Private Schools in Quebec and Ontario

CISS offers the choice of select well-respected Private Boarding and Day schools. In the private system, you will benefit from a low student-to-teacher ratio and a highly focused curriculum delivery combined with athletics, arts, environmental appreciation and community service. If you are a well-rounded individual, with a thirst for knowledge and a desire to succeed in a fast-paced and challenging academic environment, then a private school is the perfect option for you.

CISS maintains partnerships with select top-ranked prestigious private schools. Students pursue high level academic study, including options for AP (Advanced Placement) courses that offer an advanced standing upon university entrance.  As most private schools boast a very high percentage of acceptance to post-secondary institutions, the application requirements for private schools are stricter and more demanding than those of public schools in terms of academic levels and English proficiency.  Students seeking admission to a private school must anticipate an early application, and must have a strong academic record.   ESL support may be available in select schools in the early high school grade levels.  A full 10-month study term is required by most schools, with limited options for 5 month study terms.

Your options

Boarding / Residential Schools:
You live and learn on the campus of the school

Day schools with Homestay:
You live with a host family and travel to and from a school each day

Ages:
Boys and girls, ages 14 through 17 (Limited acceptance at Grade 12 level)

School Calendar:
Private Schools typically offer full-year programmes only, September through June. Some schools may consider a 5-month stay. Please inquire with your Representative.

LocationsQuebec and Ontrio
Ages14-17 years, boys and girls
DurationAcademic Year (limited options for an Academic Semester)

Programme

Boarding Schools

"I'm looking to study in a highly respected and academically motivated Canadian High School that offers a wide and varied social and sports schedule"

.. if this is you, then consider a Canadian private boarding school.

1 year = September to June.

The boarding experience is an old and valued tradition. Canada is proud to be home to many of the finest and well-respected schools. The boarding experience allows you to live and learn on the same campus. You become part of a large family and school community, where you share in each other’s successes. CISS offers boarding schools with different characteristics, allowing us to place students with varying preferences. Whether you are looking for a traditional urban school, or would like to try a smaller campus with an outdoor adventure element, we have a school for you.

Highlights of this programme include:

Grades available:  9 through 12 (Middle School grades 7 & 8 at specific schools)
Ages: 14 through 17...(12-13 for Middle school)
Locations: School options in several Canadian provinces
Length of stay: Full year:  September to June
One semester: may be possible in some schools
English Language Proficiency level Intermediate + (levels may vary by school)
ESL (English as a Second Language) Available in most schools
Entrance test: Required by some schools (TOEFL, SSAT, IELTS, ELTIS)
Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Available in many schools
International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme:   Available in some schools for full-year study only (full 2 years preferred)
Single gender schools (Girls or Boys only): Available though limited
English or French (or bilingual) placement: Possible
Co-validation of school transcripts: Possible
Laptop Programmes: Mandatory in some schools
Uniforms: Mandatory in most schools

Accommodation:

Living in a residence means that you have an extended family of peers, and a housemaster as a mentor, parent and advisor. Typically, students share a room with one or two other students, creating a sibling atmosphere. Each student has his or her own bed, desk and closet, but all other amenities including bathrooms, showers and lounges are common (girls and boys are separated). Rules must be respected and obeyed, and strict discipline measures are in place to deal with students who disobey. Many schools organize house competitions, trips and events to ensure that students gain a rich and varied experience while boarding at the school.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities:

Participation in sports and social activities is a mandatory component of boarding school life. Schools aim to develop the whole person, so each term students must select a sport (competitive or intramural) as well as social activity or club.

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Programme

Day Schools

"I'm looking for both a highly academic high school but I prefer to live with a family rather than a residence."

...if this is you then consider our private day schools.

Full year: September to June
Semester 1: September to December or January (limited availability)
Semester 2: January or February to June (limited availability)

The Private Day School experience combines the highly academic nature for which private schools are known with the comforts of a home life. Similar to a public school, you not only become part of your school, but also your community at large. You live with and become part of your host family, giving you an ideal immersion into Canadian life. Private Day Schools also offer more flexibility in terms of length of study, in some cases offering a semester style programme.

Highlights of this programme include:

Grades available:  9 through 12 (Middle School grades 7 & 8 at specific schools)
Ages: 14 through 17...(12-13 for Middle school)
Locations: School options in several Canadian provinces
Length of stay: Full year:  September to June
One semester: may be possible in some schools
English Language Proficiency level Intermediate + (levels may vary by school)
ESL (English as a Second Language) Available in most schools
Entrance test: Required by some schools (TOEFL, SSAT, IELTS, ELTIS)
Advanced Placement (AP) courses: Available in many schools
International Baccalaureate (IB) Programme:   Available in some schools for full-year study only (full 2 years preferred)
Single gender schools (Girls or Boys only): Not available in Day Schools
English or French (or bilingual) placement: Possible
Co-validation of school transcripts: Possible
Laptop Programmes: Not required in most Day Schools
Uniforms: Mandatory in most schools

Accommodation:

You will be placed with a carefully selected host family, chosen to match your own personal profile and personality. This host family will become your new family while you are in Canada. They will welcome you into their home and treat you as they treat their own children, and in return you will be expected to respect them and their traditions, and come to know about life in Canada. You will receive your own room, with a bed, dresser, closet and a work space in the home where you can study. Your family will also provide you with three meals each day, taken together as a family when possible.

Sports and Extracurricular Activities

Participation in sports and social activities is an encouraged component of school life. Schools aim to develop the whole person, so each term students are encouraged to select a sport (competitive or intramural) as well as social activity or club. This is also a great way to meet new friends and become involved in the school community.

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Student Services

All students who enroll through CISS into our high school programme receive a comprehensive Servicing and Guardianship package through CISS.  

We are the school experts, so let us help you.

Our CISS services include:

Prior to Arrival 

  • Consultation and advice regarding selection of the appropriate school for each candidate.Each student is assigned a specific coordinator who will assist the student and his/her agent to select the best school choices based on expectation, needs and current academic standing
  • Registration, communication and placement procedures with the selected school(s) is all handled by your coordinator
  • CISS offers one universal application form so in the event the application to first school of choice is unsuccessful, CISS can simply forward the same application to a second school.  There is no need to fill out a second application.
  • Every international student studying in Canada requires a Canadian Custodian.  For schools offered by CISS, the CISS Custodianship/Monitoring package is a required component.  As legal custodian, CISS will provide you with the required legal document(s) for Canadian Study Permit and/or CAQ application

While in Canada 

  • Appointment of a dedicated CISS co-ordinator to aid, monitor and visit the student throughout his or her stay. Our coordinators maintain communication with the student through phone, email, chat, skype etc.  Our coordinators also arrange visits 2x per 5 month period.
  • 24 hour emergency telephone assistance and advocacy on behalf of the student with the school
  • Assistance with long weekend breaks.  Many boarding schools close for periodic long weekends, requiring all students to leave campus. CISS can arrange a homestay for our boarding students who have made no alternative plans (extra fees apply).
  • Legalization and co-validation of student transcript if required.  This process begins in late June, early July once all student transcripts are released by the school and is usually completed within 6-8 weeks.
  • Day schools with homestay:  

Transfers/Airport Reception

Day Schools with homestay:  2 airport transfers included (to the host family home upon arrival and to airport upon final departure). 

Boarding Schools:  Boarding schools often offer this service to their incoming students directly.  Optionally, CISS can also arrange:

  • Airport reception upon arrival in Canada. A CISS staff or representative will meet each student at his/her arrival gate.
  • Transfer to the school or host family
  • Extra fees apply for airport reception/transfers for boarding school students

Schedule

For Parents

Does my child need a visa to enter Canada or to attend this Programme?

Students planning to attend a full-year school programme (6 months +) will require a Study Permit. This permit must be received prior to the student’s arrival in Canada. Students coming from certain countries, however, will require a Temporary Resident Visa (TVR). Please refer to the Canadian Citizenship and Immigration website for a complete outline of the requirements and policies for study in Canada: www.cic.gc.ca  

Does Canada have any restrictions on the number of Study Permits (visas) given to international students? 

No. Unlike other countries where the government restricts the number of study visa for public school placement, Canada does not impose such restrictions. Provided the student satisfies the requirements of Immigration Canada, he/she should be eligible to receive a Study Permit/visa. This visa can be extended for continued study past the first year. 

Do we have any choice as to where our child will study? 

Yes. As a family you may select the specific private school(s) for which you wish to apply.  Acceptance at any particular school, however, is never a guarantee.  Acceptance is subject to the decision of each individual school. Boarding/residential schools are limited in the number of beds they have available based on age, grade level, gender and nationality. Day schools are more open as they are only restricted by grade level.  Early applications (ie. prior to April) have be the best chance of acceptance, provided that the student meets all the necessary criteria of the school, including academic level, English language proficiency and test scores.

Who will receive my child when he/she arrives at the airport? 

Day schools with homestay:  CISS staff or your child’s host family will meet your child at the airport upon arrival, and transfer him or her to their home.

Boarding Schools:  depending on the school, airport transfers may be arranged by the school.  Optionally, CISS can also arrange for airport meet and greet + transfers, at an additional fee, which will vary depending on the distance of the school from the airport.  

If your child is registered as an Unaccompanied Minor (UM), the person CISS has designated during the UM registration will be on hand to personally receive your child. 

What is the minimum level of English needed to apply to a Canadian School? 

CISS recommends that students have at minimum an intermediate level of English proficiency to fully participate in a school programme. However, we do offer schools with comprehensive English as a Second Language (ESL) programmes. In these schools, students may apply with a lower English proficiency and can expect to have the majority of their classes within an ESL environment.  The focus in such cases will be on both improving the student's English level as well as offering some academic study.  The choice of courses may will be more limited for students with a lower level English proficiency.

NOTE:  Students who require covalidation, especially at the Grade 11 or 12 level, must have a high English proficiency to have the best chance to be placed in the required courses and grade level.  Students applying for grades 11 or 12 with a lower proficiency may still be accepted, but specific courses required for covalidation are not guaranteed.

Does my child need to write an entrance exam?

Many private schools do require an entrance exam:  either one provided by the school, or a general language proficiency test such as the TOEFL, SSAT, IELTS or ELTIS.  Many schools have also begun conducting their own tests either online prior to arrival, or upon arrival (or both).  A SKYPE interview is usually also a requirement of the application process.  Your representative will advise on the requirements once you select your choice of schools.

Do I need to purchase emergency travel medical insurance for my child? 

All students attending a school programme in Canada must be covered by medical insurance. Most boarding/residential schools require that students purchase insurance as provided by the school, as this facilitates doctor or hospital visits.  Day schools require that students arrive with their insurance arranged by CISS or obtained in the student's home country.  CISS works closely with a student insurance company called Guard Me, offering a comprehensive and affordable plan. 

Please discuss with your agent the requirements prior to arrival in Canada. 

Does my child need to wear a uniform at school?

Most private schools require that students wear a uniform on a daily basis.  Often, schools have up to three different uniform types, ranging from Full Dress (for formal occasions and including a blazer, tie etc), to Class Dress (simplified version without blazer required).  Each school has its own requirements.  Students should pre-order uniforms as most schools require all students to arrive to classes on their first day in uniform.  

My child needs to co-validate his/her transcripts at the end of the stay. Is this possible?

Provided your child has attended one full semester or a full year at their Canadian school, has written all necessary exams, has successfully completed all required work, and obtained a passing grade, he or she will be granted with a credit for each class completed. These grades will be provided to you on an official transcript.  Students under the CISS Guardianship/Monitoring plan will have assistance with the co-validation process here in Canada. Please allow six to eight weeks from the end of the school year/semester for this process to be finished in Canada. Additional fees may apply if official translations are required.  

If the school is your child's guardian, you will need to arrange for this directly with the school.

NOTE:  Students who require covalidation, especially at the Grade 11 or 12 level, must have a high English proficiency to have the best chance to be placed in the required courses and grade level.  Students applying for grades 11 or 12 with a lower proficiency may still be accepted, but specific courses required for covalidation are not guaranteed.

Can my child graduate from a Canadian high school? 

Yes, provided he/she completes the required components for the high school diploma. Typically, students should expect to spend between two to four years in a Canadian high school to do this. Some credits obtained in student’s home country prior to arrival in Canada may be used toward the diploma.

NOTE:  It is not common for a school to accept students who are already 17 or 18 years old, intending to complete just their final year in a Canadian school with the expectation of a diploma.

CISS will not accept students who are already 18 years old at time of programme start.

Must the student maintain a certain grade point level to remain in the programme? 

The minimum standard in Canadian schools is 50% (60% in most private schools). Anything less is considered a failing grade. Provided the student maintains over 60% in most of his/her classes, the student will be able to remain at the school. If the student wishes to return for another year many private schools will require a grade point of 60% or higher to consider the student for re-enrollment. 

Must my child begin school in September and end in June? 

Yes. The private school programme is not as flexible as our public school programme, and many schools - especially boarding/residential schools - will only consider full year students.  The reason is that most schools still operate on a linear / 3-term system, whereby a student must complete 10 months of study to obtain a credit.  However, some schools may consider a 5 month student in a non-credit capacity.  This is at the discretion of the school, and such applications may not receive an acceptance notification until later (private schools will wait to see if they can fill their capacity with full year students before accepting half year). Select schools may operate on semester/2-term system where 5 months of study is possible.  

My child is very involved in his/her school’s sport teams and social clubs. Will he/she have this opportunity in Canada?

Yes. All schools encourage  - in some cases mandate - international students to become involved in school teams and clubs. Selection of sport teams and clubs will depend on each individual school. School teams require that the student “try out” for competitive school sport teams, and show sufficient skills to be selected as a team member.  Unfortunately CISS cannot guarantee that a student will be selected for the school team they desire. Most schools also offer non-competitive sport opportunities as well.

What is a typical school day in Canada? 

Schools in different provinces and regions have slightly different time schedules. In general however, students will follow a timetable similar to this: 

Monday - Friday
School begins between 8:30 and 9:00 am  

Classes
Typically are 70 to 80 minutes in length students usually take four to five classes daily  

Lunch
Usually one class period in length – between 10:30 and 2:00 pm  

School Ends
between 2:30 and 4:00  

Boarding Schools
Mandatory sport/club activities are scheduled for after classes, and mandatory study periods are often scheduled for after dinner

Saturdays Saturday
Classes may be scheduled for students attending a Boarding/residential school

How will my child travel to and from school? 

Students attending a boarding/residential school live on the school campus, and must simply walk to their classes from the residence.  Students in day schools typically take scheduled public transportation or a school bus arranged by the school. In cases where the student lives close to the school, he or she will walk to school.

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