Hi. We are migrating to Canada and have chosen Montreal as our destination. As my children have only studied in English, will there be any assistance available at the public schools to help them learn French from scratch? I have a 10 and 12 yr old. Which grades will they be eligible for? Which schools should I be looking at. Can I arrange for admissions while I am still outside Canada?
This is tricky as most public schools are in French. As your kids are already 10 and 12 it may not be so easy for them compared to much younger children. Have you considered looking at private or international schools? The International schools in Montreal gives a list and websites of some schools. This is a more expensive route than public schools, though it may be possible to switch to a public school after learning some French in the private system.
It definitely is possible to start arranging for admissions outside of Canada, but can be helpful to have a local friend in Montreal or an agent specialised in the matter visit the school, give reviews and provide advice before you finalise anything – it may turn out the school isn't a good fit. There are some relocation companies in Canada that can provide this service. Some public schools may provide extra support (though possibly limited) but it's best to contact them directly, and this can be a lengthy process, which is why I suggest a relocation company to take this stress off your hands.
Hope this helps?