American considering taking his family to Montreal for a year -- can his five-year-old attend school?
July 30, 2007 3:17 PM   Subscribe

My friend is an American considering taking his family to Montreal for a year. Can his five-year-old attend school?

This thread indicates that they could probably enter the country without a visa of any kind, as long as they apply to extend their stay within the first six months. (He will be doing freelance work for a company in the US & will not be seeking employment in Canada.)

But what are the options for sending his five-year-old to school? Would public schools be an option if he were able to obtain a certain kind of visa? What about private schools?
posted by medpt to Law & Government (4 answers total)
Possibly. Check out the school board's website for info. The doc linked there suggests tuition would be $5,000.

Is your friend's child going to be 5 before September? If not, they cannot attend kindergarten anyway.

Does your friend want his child to attend English school? I'm not sure what the guidelines are for temporary visitors, but I suspect the child would need to attend French language education if the parents weren't educated in Canadian English schools.

I don't think kindergarten is mandatory in Quebec (or in other Canadian provinces). So your friend might consider a part-time preschool program instead.
posted by acoutu at 3:36 PM on July 30, 2007

Under the Charter of the French Language, which governs which public schools children whose parents choose the public system must attend, temporary residents in Quebec can indeed put their children into publicly funded English-language schools. Independent schools are not covered by the charter and anyone can enrol their children in any of them, if they can afford the tuition.

Maternelle (ie kindergarten) is not compulsory in Quebec.

Public schools are far better in Canada than in the US. Most people, even wealthy people, send their kids to public schools.
posted by watsondog at 3:58 PM on July 30, 2007

To add: if the child is five, whether she needs to go to actual school or can be placed in maternelle may depend on when she turns six (after September 1 or before). Every school system is different and Greater Montreal has more than one school system.
posted by watsondog at 4:03 PM on July 30, 2007

Yes, the child can attend public school. However, being a non-resident, your friend will have to pay tuition fees (usually $3000 a year in other parts of Canada).

The problem is, education, as a rule, is in French in Quebec. There is little information in English about international students, except for those who wish to educate their children in English, which is not the same as wishing to educate your child in a school in Quebec.

Here's a link:

See page 11 of this pdf more some more vague information.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:09 PM on July 30, 2007

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