Family Reception Centre

Welcoming Families New to Canada, New to the OCDSB, & Returning Students

Our Family Reception Centre welcomes families new to Canada, to the OCDSB, and families returning to the OCDSB. We do so in an inviting, respectful, and inclusive manner. Through our intake and assessment service, we advocate for each student so that their diverse educational and academic needs could be met. In addition, our multicultural liaison officer(s) provide relevant settlement information.

The Family Reception Centre provides a supportive beginning for students and their families so that they could commence their educational journey on a positive note and eventually to personal excellence in learning.

Who Comes to the Family Reception Centre?

  • New students from junior kindergarten to grade 12 whose first or primary language is not English;
  • New students who have not previously attended school in English;
  • Junior and senior kindergarten students who have been in Canada less than one year (other junior and senior kindergarten students register directly at school);
  • Some international students;
  • Some Canadian Citizens or permanent residents who have been studying abroad for more than one year.

What We Do

  • Welcome and assess new and returning families
  • Recommend placement in schools based on assessment results
  • Complete re-assessments after placement, as needed
  • Maintain a lending library of teaching and professional teacher resources

Make an Appointment With Us

Once students have arrived in Ottawa, their parent(s)/legal guardian(s) should call as soon as possible to book an appointment for an assessment at 613 239-2416. At least one parent/ legal guardian must be present with the student(s) at the time of the appointment.

Important: Appointments can only be made once children have arrived in Canada.

What You Need to Bring

You must bring the following documentation with you to the appointment:

    • Immigration documents;
    • Immunization records;
    • School records; and
    • Proof of Address in Ottawa

    Appointment times can take 3-4 hours, sometimes longer.  Kindly bring a snack and water for your child to have during the assessment. Parents are asked to remain at the Family Reception Centre for the duration of the appointment, to take part in the intake and debrief meetings, and to meet with our Multicultural Liaison Officer.

    *Please note: Parking is available in the Adult H.S. parking lot in the spots marked with white lines.  If the parking lot is full, kindly use City of Ottawa parking available at several locations nearby.  Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

The Assessment

All students are assessed to determine their level of English language proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking. In addition, their proficiency in mathematics is assessed. The assessor will interview the parent(s) and the student(s) to gather information about their student’s past educational experiences. The entire assessment process usually lasts about two hours for elementary students and from three to five hours for secondary students. The assessment process highlights:

  • Academic strengths and weaknesses
  • Educational history
  • Exceptionalities (for example, does the child have a learning disability?)
  • Interests and goals
  • Issues that could affect schooling
  • Level of English language proficiency

For more information please refer to the resources listed to the right.

Family Reception
300 Rochester St. room 202,
Ottawa, ON K1R 7N4

Email: [email protected]
Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm
Summer Hours: 8:30am-3:30pm
Bus Routes: #14, #85, #101

Orientation Classes for Students 18 – 21 years of Age

We also offer an Orientation Class which is designed for newly-arrived students who are between the ages of 18 and 21 years of age and require English literacy development. Orientation Class can last several semesters and provides both English language and math support. The class is meant to prepare students for entry into the Adult High School or other programs offered in the school district, as well as entry into the work force. Please call the Family Reception Centre for more information.

Contact Us


    Family Reception Centre

    300 Rochester St. room 202
    Ottawa, ON K1R 7N4



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