay, Ontario
175 High Street North
Thunder Bay, Ontario
896 Riverside Drive
New Liskeard office:
21 Armstrong Street
P.O. Box 4030
New Liskeard, Ontario
Email email@example.com for a copy of the following documents:
- Fact sheets about French-language education (in other languages)
- Profil d'enseignement et de leadership pour le personnel des écoles de langue française de l'Ontario : Guide d'utilisation
- Une approche culturelle de l’enseignement pour l’appropriation de la culture dans les écoles de langue française de l’Ontario : Cadre d’orientation et d’intervention
- Le curriculum de l’Ontario de la 1re à la 8e année, Actualisation linguistique en français (2010)
- Le curriculum de l’Ontario de la 9e à la 12e année, Actualisation linguistique en français (2010)
- Programme d’appui aux nouveaux arrivants, le curriculum de l’Ontario de la 1re à la 8e année (2010)
- Programme d’appui aux nouveaux arrivants, le curriculum de l’Ontario de la 9e à la 12e année (2010)
- Profil d'enseignement et de leadership pour le personnel des écoles de langue française de l'Ontario
- Le passage de l'abstrait dans l'apprentissage des mathématiques au cycle intermédiaire (de la 7e à la 10e année)
- Ontario curriculum taught in French-language schools
- Ontario policies for French-language education
- E-Learning Ontario
- Environmental education
- French as a Second Language (FSL)