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Orientation IES

The YRDSB orientation period is designed to give new secondary international students the best possible start to their learning career in York Region. It includes information about their new community, the Ontario school system, and the high school they will be attending.

During a combination of seminars, guest speakers, school visits, and day-long field trips, teachers will focus on strategies to help new students settle into their new community and to achieve success at school.
Students meet other international students and make new friendships even before classes begin. They will visit their home school, meet their ESL teacher and Guidance teachers.
The Board's mandatory assessment of new international students’ English language and mathematics skills will be scheduled during this time period. This assessment will enable school Principals and Guidance teachers to prepare the most appropriate course of studies for each individual student.

About the Orientation Program

  • The next orientation begins August 20, 2018. Students are required to arrive before this date to be available to participate in the scheduled activities.

  • A detailed information page, describing the orientation program, is available in English and Chinese.  

  • Home Self-Study days are designed to allow students to explore their community and improve their English proficiency by accessing the PAL Program and completing all the modules available. 

Documentation Verification

  • The parent/custodian will be required to attend in-person, on the day identified as Documentation Verification, to submit required immigration documents which include:

    • Original - Completed and signed school registration form (blank form will be distributed on first day of orientation)

    • Photocopy - Passport, photo page

    • Photocopy - Study Permit

    • Photocopy - Entry Visa 

    • Original - Education Services Agreement (multi-­page document included in the acceptance package. Must be signed by parent(s), custodian and student)

To expedite the process, please bring photocopies.

School Registration

  • Custodians are also required to accompany students on school registration day. (except Thornhill SS). A schedule will be distributed during orientation.

    Students may not attend school registration without first attending Documentation Verification and completing the required Math and English Assessments.

  • Students must bring their most recent transcripts/report cards to school on School Registration Day.


Locate the school to which the student has been accepted, and download the appropriate schedule. This information may be updated. Please revisit this page before and during orientation to ensure you have the most recent version.

Please note: If you observe Eid-ul-Adha (August 21) and are scheduled to attend the Welcome Session & Math Assessment on this day, you are welcome to attend on August 20 instead. Please email to notify us of the change.

For your convenience also available for download are the Documentation Verification Schedule and the School Registration Schedule.

​School​ Schedule​​
​Huron Heights SS| Sir William Mulock SS | Aurora HS | King City SS North 1
Dr. JM Denison SS  | Dr. GW Williams SS North 2
​Alexander Mackenzie HS: Grades 9, 10, 12 Central 1

​Alexander Mackenzie HS: Gr 11 | Langstaff SS: Grades 11 & 12

Central 2
Langstaff SS: Grades 9 & 10 Central 3
Thornhill SS: Grades 10 & 12 | *Thornlea SS: Grade 12 |
Richmond Green SS
*(Thornlea SS: pick-up and drop-off is at the front of the school,
facing Bayview Ave.)
West 1
​Thornlea SS: Grades 10 & 11
*(Thornlea SS: pick-up and drop-off is at the front of the school,
facing Bayview Ave.)
West 2
​Thornhill SS: Grades 9 & 11 West 3
​Vaughan SS | Woodbridge College | Tommy Douglas SS
Updated August 14, 2018
West 4
​Westmount CI | Maple HS | Stephen Lewis SS West 5
​**Unionville HS: Grade 10 | *Thornlea SS: Grade 9
**(Unionville HS: pick-up and drop-off is at the school entrance,
 off Apple Creek, facing Warden Ave.)
*(Thornlea SS: pick-up and drop-off is at the front of the school,
facing Bayview Ave.)
East 1

​**Unionville HS: Grades 9, 11, 12 | Stouffville DSS

**(Unionville HS: pick-up and drop-off is at the school entrance,
 off Apple Creek, facing Warden Ave.)
East 2
Milliken Mills HS
Updated August 14, 2018
​East 3
​Middlefield CI: Grades 9, 11, 12
Updated August 15, 2018
East 4
​Middlefield CI: Grade 10 | Markham DHS | Bill Hogarth SS East 5
Bur Oak SS  East 6


Students will attend activities at the address below. On the excursion days, however, students will depart and return from/to the home school location.
Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning
36 Regatta Avenue, Richmond Hill, ON L4E 4R1
Telephone: 905 884 2046 x 237

PLEASE NOTE: We encourage students to bring a lunch so that they can eat on the premises.  Students may also choose to leave the building to purchase their lunch at a nearby vendor. High school aged students are NOT supervised during lunch and breaks. 


Buses will be scheduled and will depart from the student's home school location and will return to the home school at the end of each day. The schedule includes approximate departure times.  Buses will be marked and will load and unload in the main school entrance area. 
Students must arrive at their home schools 10 minutes before the noted departure time on the bus schedule.
School buses are for student use only.


Each student who attends secondary school is required to participate in a number of assessments before registering for school:
  1. Pre-arrival Learning (PAL) - this online English test must be taken after receiving the acceptance package sent by the Admissions Office.
  2. English assessment (Listening, Speaking, Writing, Reading) - this face-to-face assessment is conducted during orientation.

    To help you prepare for the English assessment we encourage all students to access their PAL account and complete the English tutorials which are available. These tutorials increase vocabulary and better prepare students for their arrival.
  3. Math test - this is a written math test, administered by grade, during orientation.

    A math study guide​ 
    is available which sets out the expectations for each grade which you may download.

Questions are welcome and can be sent by email to:


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