Schools in Manitoba

Going to School in Manitoba

K-12 education is a provincial government responsibility in Canada.

In Manitoba, K-12 education is governed principally by The Public Schools Act and The Education Administration Act as well as regulations made under both Acts. Rights and responsibilities of the Minister of Education and the rights and responsibilities of school boards, principals, teachers, parents and students are set out in the legislation.

Right to attend school

Children who are six years of age or older on December 31 in a given year have the right to attend school from the beginning of the fall term of that calendar year until they receive a graduation diploma, or until the last school day of June in the calendar year in which they become 21 years of age.

Note: Many school divisions offer Nursery and Kindergarten programs that may be available to students at an earlier age. Parents or guardians are encouraged to contact their local school division for more information about these programs.

Newcomer Parent Guides

These parent guides are intended to help newcomer families as they navigate the Manitoba Education System. The guides provide information on what families can expect through Kindergarten to Grade 12 in Manitoba and information on how to register for school. The guides also provide helpful tools such as checklists and questions that can be used to communicate with teachers and administrators for various purposes.

The parent guides are also available in French.

Enrolment Cap Policy for International Students in Manitoba Kindergarten to Grade 12 Schools

Each year, Manitoba welcomes many international students to the Manitoba public and funded independent school systems. The new Enrolment Cap Policy for International Students in Manitoba Kindergarten to Grade 12 Schools is designed to help international students succeed in Manitoba. Enrolment of international students is limited to no more than 20% of total school enrolment in any one school in a given year. Effective September 1, 2017, this policy will help ensure that support services and resources specific to the unique language and learning needs of international students are available and accessible.

Letter – Enrolment Cap Policy for International Students (PDF Document 356 KB)
Enrolment Cap Policy for International Students in Manitoba Kindergarten to Grade 12 Schools (PDF Document 122 KB)

Compulsory School Age

Children are required to attend school from the time they reach compulsory school age (7 years of age or will be reaching 7 years of age by December 31 in a given calendar year) until they attain the age of 18. Every parent or legal guardian of a child of compulsory school age is responsible for sending his/her child to school. Every student is responsible for attending school and classes regularly and on time, and completing assignments and other related work.

For more information and exceptions, consult the Administrative Handbook for Schools (R4)(R5)(R6)(S6).

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Schools of Choice

With the provisions of the Schools of Choice initiative, students may apply for admission to any public school in the province.

For more information visit Schools of Choice.

Funding and Tuition

The Funding of Schools booklet, issued annually, provides information specific to funding policies. For detailed information regarding funding policies, visit the Finance and Statistics site.

See also the Funding for Temporary Residents Policy and the Manitoba Public Schools Fee Policy.

School Year

The number of days in the school year will vary from year to year depending upon the date of the first Tuesday following Labour Day. Up to a maximum of ten non-instructional days can be used for teacher in-service, parent-student conferences, administration and pupil evaluation. Of these ten days, five must be used for teacher in-service. The instructional time per week from Grade 1 to Grade 8 is approximately 1650 minutes.

Visit Schools in Manitoba for current school calendar dates.

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Transportation Eligibility

Generally speaking, school divisions/districts are required to provide or make provision for transportation for all resident students eligible for transportation according to provincial requirements and local school board policy.

For more information, consult the Administrative Handbook for Schools (T3).

See also the Pupil Transportation Unit site.

Administration of Schools

Manitoba's school system is comprised of public schools, independent schools that receive provincial funding, non-funded independent schools and home schooled students.

Public schools

Public Schools are governed by locally elected school division/district boards, in accordance to provincial statutes, regulations and policies. Public schools are funded by a combination of direct provincial funding and special taxation levies. All Canadian citizens and landed immigrants residing with a parent or legal guardian in Manitoba have the right to attend public schools subject to provincial regulations.

For contact information, visit School Board Contacts Online.

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Independent schools

The operation of independent schools varies. Some schools are affiliated with a specific religious or denominational group. They have their own governing bodies or boards. Independent schools are eligible for provincial funding if they implement the Manitoba curriculum and meet a number of additional requirements. Non-funded independent schools may not follow provincial curricula but must deliver a standard of education to that provided in a public school. Only funded independent schools are authorized to issue Senior Years course credits recognized by Manitoba Education.

For more information visit Independent Schools.


Schooling children at home is an option parents and/or legal guardians have in Manitoba as an alternative to compulsory attendance at a public or independent school, providing certain policy requirements are met.

For more information visit Homeschooling or consult the Administrative Handbook for Schools (H2).

School Programs

Manitoba has four school Programs:

  • English Program
  • French Immersion Program
  • Français Program
  • Senior Years Technology Education Program (available for the English, French Immersion, and Français Programs)

For information visit the Kindergarten to Grade 12 School Programs site.

Languages of Instruction

English and French are the languages of instruction in Manitoba. Schools that provide French language instruction fall into one of two program models:

  • French Immersion schools are intended for students for whom French is a second language.
  • Français schools are intended for students for whom French is a first or home language.

For more information about these programs visit the Français program site (French only) or the French Immersion program site.

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Grade Groupings

Manitoba schools offer 13 grades (Kindergarten to Grade 12), which are grouped as follows

Grade Groupings in Manitoba Schools
Groupings Grades Approx. Age of Students
Early Years Kindergarten* to Grade 4 5 to 10 years
Middle Years Grade 5 to Grade 8 10 to 14 years
Senior Years Grade 9 to Grade 12 14 to 18 years

Kindergarten remains an optional year of schooling. When a school division or school offers Kindergarten, the percentage time allotments for Grades 1-3 should be used as a guide for instructional time; provincial curriculum for Kindergarten should be followed. Provincial curriculum, which will continue to be developed to include Kindergarten, will be based on outcomes.

Senior Years (Grades 9 to 12)

Senior Years schools in Manitoba may use either a full-year (non-semester) system or a semester system to organize their programming. In a full-year system, courses generally run for the full school year, from September to June. In a semester system, the school year is divided into two semesters, from September to January and from February to June.

For more information about Manitoba School Programs, visit

Student Transfer Guide

The Student Transfer Guide, compiled by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC), has been prepared to assist receiving schools in placing secondary students so that their education can be as continuous as possible.

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