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2. A profile of K-12 schools in Canada

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In 2003/04, there were approximately 15,500 kindergarten to grade 12 (K-12) schools in Canada. Of these, the majority (65%) were classified as elementary schools, followed by secondary (22%) and mixed (13%) schools. Urban schools accounted for nearly three-quarters of all schools.

Overall, urban schools were more likely to be large in size, while a higher proportion of small schools were located in rural areas. Eighty-eight percent of all schools were publicly administered, while roughly 11% were classified as private. Only about 1% of schools had a combination of public and private administrations. Table 1 presents the percentage of K-12 schools by various characteristics, as well as the distribution by instructional level and size, within each characteristic.

Not surprisingly, the three largest provinces accounted for the highest proportions of K-12 schools in Canada (Table 2). In 2003/04, 42% of Canadian elementary schools were found in Ontario, followed by 22% in Quebec and 13% in British Columbia. Ontario also had the highest proportion of K-12 schools located in urban areas (40%), followed by Quebec (19%), British Columbia (14%) and Alberta (13%). Onequarter of rural schools were found in Ontario, while 21% were located in Quebec. More than one-third of publicly administered schools were located in Ontario (35%), followed by Quebec (20%), and Alberta and British Columbia (12%). Ontario accounted for half of the proportion of privately administered schools in Canada.