Finding Success in the Canadian Classroom

Finding Success in the Canadian Classroom - Community Support for ELLs’ Families

Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) support newcomer families and youth to succeed in school. This program aims to provide a smooth transition for students as they enter into the Canadian school system, while empowering immigrant and refugee families to actively contribute and integrate into their child’s school community. 

All services are free! SWIS workers can help with:

  • School registration support
  • School tours & orientation to new students and their families
  • Consultation on school settlement issues
  • Referrals to community and government agencies
  • Interpretation services when needed
  • Youth support 
  • In-school cultural programs 

5 tips to ease your child’s transition to school in Canada adapted from

 Plan and prepare for school

Make mornings less stressful by preparing for the school day the night before. Prepare lunch boxes (with healthy lunch options!), backpacks and choose outfits before you go to bed.  

 Talk about any school concerns

If your child is feeling anxious about starting at a new school or grade, talk to them about it and try to lessen their fears. Some children take longer to transition and feel comfortable. If you have concerns about school, talk to your child’s teacher or school settlement worker (SWIS). Many of your questions can be answered by reading newsletters or other communication from your school. All the school websites in Golden Hills School Division have Google Translate.

Supplies, fees and more

You have probably already purchased school supplies before the first day of school. You may be asked to purchase additional supplies, like indoor shoes, or to pay some small activity fees after school starts. Most schools also have parent advisory councils (PACs) that fundraise or organize hot lunch programs. Getting involved in PACs are also a great way to learn more about the school and meet other parents.

 Help with homework and reading

Your child may bring homework or projects to do at home. In addition to helping them with homework, make an effort to read with your child consistently. If you are also learning English, reading together will also help you. Besides reading in English, reading in your home language is encouraged.

Get enough sleep

Plan for 10 hours of sleep for elementary school children, and eight or nine hours for high school students. Have bedrooms designated as “NO SCREEN” zones. Replace screen time use with quiet activities at bedtime such as reading stories. Cheryl Song has developed a guidebook that has lots of information on parenting and raising children in Canada. From school to health to child development, her tips and strategies are not only helpful for immigrant parents but any parent!

Click the link below:  


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