So before planning to move to Calgary in mid of April 2017, the first thing we had to decide was which part of the city we should move to. There were two options – either we move closer to my office or move closer to our kid’s school. But actually we didn’t have any choice because it is a requirement in Canada that in order to get your child admitted to a particular school, you have to live within the boundary that school’s designated area. After checking schools’ rating from here, we decided to target two top rated public schools of Calgary.

The first requirement before I could approach any school for my kid’s registration was to have an address proof that was needed to be submitted in the school along-with application. So, after doing a brief home search in both of those schools’ designated areas, we finalized a home on rent in NW (North West) part of Calgary. Though generally home owners prefer at least one year rental agreement, I signed an agreement on a month on month basis first by paying some premium on monthly rent. I did so because I wasn’t sure whether my daughter will get admission in IB curriculum and if not, I had to try other schools. For that I would have had to move to other school’s designated area. Usually the admission process starts during month of January and we were informed by the school that we were already late.

In Canada, the grades 10, 11 and 12 are called high school and grades 7, 8 & 9 are called junior high school. Note that for high schools, the designated area of any school varies based on the curriculum a student selects in that school. For example, if s/he chooses regular curriculum, the designated area of a school would be narrower than those having IB (International Baccalaureate) or AP (Advanced Placement) curriculum. This is so because there are fewer schools that have IB / AP curriculum than those who have regular curriculum. For more info about schools in Alberta province, click here.

IB / AP curriculum are academically rigorous and are advised to be chosen by the children who are academically strong. In general only the students who pass junior high school with good grades and have recommendation letter(s) from their teachers are given admission in IB / AP curriculum in high school.

After about two weeks of follow-up with the school, I finally got the confirmation that my daughter was accepted in IB curriculum. That was the time I decided to go for a longer term rental agreement to bring down the rent I was paying during month on month agreement.

Feel free to ask any questions that you may have on this subject by leaving a comment on this page. I’ll get back to you within 3 days.

8 thoughts on “How I chose the school for my daughter and a neighborhood to settle in

  1. We are planning to avoid any short stay and plan to come there once and for all in the month of May. Do you think we are still ok to get admission for my daughter (grade 7) in a good junior high school. In case we are late, then i may look at a short stay for now and then visit again towards Jan next year.


    1. Sounds like a good idea if you come with family and without wasting money in short landing. Regarding schools, the term here ends in June end and then starts again in September. It is up to you whether you want your daughter to go to school only for one month and then spend vacation time of two months. Schools may suggest you the same that you complete the registration formalities in May and then start school in September. However they can’t deny if you want your daughter to start school from May onward.


      1. Nice blog. Thank you for the information. What do you suggest for a 40 year to move on student visa as the chances of PR through express entry due to less score because of age.


  2. Hi All,

    We are a family of 3. Husband/wife and a 3 year old kid. We landed in Calgary on 17 March 2018. And now my husband is in Calgary and I and my kid are back in India.

    This October my kid will be 4. I want to know when should he get enrolled in a school. Also what is the procedure to enroll him in school. Also I heard from friend that public school are not much safe. Is this true?


    1. You need to check with the local school that comes in your designated area. The process should be pretty straight forward. I have never heard about public schools being unsafe. Could you please elaborate what you have heard?


  3. I found your blogs very informative and in good intent. I am 42 and have been working in Dubai for last 14 years. Before that i was in Bangalore for about 3 years. A lot of people from Dubai move to Canada and similar places for many reasons. I have been contemplating to do the same with my family. Would you be able to advice?


    1. Hi Ashish, it depends on which field you are in and which place in Canada you move to based on the number of jobs available in your field of expertise. If you can share more such detail, I would be in a better position to advise


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