Hamilton has free public schools from kindergarten to grade 12. Many schools provide extra supports to help newcomer children adapt to schooling in Canada. Some public schools, postsecondary institutions and newcomer serving organizations provide language classes to learn English or French.
Publicly-funded schools are managed by district school boards. Hamilton has two English language public school boards: Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB) and Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB).
For registration with the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board (HWCDSB), follow these steps:
Step 1: Contact Assessment Clerk at 905-525-2930 Ext 2006
Step 2: Complete the online HWCDSB Registration Form
Step 3: Have the registration documents ready to bring with you to the school
Step 4: Connect with the school to arrange an appointment to bring the documentation and complete the registration process. The following are documents required for registration, but if you are missing any of these documents, HWCDSB will ensure there is no delay in the process: 1. Status Documentation (i.e. Permanent Resident card, Electronic Travel Authorization, etc.); 2. Student(s) passport and/or birth certificate; 3. Proof of residency in the City of Hamilton; and 4. Previous school report card (secondary only, if available).
For registration with the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB), follow these steps:
Step 1: Contact the HWDSB WELCOME CENTRE at 905-521-2554 to arrange a time for children to meet with a teacher for an English language assessment.
Step 2: Complete online HWDSB Registration Form
Step 3: Prepare these documents for school registration: parent and child’s passport, immigration documents (work permit or visitor record), proof of address, such as a lease, and child’s transcript (secondary only, if available. Even if you do not have all the required documents, continue with the registration process.
Step 4: Connect with the school to arrange an appointment to bring the documentation and complete the registration process. Online registration forms can be found below:
Junior and senior kindergarten https://www.hwdsb.on.ca/kindergarten/
Elementary grade 1-8 https://www.hwdsb.on.ca/elementary/plan-for-school/
Secondary grade 9-12 https://www.hwdsb.on.ca/secondary/plan-for-high-school/
If you would like to pursue postsecondary education in a university or college in Ontario, you may be eligible for Ontario Student Assistance Program (OSAP) to cover the cost of your education as well as living expenses while studying.
Alternative education program for Aboriginal students wishing to continue their education, in a culturally appropriate learning environment, but not currently attending a secondary school. Aims is to shorten the gap of Aboriginal student’s dropout rates within the mainstream school system.
This program is a partnership between the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board and the Hamilton Regional Indian Centre.
Catholic elementary schools for the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board. They offer education using a standard curriculum set by the Ministry of Education from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8.
Offers post-secondary education in faculties of Engineering, Health Sciences, Humanities, Science, Social Science, the DeGroote School of Business, and the School of Graduate Studies.
McMaster University is partnered with Mohawk College and Conestoga College to offer collaborative combined degree and diploma programs.
Also offers secondary services for international students, indigenous students, accessibility, special needs services, and the student wellness centre.
Individuals age 65 or older can receive free tuition. Anyone can apply to enroll as a listener or auditor to attend classes without receiving grades or credit.
Student Services provides services such as:
Centre for Aviation Technology located at Hamilton International Airport. Student capacity is limited to 350 people. One of several permanent training sites through Mohawk College. Offering the following programs:
Tuition-free college programming offered in community spaces. Programs include credit courses, workshops, speaker series, and college services. Maximum of two City School College credits per person. Visit website for details.
Offers post-secondary academic and vocational training. Offers full-time studies, part-time studies, apprenticeship, continuing education, diploma and collaborative degree levels. Cooperative education and experiential learning give students hand-on experiences.
Contact the Discovery Centre (Fennel Campus) to learn about:
Hamilton residents elect a board of 15 trustees who establish policies and direction of the school board. A list of current trustees is available on the HWDSB website.