FAQs*: School Courses Daily Schedule

FAQs = Frequently Asked Questions
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How are school grades organized?

School grades are organized by percentages with corresponding letter grades.  In addition, there is a work habit assigned during each reporting period.

Letter grades are:

  • A   (100% -86%)
  • B   (85%-73%)
  • C+ (72%-68%)
  • C   (67%-60%)

Can students choose their classes?

Yes. Students will have the opportunity to select courses with their school counsellors. Some courses are required courses which are mandatory and must be taken to satisfy graduation requirements for BC Secondary graduation or home country for re-validation of school subjects upon return to the student’s’ home country, as per their home country’s requirements.

Is an international student required to maintain certain grades in order to continue in the Burnaby School District Program?

Yes. A student who is obviously failing may not be invited back to the following academic year.

If a student has taken an IELTS or TOEFL and received a high score do they still need to take ELL (English Language Learning)?


Do ELL courses cost extra?


How long does it take to complete the ELL program?

The length of time that is required to move through the ELL program is dependent on each student and his/her previous experience learning English as well as their ability, study skills and effort.

What are Provincial exams? Do international students need to take them?

Provincial exams are mandated by the BC Ministry of Education. At this time, the only required provincial exams are for English 12 and Communications 12. The provincial exams contribute to 40% of the student’s overall final mark for the course. 60% of the student’s overall mark is determined by their achievement of the coursework completed.

What time of day does school start and finish?

School day start and finish times are 9 am to 3 pm for elementary schools. School day start and finish times for secondary schools are unique to each school, but approximately 9 am to 3 pm. Please check the individual school’s website to determine what the exact school start and finish times are.

What is the start and end of the school year?

The school start date is the Tuesday after the Labour Day holiday in September. The exact date will vary each calendar year. The end date of the school year is the end of June. The exact dates are available on the school calendars posted on the SD41 website under Quick Links www.sd41.bc.ca

When are the school holidays?

Extended school holidays are Winter Break (commencing at the end of the third week in December), Spring Break (two weeks in March), and Summer Holidays (commencing at the end of June until the Tuesday following Labour Day in September). The specific dates vary each calendar year and are available for viewing on the SD41 website under Quick Links www.burnabyschools.ca

How many hours do students study?

For the 2018/19 academic year, the BC Ministry of Education prescribes:
A minimum of 186 school days
853 hours for Kindergarten
878 hours for grades 1-7
952 hours for grades 8-12

How many courses does a secondary student take a year?


How many terms/semesters are there in a year?

Secondary schools are either linear or semester. There are three terms in a linear school and two semesters in a semester school. Elementary schools are all linear.

How many students are in a class?

Class sizes differ depending on the grade. Most secondary school classes have a maximum of 30 students. Class sizes may be smaller for speciality classes and in elementary grades.

What time is the lunch break?

Lunchtimes are unique to each school but generally are for 40 – 45 minutes sometime between 11:30 am and 12:15 pm. You can check on the school’s website for exact times.

Is there a school lunch program?

Some elementary schools have an optional lunch program, for a fee. See http://www.burnabyschools.ca/services/school-meals-program/ All secondary schools have a school cafeteria where students can purchase food.

Is there a school uniform?

There is no school uniform but there is an established dress code.

Why study in Burnaby?

With superior academic programs and modern facilities, all located within a city of vibrant green spaces, modern shopping malls, safe residential neighbourhoods, and state of the art public transit, choosing an education in Burnaby is the right choice.


Burnaby School District has one of the largest Advanced Placement (AP) programs in Canada.


Burnaby is located in the centre of Metro Vancouver. Its world-class SkyTrain public transit provides access to downtown Vancouver in just 30 minutes.


Burnaby schools feature modern facilities and state of the art technology.

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