School system in
Sandy and Judy Hines
School System in the Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM)
The Halifax Regional Municipality (HRM) public school system has many differences and similarities depending on which area you decide to purchase your home.
The entire Halifax (HRM) area English public school system is administered by Halifax Regional Center for Education (HRCE). There are no elected school boards any longer in Nova Scotia.
There is universal free Pre -Primary throughout Nova Scotia. As of September 2019 this program will be available everywhere in Nova Scotia. Children who have reached the age of four years on or before December 31 of the year they enroll are eligible. The average class size is 24 and there are 2 Early Childhood Educators in each class. There are no teachers in the class. So it is much different than Kindergarten that is offered in other parts of the country.
This is a totally volunteer program. You can choose to enrol your child or you can choose a private program. Some parents have choose private care because the teacher to child ratio can be much lower.
There is private preschool/nursery school offered throughout HRM for children usually age 2 1/2 to 5. Children begin public school at 5 years old in grade primary. Children must be 5 years old by December 31 of the school year to be eligible. Children remain in school until they have completed grade 12.
There is French Immersion in public school from grade 7 to grade 12 in most areas but not all. "Early immersion" in French, which begins in grade primary, can be found as well but only in selected schools throughout HRM. Children must start Early Immersion in grade primary. If you are transferring from another school system your child cannot start early immersion part way through. For example a child in grade 3 cannot start Early Immersion here unless they had been enrolled in a similar program in the school system you are transferring from. If French Immersion is important then check with the Halifax Regional School Board to find out what schools that offer French Immersion are nearest to the area you are interested in living. We can also provide you with that information.
There are several French language only schools in HRM as well. In Dartmouth there are two French schools that offer together grades primary to grade 12. They are located in the Montebello area of Dartmouth. On the Halifax side there are also two French schools. They are located on the edge of Bedford in the Royale Hemlocks Subdivision ( Larry Uteck area) . The French school system is run totally separate from the English school system and they have their own school board. For more detail on Francophone schools in the metro area see the Francophone schools page.
There are many excellent private schools throughout HRM as well. There are more schools in Halifax city than anywhere else but there are private schools in Dartmouth, Bedford, Timberlea, Hammonds Plains, Waverley and other areas as well. For private schools in the metro area see our Private Schools page.
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