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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 January 21, 2019. 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, will be available early January. 

  • 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, to submit photocopies of required 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 (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.

Detailed schedules will be available early January 2019.

​School​ Bus Schedule​​
​Huron Heights SS| Dr. JM Denison SS | Sir William Mulock SS | Aurora HS | Dr. GW Williams SS ​North 1
​Alexander Mackenzie HS​ | Thornlea SS
(Thornlea SS: pick-up and drop-off is at the front of the school,
facing Bayview Ave.)
Central 1
Langstaff SS | King City SS ​West 1
Thornhill SS | Stephen Lewis SS
West 2
​Vaughan SS | Woodbridge College | Maple HS | Tommy Douglas SS ​West 3
Bur Oak SS | Stouffville DSS | Markham DHS  East 1
​Middlefield CI (A-L) | Unionville HS
(Unionville HS: pick-up and drop-off is at the school entrance, off Apple Creek, facing Warden Ave.)
​East 2
​Middlefield CI (M-Z) | Milliken Mills HS ​East 3


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. 


Students must arrive at their home schools 10 minutes before the noted departure time on the schedule in order to board the bus.
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. 
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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