To book an assessment at the Welcome Centre for a secondary school-aged student who is a Canadian citizen or a permanent resident:

If the secondary school-aged student is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident:

Please see below for further information regarding who needs an assessment or interview.

When Will We Get an Appointment?

As soon as possible. We have added extra staff as of September 19 to help ensure faster appointments. We can assure all families waiting for an appointment that they will be contacted in the order in which they made contact.

We want all new students to be in school. The Welcome Centre team is working very hard to ensure all families waiting for an appointment are scheduled soon.

To help us help you, when you do get an appointment please don’t cancel or miss it.

Why Is There A Delay?

We would like to apologize to all families and their students that have been impacted by the delay. We understand that this may have caused families unintended stress. We apologize for any inconvenience the delay has caused.

While we are excited to welcome all new families into our schools, this year the process has been slower than we would like. This is due to some factors beyond our control, staff and technology changes, and the large number of new families in our region this September.

We look forward to welcoming all students very soon. We know our schools and teachers will make sure your student gets help to allow them to get caught up and make friends even with a late start.

How Will Late Registration Affect A Student?

We would like to assure all families that late registration will not affect student learning or success. All schools welcoming new students are well equipped to support students coming into their classes.

In high school there are a large number of options on how to ensure a student is successful in a course credit despite a late start.

Schools will:

  • Use past experiences of students to grant credits
  • Accommodate the material missed in ways that do not load the student with extra work.

Staff work together to make a late start feel welcoming and help the student and their family start the school year well.

How Can I Start Learning?

Resources to support students waiting to attend in-person classes:

  • Epic
    • There are a wide variety of storybooks at many different levels.To access the books parents will need to follow the steps to create an account.
  • Unite for Literacy
    • Students can see the written English text and pictures while listening to a translation. It helps make connections between both languages. Click on the globe icon on the top of the page to change the language for audio output.
  • Story Books Canada
    • A number of leveled texts available in both Ukrainian and English. Change the language using the drop-down menu on the top right side of the page.
  • Children’s Books Online
    • Has many children’s books. Scroll down or use Ctrl-F to find the language you need.
  • KidsOut World Stories
    • This site has over 150 stories in multiple languages for students of all ages.

We thank you for your patience at this very busy time.

The main entrance of the Welcome Centre.
The Welcome Centre is the essential starting point for secondary newcomer students where staff support students and families in the transition to their new schools. Welcome Centre Teacher Assessors make academic program and course recommendations, based on interviews and assessments.

First language proficiency is considered, as well as knowledge and skills gained from previous educational and work experiences.

Our goal is for all newcomer students to have a successful start to their education with the WRDSB.

Green Checkmark

Assessment

Who needs an assessment at the Welcome Centre?

Secondary students (Grades 9-12, including up to age 21) new to Canada whose:

  • first (home) language is not English
    and
  • the primary language of instruction at school in the previous country/countries of residence was not English

Secondary students (Grades 9-12, including up to age 21) new to Waterloo Region:

  • whose first (home) language is not English
    and
  • have attended a school in Canada (outside of Ontario), where English is the primary language of instruction, for less than five years

Secondary students (Grades 9-12, including up to age 21) who:

  • have attended a French language school in Canada

Secondary students (Grades 9-12, including up to age 21) who:

  • are international fee-paying students (referred through the WRDSB International Admissions Department)

Green Checkmark

Interview

Who needs an interview at the Welcome Centre?

Secondary students (Grades 9-12, including up to age 21) new to Canada whose:

  • first (home) language is not English
    but
  • the main language of instruction at school in the previous country/countries of residence was English

Secondary students (Grades 9-12, including up to age 21) new to Waterloo Region whose:

  • first (home) language is not English
    and
  • have attended a school in Ontario, where English is the main language of instruction, for less than five years

Secondary students (Grades 9-12, including up to age 21) new to Canada or Waterloo Region (from Ontario or another province within Canada) whose:

  • first (home) language is English
    and
  • the primary language of instruction at school was English in the previous country(ies) of residence (including countries where the official language is English)

No

No Interview or Assessment Needed

Who does not need an assessment or interview at the Welcome Centre?

Elementary students (Junior Kindergarten – Grade 8)

Elementary students will be assessed by an ESL/ELD teacher at their new home school. Please ensure your child is registered at the school your child will attend.


Immigration Status

You must have proof of Permanent Residence (PR) status or Canadian Citizenship status in order to book an appointment, directly, at the Welcome Centre

Please contact the WRDSB International Admissions Office if your immigration status is based on any of the following documents:

  • Parent with Work Permit
  • Parent with Study Permit
  • Refugee Claimant
  • Temporary Resident Permit
  • In Application for Citizenship or Permanent Residence

What should you bring to an assessment?

  • Passport
  • Proof of immigration status
  • Proof of address (rental agreement, house deed or utility bill)
  • Telephone number
  • Most recent school documents (if possible)

Settlement Workers in Schools

Students can access settlement workers in schools through the Welcome Centre, or through their home school once they have registered.