Toronto District School Board
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the deadline for submitting an application?

The deadline for submitting an application is November 1 for February intake and May 1 for September intake. ALL applications should be submitted through our online portal and our office no longer processes hard or email-ed copies of application.

2. How early can I apply for admission to your school?

The earlier you apply, the sooner the application can be evaluated and a school placement allocated. We start to accept applications on December 1 of the previous year for the September intake and August 1 for the February intake.

3. Do I need to submit English proficiency test marks (e.g. TOEFL or IELTS) for my application to your high school program?

No. We will evaluate and approve your application for admission based on your official translated transcripts or school reports from the current school year (if applicable) and the last two years, and the letter of recommendation. The TOEFL or IELTS scores are generally required for your admission to university if you have studied in an English language high school for less than four years.

4. Are international students required to write an admissions test?

No. There is no test to determine admission to a TDSB school. However, secondary students are required to complete online English and Mathematic assessment after the Official Letter of Acceptance is issued. Links for the assessment tests will be sent to students by email. All secondary students are required to complete the assessment tests before reporting to the TDSB registration at school. Course selections in our school system for newly arrived secondary students will depend on the results of the assessment tests.

5. How can I choose the elementary school to study in at the TDSB?

School placement for elementary students is based on the address of their parent or custodian with whom they are going to live within the city of Toronto and is subject to availability of space and school. The TDSB reserves the right to determine final school placement.

6. How can I choose the secondary school to study in at the TDSB?

School placement for secondary students is based on the student's request and is subject to availability of space and school. Please note that placement in the school of your choice is not always possible. The TDSB reserves the right to determine final school placement.

7. The TDSB secondary schools are generally organized on either a semestered model (half-year) or non-semestered model (full-year). What's the difference between these two models and how do students select a suitable school?

In a full-year, non-semestered school, students take 8 courses at the same time from September to June. Course contents are spread out throughout the entire school year. Students receive 8 credits for their classes after passing the June exams.
In a semestered school, students take 4 courses from September to January, and will receive 4 credits after passing the January exams. Students will then take a different 4 courses from February to June and will receive 4 credits after passing the June exams. Due to a more concentrated timeline, courses are taught at a faster pace.

Many senior students in grades 11 and 12 will find it more advantageous to study in a semestered school which allows them scheduling flexibility and the opportunity to complete courses in a faster pace than in a non-semestered school. Also, students might find it easier to concentrate on completing 4 courses per semester than on the 8 courses full year non-semestered program.

The TDSB reserves the right to determine final school placement.

8. How is grade placement determined?

Grade placement secondary students is generally determined by your age and academic background. The TDSB reserves the right to determine final grade placement. It is understood that the grade level of your course selections in our school system depends on the results of the online assessment tests that you are going to take. For grade 11 and 12 students, it may take you two or more years to graduate with an Ontario Secondary School Diploma and to meet the requirements for admissions to university or college in Canada.

All elementary students are strictly placed in age-appropriate grades.

9. How long does it take before a letter of acceptance is issued?

Every effort is made to process each application as quickly as possible. However, please allow a minimum of 5 working days once the application is submitted through our online portal successfully and all required documents are uploaded.

10. Does the TDSB admit international students with special education requirements?

No. The TDSB is unable to accommodate to the requests of international students for special education programs due to limited resources available.

11. Does the TDSB provide the services of a custodian?

International students under 18 years of age coming to study in TDSB schools must appoint a custodian in the Toronto area to undertake the full custodianship and to make the necessary arrangements for the care and support of the student in place of the parents as appropriate. All minor applicants must supply two notarized declarations - one signed by the parents or legal guardians in the country of origin, as well as one signed by the custodian in Toronto.

The TDSB does not provide a custodian for international students. Families are responsible for making their own arrangements or ask assistance from the homestay service provider.

12. Can I get a refund if I do not get the study permit?

Application fee is non-refundable. If your study permit is rejected by Canada Immigration and Citizenship Canada, your tuition fee minus $750.00 administration fee shall be refunded. Please refer to details in our refund policy.

13. Do I have to live with my parent or custodian?

Grade JK-8 students must live with a parent or custodian during their study at the TDSB. Grade 9-12 students can live with their parent, custodian or a local host family arranged by his their parent or custodian.

No student under the age of 18 is allowed to live on his/her own.

14. Can I request to transfer to a different school?

New Students:

Grade 9-12 students must attend their assigned school for 1 full year before requesting a transfer.

International students should retain the services of a homestay that is within a reasonable travel distance from their assigned school. Transfers will NOT be granted based on travel distance upon arrival in Canada, or a change of homestay during the student’s time with TDSB.

Current Students Attending TDSB:

School transfer requests from Grade 9-12 students will only be considered for the following reasons:

  • Programming availability (excluding AP, IB, and specialized programs)
  • In exceptional circumstances to support student achievement or well being

Any transfer requests must be made at least 1 semester in advance. Last-minute transfer requests will not be considered.

Transfer requests must be made through the Guidance Counsellor for International Students (GCIS). GCIS Contact Information:

JK-Grade 8 students should request change of school if the residential address of parent or custodian has changed. Proof of new residential address should be submitted to the International Students and Admission Office for placement confirmation.

Students cannot request to transfer to a different school district.  

15. Can I choose to attend TDSB Virtual School?

All international students must attend school in person and are NOT ELIGIBLE for Virtual School. This applies to both new international students as well as returning international students.

There is an e-Learning Graduation Requirement where students must complete two e-Learning credits to graduate. Students can choose to opt out of this requirement, but must complete this form to do so.