The Canadian school system is totally managed by local authorities: there is no federal department for education or a national system and each province and territory has its own.
The systems tend to be similar throughout Canada, with some minor differences.
In some provinces there is only one department, in others there are two: one for elementary and secondary education, the other usually dedicated to post-secondary education, such as high schools.
In Canada, the school year generally begins at the beginning of September and ends at the end of June. Attendance is scheduled from Monday to Friday.
In Canada, we start from what we call kindergarten, the pre-elementary education: it is managed by local authorities and offers a non-compulsory service for the year prior to enrolment in elementary schools (so for children under five years old).
Depending on the jurisdiction, the last year of kindergarten may be mandatory or may extend to two years before elementary school.
After this year, grade school begins, from grade 1 to grade 12 and school ends usually upon turning 18 years old or grade 12, and it corresponds to the compulsory education cycle.
Elementary education goes from grade 1 to grade 6 or 8 (depending on the province). In this school cycle Canadian education normally focuses on the acquisition of the language, mathematics, science, physical education and the arts. In some cases, a second language is studied (usually French and more and more often Spanish).
Secondary education ranges from grade 7 or 9 to 12, and therefore it covers the last mandatory years of the school cycle. Learning is organized in a majority of compulsory courses with the addition of some optional ones; the optional courses are gradually increasing in number as school levels increase, so as to leave the student freer to choose the subjects that best suit his future university or professional career. The diploma at the end of the second school is awarded to the completion of a minimum number of courses, compulsory and optional.
The functioning of private schools varies according to the jurisdictions. There are separate schools that reflect the constitutionally protected right to religious education for Catholics and Protestants, if there is a religious minority in a community. Other jurisdictions, on the other hand, provide parts of funds for private schools that meet certain criteria, which vary according to the territories.
All Canadian teachers, in general, are at least college graduates.
Boys and girls attend the same schools and the same classes, although some private schools are still exclusively male or female.
Each province and territory has its own "school curriculum" which explains which subjects will be taught to children each year.
Schools lend books to students. However, parents, in general, are responsible for all the rest of the school materials (pens, pencils, notebooks...).
Students who need special attention, due to physical, cognitive, psychological, linguistic or behavioural difficulties, can make use of a special assistance.
What would school be, without report cards? Several times a year, school assistants and teachers meet up with the parents and provide report cards on children's educational performance and progress
Attendance is mandatory every day and for any health or family problems it is mandatory to inform the school.
Many schools provide a dedicated bus or, if the children are old enough and the school is very close, they can go on foot; it's very common.
In general, the schools have a regulation with instructions on school clothes and some schools require uniforms.
Sports, hobbies and small clubs are very common in Canadian schools. Each school offers different activities, which are highly recommended to integrate children, make friends and develop interests.
Schools often organize trips to educational sites, such as museums, workplaces and nearby cities.
Unfortunately bullying among children exists, and often racial prejudice can be a cause. Schools encourage parents and students to talk about it with the appropriate authorities.