Canadian School System

In Canada, each province has jurisdiction over the curriculum, programming and funding of their schools. The students study in either a semester or linear system, for ten months of the year (September to June), five days a week (Monday to Friday) for approximately six hours a day. This is the standard for both public and private schools.

Public Schools

The Public Schools comprise the largest selection of schools in Canada. These are publicly-funded and monitored by each province’s Ministry of Education who work in collaboration with the local school boards. MLI has built strong partnerships with many of these school boards and schools, making the communication and application process very efficient and effective.


  • High Quality schools located in attractive communities across Canada
  • Modern and well equipped facilities
  • Wide range of subjects offered
  • Small international student population
  • Flexible length of stay (four weeks to multiple years)
  • ESL credit courses, AP and IB programs available in select locations

Canadian public highschool system

Private Schools

The Private Schools are funded solely by student tuition and alumni support. Although the general curriculum is overseen by the province’s Ministry of Education, each school operates independently and sets it's own standards of excellence. These standards are most often higher than the public school. MLI has built very strong partnerships with selected private schools across Canada making the application process and communication that much easier.


  • Highly respected and prestigious institutions
  • Excellent academic programming
  • Boarding and Day School (homestay) options
  • Small classes with personal attention from teachers
  • Target 100% university placements
  • Innovative and excellent facilities, sports and extracurricular programs
  • Latest computer technology options available
  • Students must pass entrance requirements for acceptance
  • Rural and urban locations available

Canadian private highschools learning system

What are the start and end dates of school?

Every school board or district can decide which education system they would like to follow. There are two options, the Semester System (block system) and the Linear System (full year).

Semester System

With the semester system, the school year is divided into two parts or semesters. The first semester runs from September to January and the second semester runs from February to June. In each semester students can take a minimum of 3 courses up to a maximum of 5 courses, for a maximum total of 10 courses per year. This system is used by most of the public secondary schools and it is ideal for students who are planning to study in Canada for only one semester or for those students that plan on arriving in Canada in February.

Linear System

With the full year system, the school year is divided into three terms. Students take a minimum of six to a maximum of nine courses for the entire year, from September to June. Each week is divided on a rotational basis so that on any given day the student is only taking 4-5 classes. This system is used in primary school, most private schools and in Quebec. It is recommended for those students who plan on studying in Canada for a full academic year.

What are the Grade Levels and the names for the levels of schools in Canada?

The students are placed in their corresponding levels based on the age they were at the end of June and education is compulsory up to the age of 18. The education system is grouped into three levels:

  • Primary Schools (public, catholic or private)

  • Secondary Schools (public, catholic or private)

  • Post-Secondary (College or University)

Primary School

  • Grade 1 (ages 6–7)
  • Grade 2 (ages 7–8)
  • Grade 3 (ages 8–9)
  • Grade 4 (ages 9–10)
  • Grade 5 (ages 10–11)
  • Grade 6 (ages 11–12)
  • Grade 7 (ages 12–13)
  • Grade 8 (ages 13–14)

Secondary School

  • Grade 9 (ages 14–15)
  • Grade 10 (ages 15–16)
  • Grade 11 (ages 16–17)
  • Grade 12 (ages 17–18)

University and College (ages 18+)

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