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Halifax Compulsory Education

Public Schools
In Nova Scotia, most residents attend public school. Public education is run by the government and paid for through taxes.

All children in Nova Scotia are legally required to attend school until age 16. Parents also have the option of performing home-schooling, although they must still follow specific guidelines and courses.

Public schooling starts at age 5 in elementary school in the primary grade. Primary is followed by grades one to six. After elementary school, youth attend grades seven to nine at a junior high school, after which they attend high school (secondary education) for grades ten through twelve. Upon completion of high school, students may choose to continue their education further with post secondary education at university, community colleges or through apprenticeships.

Public schools operate for about 5 hours a day. Times vary at different schools and at different levels. Language instruction can either be in French or English, but most schools in Nova Scotia are primarily English. French is taught to all students from grades 4 to 9 and is an optional credit in high school. French immersion is also available.

In all public schools in Nova Scotia, both boys and girls are taught in the same classroom. They are taught by a teacher who has the qualifications and certification, which consists of at least one university degree and advanced training in education.

You can register your child at the local school they will attend or at the regional school board office. It is important that you provide as much documentation as possible about your child’s education outside of Canada. This will help to get them placed at a level of learning that is right for them.

Home Schooling
Parents may legally provide an education program for their children in the home, rather than a public school. They must follow government approved courses and programs.


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