When Schools Start In Ontario

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Ontario has both public and private primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational institutions. The Ontario Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing public elementary and secondary schools, while the Ontario Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities is in charge of overseeing public colleges and universities. Stephen Lecce and Ross Romano are the respective Ministers for each at the moment. With practically all of Canadian education coming under provincial jurisdiction, the Government of Ontario primarily funds the province’s public education system.

Most Canadians’ education policies are not developed or evaluated by any federal government departments or agencies. The only schools in Canada that receive federal funding are those for Indigenous people with Indian status. Although these schools receive more funding per student than some provinces, this sum also covers the operation and maintenance of the school’s physical assets, educational services, student support services, and staff. Since the majority of provincial governments provide supplementary funding, the upkeep and operation of buildings are typically not included in the provincial allocations per student.

From Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12, a number of publicly financed school systems offer elementary and secondary education to Canadian residents of the province. The educational systems run as secular or separate school boards, depending on whether English or French is the primary language. The numerous school boards that make up the overlapping publicly supported educational systems include 29 English Roman Catholics, 31 English Secular, 8 French Catholic, 4 French Secular, and 1 Protestant Separate School Board. The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees French-language school boards, while the Constitution Act of 1867 grants minority Catholic and Protestant groups in Ontario the right to their own educational system.

Racially Segregated Schools

The 1850 Common School Act was amended to allow for the establishment of racial separation in education. This was so that different races and religions could be kept apart, as allowed under the Separate School Clause of the Common School Act. This initially appeared to be a sensible concept where each school could concentrate on teaching their faith or culture. Nevertheless, it was abused and rapidly turned into an issue since school boards encouraged racial segregation of non-White kids.

Depending on the region of Canada where it occurred, racial segregation took varied forms. A large number of these institutions were situated in southwest Ontario, a region where Black people and their families had fled in search of freedom. While some students in Ontario attended the same school but at different times, other students attended schools with separate buildings. The facilities in the schools that catered to Black pupils were noticeably worse, and there was little care for their education.

Because it conflicts with popular perceptions of Ontario and Canada as nations committed to justice and equality, academics label this history as suppressed. But this history also documents acts of terror committed by white Ontarians, such as burning down the barns of Black families, and a legacy of slavery in Canada that lasted for more than 200 years.

Racial segregated schools existed for more than a century before the final one in Ontario closed in 1965 and the last one in Nova Scotia in 1983. Many other jurisdictions practiced racial segregation, despite the fact that only Ontario and Nova Scotia had legislation prohibiting it.

Residential Schools In Ontario

The extensive system of Canadian Indian residential schools, which covered the entire nation, included residential schools in Ontario. The oldest continuously running residential school in Canada was the Mohawk Institute Residential School in Brantford, Ontario.

There were additional residential schools throughout the province. The Ontario system of residential schools was largely designed by Egerton Ryerson. Because residential schools were run on a federal level, the provincial government was exempt from meeting its commitments under treaties to provide education to First Nations people in Ontario. This helped the provincial government save money and was crucial in supporting provincial education financing. Unlike schools that receive provincial financing, reserve schools are nevertheless supported by the federal government under a different funding mechanism. Indigenous culture and the abuse of Indigenous students in residential schools are now part of the Ontario curriculum.

Curriculum-based Schools

The Ontario Curriculum is used in almost all public schools and the majority of private schools in Ontario. It allows for some freedom in how the curriculum is presented while having clear standards for the knowledge and behaviors that must be mastered.

The secondary school curriculum offers three streams (or tracks): the academic, applied, and essentials streams are covered in the curricula for Grades 9 and 10. The academic courses are designed to prepare students for university-level coursework, the applied courses are designed to prepare students for college-level coursework, and the foundational courses are primarily designed for students with learning difficulties, though not solely (e.g., learning disabilities, intellectually delayed, etc.). Parents and educational supporters have recently pushed for the de-streaming of Grades 9 and 10, giving children more opportunity to decide which course they want to take.

The curricula for Grades 11 and 12 also include courses relevant to the workplace, colleges, and universities. However, academic/university-bound courses typically have a strong focus on abstract thinking and knowledge-based learning, and typically push students to become more independent in their learning compared with college- and workplace-bound courses. All secondary school courses must have a focus on skills-based learning, and they must all help students develop their higher-order thinking skills.

In order to develop their knowledge and abilities for a university post-secondary education, students are expected to be cognitively and academically challenged after they are enrolled in Grade 12 university-bound courses. Although college-bound courses are tough intellectually, a greater emphasis is placed on skills-based learning and making the course material applicable to everyday life. Even more applicable are courses that are workplace-based. The learning expectations for each stream are different, hence the marks in each stream are not equivalent. If a student has not taken the Grade 12 University English credit, even if they have an average of 85% in College English in Grade 12, they will not be accepted into a university program.

When Schools Start In Ontario

The official school year calendar for the Toronto District School Board runs from September 1, 2022 to June 30, 2023, inclusive.

Professional Activity DaysSepOctNovDecJanFebJune
Elementary Schools671821317,2
Secondary Schools6718  2, 1729, 30


Designation of Professional Activity Days


 1.September 6, 2022 – Professional Development1.September 6, 2022 – Professional
 2.October 7, 2022 – Professional DevelopmentDevelopment
 3.November 18, 2022 – Parent Teacher2.October 7, 2022 – Professional Development
  Conferences3.November 18, 2022 –Professional
 4.December 2, 2022 – Professional DevelopmentDevelopment
 5.January 13, 2023 – Assessment and Reporting4.February 2, 2023–Professional Development
 6.February 17, 2023 – Parent Teacher Conferences5.February 17, 2023–Professional Development
 7.June 2, 2023 – Assessment and Reporting6.June 29, 2023-  Professional Development
   7.June 30, 2023 –  Professional Development


EQAO: – The following dates have been established:

Gr. 9 Math: TBD

Gr. 9 Math: TBD


Primary/Junior EQAO: TBD

Dates to Remember – School Year Holidays (as per Ministry of Education)

Labour Day:September 5, 2022 
Thanksgiving:October 10, 2022 
Winter Break:December 26, 2022 – January 6, 2023 
Family Day:February 20, 2023 
Mid-Winter Break:March 13 – 17, 2023 
Good Friday:April 7, 2023 
Easter Monday:April 10, 2023 
Victoria Day:May 22, 2023 


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