Attending School in Ontario

School usually runs from the first Tuesday after Labour Day (a Canadian holiday celebrated in September) until the end of June. This is known as the ‘school year’.

These dates might change and each school will have a calendar with details for that year.

Vacations during the School Year:

Each year there is a two-week vacation from school (when school shuts down) near the end of December and a one-week vacation in the middle of March (called March Break). Schools are closed during these periods.

Schools are also shut down for one Monday in October for a holiday known as Thanksgiving.

On the third Monday in the month of February schools are closed for Family Day, which is a day when families are encouraged to spend time together.

In April, there is a holiday that takes place in honour of the Christian holiday known as Easter. Normally during Easter, schools shut down on both Friday and Monday, so that there is a four-day weekend. The dates for Easter holiday vary from year to year (for example, Easter can sometimes take place in March).

In May, schools are also closed on what is known as Queen Victoria Day. This is a legal holiday in Canada, and takes place on the third Monday of May of each year.

Professional Activity Days:

Schools also close down during Professional Activity (PA) Days. These are scheduled throughout the school year to allow school staff with opportunities to increase their knowledge and upgrade their skills. Students do not attend school on PA Days.

At the beginning of the school year, students will be given a school schedule with exact dates. Parents can ask the school for this calendar beforehand. It is also usually found on the school or school board’s website.

Download in Different Languages

These files are in Adobe Acrobat format. You need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files.

This article is an excerpt from the Newcomers' Guide to Elementary School.

Last updated: July 26, 2016 4006107