It is really a life changing decision to make. A year down the line, some are happy, some or not. The ones who are not, I suggest giving it more time. On an average, it takes between four to seven years for most immigrants to settle down comfortably.
Many of the questions I receive are understandably about schools. After all, most families that make the move to Canada, say they are doing so because of their kids. Here are some links that will give you some idea as to what the school boards are like, the activities they have and also job opportunities with different boards and what positions they are looking for.
Toronto School Board - covering North York, Scarborough, Etobicoke, Toronto, East York and York
Peel School Board (covering Mississauga, Brampton and Mississauga) The Peel District School Board serves approximately 155,000 kindergarten to grade 12 students at more than 230 schools.
Halton School Board - Oakville, Burlington, Milton
Durham School Board - (Ajax, Pickering, Whitby, Oshawa, Uxbridge, Clarington, Brock and Scugog (all towns and cities of GTA - East of Toronto)
The York Region District School Board - (the third largest school board in Ontario,
serving over 117,000 students from nine municipalities – Aurora, East Gwillimbury,
Georgina, King, Markham, Newmarket, Richmond Hill, Vaughan and WhitchurchStouffville). Thornhill, Woodbridge and Markham are also included in this region
All of the above are public schools funded by the Government of Canada. Catholic schools are under different boards. Your child can attend a Catholic school if at least one parent is a Catholic. The curriculum is exactly the same for all boards. Catholic schools have uniforms and Catholic classes and prayers.
Toronto Catholic School Board
Dufferin-Peel Catholic Board
Halton Catholic school board
Durham Catholic school board
York Catholic school board
REMEMBER: You cannot pick and choose the school. You have to be living within a school boundary to be eligible to get into a school. Once you get into a boards site, they have maps with each school boundary. Living on opposite sides of a street can at times make the difference between admission eligibility to one school or another. Once you are interested in buying or renting a house, the estate agent or home owner should be able to tell you the school for that home. You are always welcome to go visit the school and meet with the Principal or office staff for details regarding admissions etc.
Till Middle School (grades 6,7 and 8), don't worry too much about the rankings etc. Many normal Middle Schools are feeder schools for the highly ranked High Schools and vice-versa. It is the High School rankings that are most important as this leads to college admissions.
Will write another post soon on High Schools (9th to 12th grade)
Write if you have any questions. My kids are in grade 6 and 9. They love their schools, have different activities and are involved in extra curricular activities too.
Have a great week!!!