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Information for Newcomers to Canada

Newcomer Reception

Canada's ethnic and cultural composition continues to change, and according to Statistics Canada, our number of immigrant and refugee, or "newcomer" families is growing.

As Winnipeg's newcomer population grows, so do the needs for programs and services to assist them. The Louis Riel School Division's innovative Newcomer Family Reception Centre provides initial reception, assessment, orientation, and information services to support the educational needs of newcomer students and their families.

The Centre also supports the development of teaching capacity throughout the Division by providing consulting services, programming guidance and professional development to school and divisional staff.

The Newcomer Family Reception Centre is the Division's most recent initiative to support its mission to foster inclusive learning environments and develop responsible global citizens. It represents a concerted effort to support the varied needs of our newcomer students and their families.

Who should come to the Newcomer Family Reception Centre:

  • Families who are new to Canada, even if the first language of the home is English or if the children already speak some English.
  • Families who are new to Louis Riel School Division from another province in Canada or another school division in Manitoba, if: 
    • the first language of the home is NOT English and the children have been in an English-medium school in Canada for less than four years. (This includes Canadian born students from homes in which a language other than English is used as the primary language).
  • New kindergarten registrations for families who use a language other than English as the main language of their home.

Note: If the student has been in an English-medium school in Canada for more than four years, they do not need to visit the 
Newcomer Family Reception Centre.

Newcomer families are encouraged to visit the Newcomer Family Reception Centre before registering their children at the community school. The intake and assessment process takes about half a day, and provides important data that greatly supports the development of appropriate learning plans for students who are new to the Division.

You can make an "intake and assessment" appointment directly with the Newcomer Family Reception Centre, or ask your community school to make one for you.


  1. Newcomer families require appointments to access services and programs at the Newcomer Family Reception Centre. Schools receiving newcomer families may begin the registration process but should also call the Newcomer Family Reception Centre to make an appointment on the family's behalf ( (204) 257-7308). Please confirm an appointment time before arriving at the Newcomer Family Reception Centre. 
  2. Where possible, families are encouraged to arrive for their appointment with an interpreter and/or settlement worker. They should also bring all of their important documents (passports, immigration papers, school records, birth certificates, Manitoba Health info, etc.)
  3. In instances where newcomer families arrive at the Newcomer Family Reception Centre before registering at schools, the Newcomer Family Reception Centre will notify the school and arrange an appointment for registration at the school.

EAL Programs

As its number of newcomer families increases, the Louis Riel School Division adapts to the changing needs of its students. Programs such as English as an Additional Language (EAL) are an integral part of the Division and its community. The EAL program prepares newcomer students by developing the skills that will support their success in their new schools.

The Division's newcomer community is extremely diverse, and includes more than 45 languages and cultural groups with a variety of needs. Our newcomer students' English language proficiency, school experiences, pathways of arrival to Canada, and family backgrounds differ, and our EAL programming strives to respond to these differing needs and circumstances.

EAL provides:

  • an accurate assessment of each student's needs
  • appropriate instruction based on identified learner needs
  • a safe and inclusive learning environment
  • inspiration and hope for new learning

Our continued support of newcomer students contributes greatly to Winnipeg's thriving multi-cultural community.

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