Elementary and secondary school education in MB

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In Manitoba, children from seven years old (or will be reaching seven by December 31) and older may start elementary school. Public education is a responsibility of the province and is a child’s right. Public elementary and secondary schools do not charge tuition.

There are three ways your children can receive education, through: public schools, independent schools and homeschooling. The educational system offers 13 grades: Kindergarten to Grade 12, which are grouped as follows:

Groupings/Grades/ Approximate Age of students

Early years – Kindergarten to Grade 4 – 5 to 10 years
Middle years – Grade 5 to Grade 8 – 10 to 14 years
Senior years – Grade 9 to Grade 12 – 14 to 18 years

Instruction can be delivered through four programs: English, French Immersion, Français, and the Senior Years Technology Education Program which is available for the English, French Immersion, and Français programs.

To have a better idea of what your child will learn in school, and children are assessed, go My Child in School, A Resource for Parents. It also has resources to help you support your child’s learning per subject and offers answers to frequently asked questions. The descriptions are divided per program so you can compare English, Français, French Immersion, and Technology Education offerings.

Types of schools

Public Schools

Children usually go to school based on school districts. This is determined by your address. To know which school district your child belongs to, you can check the Manitoba School Divisions and District Contacts which is an alphabetical list of the divisions and districts. You can also use Schools in Manitoba Search, where you can find a school by name, by city or town, by program, by division/district or by grade. If you intend to enroll your child in Winnipeg, you can search through the Winnipeg School Division’s Find A School app.

Independent Schools

Independent or private schools are usually affiliated with religious or non-denominational groups. They have their own governing bodies. It has two types: funded and non-funded. Funded independent schools have to meet certain standards set by the province. Non- funded independent schools do not follow such standards. However, they must deliver a standard of education that is provided in public schools. To look for Independent schools in Manitoba, go to Independent Schools or use the Schools in Manitoba Search tool.


Homeschooling is another type of independent education where parents (or a person they have designated) deliver instruction to their children. This type of instruction is not funded by the government. Parents are responsible for all costs related to resources, activities (for example field trips) or tutorial services that may be required in their education plan. However, parents or representatives can get support from provincial homeschooling contacts or Regional Homeschooling Offices. They can choose from three curriculum options: Child-centered instruction, Christian-based curricula, and Independent Study. They can choose one or create a unique program combining two or all of the options. They would need to submit a Student Notification Form, acquire a confirmation of enrollment letter and submit a January and June Progress Report for each child every year. To learn more about homeschooling, go to the Manitoba Education site or contact the Homeschooling Office, Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning at 204-945-8138 or homeschooling@gov.mb.ca.

How to enroll your child

Check this guide. You can also visit the school and talk to the administrator to register your child. You may need to bring documents like your child’s birth certificate, Permanent Resident Card, Record of Landing (IMM1000) or Confirmation of Permanent Residence (IMM5292), and vaccination certificate.

School transportation

Transportation is provided to students as long as distance and residence location criteria are met. A student must live farther than 1.6 kilometres (walking distance) from the school, especially in rural areas to be eligible. Special needs students or students with mental or physical disabilities who are unable to walk safely to school are eligible for transportation. Generally, school divisions/districts are required to provide transportation for all resident students eligible for the service. In cases where they may not be able to, the parent or guardian is entitled to receive compensation so that they can bring their child to school.

Students who attend the school outside the catchment area may be accommodated subject to approved program reasons. Some schools may charge a fee for the transportation depending on the space available and the student’s age.
Sources: Going to school in Manitoba, Government of Manitoba; and School Administration Handbook, Manitoba Education and Training. Retrieved October 3, 2018.

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Community Resources

Read the Province of Manitoba’s Restoring Safe Schools – Planning Guide for 2021/2022 School year

Access the School Calendar dates per division/district to get an idea of the duration of a school year in Manitoba.

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