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

During a combination of information sessions, 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. In addition to the Orientation Program, schools organize welcome sessions, which may include sharing additional school-based information, a school tour, meet their Guidance teachers, and timetables are distributed.

The Board's mandatory assessment of new international students’ English language and mathematics skills will also take place prior to the start of school. This assessment enables school Principals and Guidance teachers to prepare the most appropriate course of studies for each individual student.

About the Secondary Student Orientation Program

  • Students are expected to arrive two weeks before the official school start date in order to attend the Orientation Program (January 23, 2023).

  • The program is 10 days in duration.

  • The program will be held at the Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning, 36 Regatta Ave., Richmond Hill.

Please visit this page regularly as changes to the schedules will be posted as they occur.

Orientation Program Schedules (January 2023)

  • The Orientation Program lasts for 10 days: January 23 to February 3. To gain the most from the program, students should attend all scheduled activities. 
  • Locate the school the student is attending and download the appropriate bus schedule. 
  • Please pay close attention to the student’s individual schedule because the times may change from day to day, especially on excursion days. 
  • Students are to arrive at their home school 10 minutes before the departure time indicated in the morning to board the bus.
  • The school bus will return the student at the end of each day to their home school, and from there, students will return home.
  • Two excursions are planned during the orientation period.

Students MUST bring the signed consent/permission form on the first day of orientation in order to attend the excursions.

Locate the school the student is attending and download the appropriate bus schedule. 


School LocationBus Schedule

Dr. JM Denison SS
Huron Heights SS
Sir William Mulock SS
Aurora HS

North 1

Langstaff SS
Hodan Nalayeh SS
King City SS
Dr. GW Williams SS

Central 1

Emily Carr SS
Maple HS
Tommy Douglas SS
Alexander Mackenzie HS

West 1

Thornlea SS

West 2
Thornhill SS
Westmount CI

West 3

Bill Hogarth SS
Bur Oak SS
Stouffville DSS
East 1
Milliken Mills HSEast 2

Middlefield CI
Unionville HS

East 3
Markham DHS
Richmond Green SS
East 4

Orientation Program - Excursion Schedule & School Bus Transportation Company

Transportation companies hired for the excursions will vary from day to day.

Please review the list below, locate the student's orientation schedule, and find the name of the transportation company (school bus) which will transport the student. Please locate this bus when arriving at the home school on the day of the excursion.

Orientation ScheduleExcursion DateExcursion DestinationExcursion Transportation Company
Central 1   
Central 1   
North 1   
North 1   
West 1   
West 1   
West 2   
West 2   
West 3   
West 3   
East 1   
East 1   
East 2   
East 2   
East 3   
East 3   
East 4   
East 4   



Prepare for Arrival to Canada

As you arrange to come to Canada, please ensure that you review any updates to travel regulations issued by the Government of Canada.

Medical Insurance

  • International students are covered by StudyInsured emergency medical insurance during their period of study.

  • Coverage begins in:

    • January 1st for students beginning school during the February semester

    • August 1st for students beginning school during the September semester

  • Students arriving before the first day of coverage, must purchase separate insurance which must include COVID19-related coverage.

  • Medical insurance information will be sent electronically to the custodian of the student the first week of the study period.

English & Math Assessment (Secondary Students)

  • English Assessment - will begin in December, and will be conducted online, and virtually. Teachers will use MS Teams to connect with students and conduct assessments. 

  • Math Assessment - will take place in December. A Math study guide is available setting out grade level expectations for students to review in preparation for the Math assessment.

Documentation Verification (Secondary Students)

It is necessary for the custodian/parent to attend, in person, to submit the documents listed below to complete the school registration process. DO NOT send these documents by email. 

Parent/custodians MUST attend, on the designated day and time, at the Dr. Bette Stephenson Centre for Learning, 36 Regatta Ave., Richmond Hill, to verify the student’s documents.

Please refer to the student's individual schedule (listed above) for the time/date of documentation verification.

Mandatory Documents:

  • Completed Secondary School Registration Form. Please refer to the guideline for assistance in completing the form.
  • Original Passport
  • Original Visitor/entry visa if applicable (not required in all cases)
  • Original Study Permit
  • Education Service Agreement sent with the Letter of Acceptance and is a multi-page document which must be signed by the custodian parent(s) and student
  • Recent school transcript/report card (in English)

School Registration

Students MAY NOT attend school registration day if they have not first attended and completed documentation verification with the International Education Services Department. Refer to the student's schedule to confirm school registration day. 

Contact Us

Questions are welcome and can be sent by email.