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Public School System


Who does what in the public school system

There are many different partners involved in the Ontario public school system, each with specific roles and responsibilities. Below is a list of some of the different partners with which you will want to be familiar.

  • The Ontario Government and Education
  • Ontario Ministry of Education
  • The Minister of Education
  • School Boards
  • Trustees
  • Principals
  • Teachers
  • Students
  • Parents
  • Schools
  • Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO)
  • Ontario Teachers College


Elementary School

Most elementary schools offer kindergarten to Grade 8. Generally, students are between the ages of 6-13. Children can attend kindergarten if they are turning 5 during the calendar year they are beginning school. Some schools may offer junior kindergarten to children who are turning 4 years old within the calendar year. Most of the elementary school curriculum is delivered to students in one classroom.   

Some schools may provide before- and after-care for children whose parents require someone to look after their children outside of school hours. There is a fee for this service. Some parents may be eligible for a fee subsidy, which means they can receive this service for less money.

Learn more about before and after school care and child-care fee assistance.


Secondary School or High School

Students in Grades 9-12 attend secondary school. Generally, students are between the ages of 14-18. 

In secondary school, students have some choices regarding which courses they take. In each grade, students are required to take certain classes and have some choice on the other classes they take. In the Ontario public school systems, there are three different levels of education students can take: academic/university, applied/college, and locally developed/workplace. The course selection choices students make may impact what type of education they are able to take after high school. Students and their parents can make appointments with their school guidance counsellor if they have questions about which courses they should take.  

In addition to regular class work, secondary school students in Ontario are required to volunteer in the community. Completing 40 hours of volunteer work is a requirement for students to graduate secondary school. Students can speak with their guidance counsellor if they have questions regarding volunteer hours.​

Visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website to learn more about:

To learn more about local programs and services in Simcoe County, dial 211
or visit .

211 is a free, 24/7 information line with interpretation services in over 150 languages. TTY service is available at 1-888-435-6086.
To have your organization added to the 211 database, contact Community Connection 211 .