Welcome Centre for Newcomers

Welcome Centre Sign

Enter where you see this sign on Wellington Street.

The Welcome Centre introduces newcomer families to our community in a caring and professional manner. Our assessment service determines the best programming for newcomer students so they can have a good beginning in our schools.

Who needs an assessment?

  • Secondary students (Grade 9 to 12) new to Canada whose first language is not English
  • Secondary students new to Waterloo Region whose first language is not English and have been in an English school in Canada less than five years
  • Any secondary student from a French Language School in Canada
  • International fee-paying students (both elementary (Grade 1 to 8) and secondary students)

For elementary students (JK to Grade 8), please ensure your child is registered at the school your child will attend. The school will help you access Language and Math assessments as necessary.

Booking an assessment

Please call 519-576-3018 to book an assessment. Please note that assessments are by appointment only.

Getting to the Welcome Centre

Confirm parking and busing information when you book your appointment.

Margaret Avenue Public School
325 Louisa Street
Kitchener ON N2H 5N1

What should you bring to an assessment?

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

The assessment process usually takes 1-2 hours (elementary students) or 2-3 hours (secondary students).

What happens at the Welcome Centre?

  • Teacher assessors, with the help of interpreters, gather information about the personal history and academic background of the students
  • Students’ English and Math skills are assessed
  • Teacher assessors identify English and Math proficiency levels, recommend appropriate programming and prepare a report for the school
  • Settlement workers provide information about the Ontario School system and connect parents to appropriate community services