Top 3 Best Catholic Elementary Schools in Kitchener-Waterloo

The Kitchener-Waterloo region plays host to a wide range of cultural demographics throughout the region, and these various demographics play out in everyday life. Education is no exception to this, and options abound for anyone searching for schools that might meet their specific needs.

On the religious front, the 2011 StatsCan census identified sixty-eight percent of the surveyed population in Kitchener as Christians, approximating 142,700 citizens.

Of that subset, forty-two percent of them identified as Catholic. Waterloo scored even higher five years later, when the 2016 StatsCan census calculated the other twin city at seventy-eight percent Christian, also noting Catholicism as the majority denomination within.

With an established Catholic population and a history of schools providing them with high-level education, let’s take a look at three of the best Catholic Kindergarten to Grade 8 School options in Kitchener-Waterloo:

Holy Rosary Catholic Elementary School

Located at 485 Thorndale Drive and just over ten minutes drive from Waterloo city centre, Holy Rosary Catholic (HRCES) is situated in the Westvale neighborhood. This is on Waterloo’s west end, and the school sits within walking proximity of green spaces and public recreational areas like Red River Park, West Wind Park, and Maple Hills Creek.

The school provides Catholic-centric education from their vision statement: “I am My Choices”- meaning that when students make good choices in both life and education, good things will happen.

The school is well connected within the heart of the community by having an excellent working relationship with their local parish, Our Lady of Lourdes, just over three kilometers from the school. And for elementary graduates who wish to continue within the system, Holy Rosary’s partnered high school, Resurrection Catholic Secondary School, is less than a kilometer away.

Continuing within the system sounds like the right idea, as students who stay with the Waterloo Catholic District School Board from Grade 9 onward have a consistently higher average High School graduation rate than the provincial average.

HRCES also works with a pair of unique programs that offer advantages to their students. Holy Rosary was certified in 2019 under the Ontario EcoSchools program, which is an environmental education course that helps students of all grades develop environmental awareness and literacy, as well as an understanding of good ecological practices.

EcoSchools also help education facilities themselves in improving their overall operations and processes to minimize their impacts on the environment.

HRCES is also partnered with the Strong Start To Reading Volunteer program, which targets students from Senor Kindergarten up through Grade Two who are struggling with early reading and comprehension skills.

The unique program provides games and activities in thirty-minute one-on-one sessions each week and is designed to aid in learning basic and essential literary habits.

St. Teresa-Kitchener Catholic Elementary School

Located in Kitchener, St.Teresa is designated with the included city name because it is the third of that name under the Catholic District School Board banner.

Other St. Teresa schools are located in Cambridge and Elmira. STK sits close to downtown Kitchener, at 270 Edwin Street. The heart of the school was constructed in 1953 and has been in operation for almost seven decades.

Although located next door to its namesake, St. Teresa Church, STK’s designated partnership parish is Sacred Heart Church of Kitchener. St. Teresa-Kitchener has the capacity for an average enrollment of two hundred students each school year for students from Junior Kindergarten up to Grade 8.

In addition to typical extracurricular activities, St. Teresa-Kitchener takes great pride in its Social Justice Club. STK considers socially conscious efforts to be part of the fabric of the school’s identity.

In just a few years since its inception, the Social Justice Club has had numerous accomplishments and has been involved in multiple efforts at the local, national, and international levels. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Several annual Christmas drives including collecting clothing to donate to families in need, a food drive, as well as toothbrush and toothpaste donations to local emergency shelters.
  • Saving and donating pennies to a clean drinking water drive in Africa
  • Collecting and donating sports equipment, new as well as used, to Ontario’s Wabaseemoong First Nations Reserve
  • A battery collection drive that sent donations to the Free The Children program, which harvests zinc from the batteries to be converted into dietary supplements in other countries

St. Mark Catholic Elementary School

Our next school is also located on the Kitchener side of the district, at 240 Autumn Hill Crescent in the area of Forest Heights. St. Mark’s partner parish shares the same namesake, and they have had a long and fruitful relationship over the years.

Before the dedication of the current St. Mark Church site in 1991, the church’s congregation held Sunday Mass and all other church and community events in the school’s gymnasium as far back as 1982.

At that time, the school itself had only been in operation for five years, having opened its doors in 1978. Today, SMCES has a capacity for over 250 students, and they are supervised by a staff of almost thirty members.

SMCES complements its history by also being a beacon for modernization. The school has an extensive Computer Club that runs the gamut of various high-end computer skills.

Students can learn robotics programming through coding with the Sphero project, as well as learning to code basic and advanced HTML. The Scratch program utilizes high-level block-based programming language and targets students from ages eight to sixteen.

The Computer Club has also visited the Google BRT2 office located in downtown Kitchener, which is the biggest research and development office that Google has in Canada. This provides students with first-hand experience of modern user experience and software engineering, alongside other important tech developments.

Like other schools, SMCES is also involved in the community and social justice projects. They take particular pride in students participating in the Terry Fox Run every year for almost two decades.

At its peak, their annual Terry Fox fundraising efforts had the school ranking as high as the 22nd biggest donor in all of Ontario.

All three of these highlighted schools are charter members of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB). While the board is named for the Waterloo area, its headquarters is located in Kitchener to fairly serve both halves of the Kitchener-Waterloo region.

The board has been in operation in various forms for over 185 years, and today is the eighth-largest Catholic school system in the province of Ontario.

Estimates from just under five years ago suggested that one in every three students in Kitchener-Waterloo and district was educated under the tutelage of a WCDSB school. Including the schools mentioned today, the WCDSB has forty-three total Catholic elementary schools under its watch that serves all families with students in the K to 8 age range.

If a Catholic-centric education is paramount for your children and you are considering buying or relocating to Kitchener-Waterloo, please contact us if you have any of these three or other local schools in mind.

Our real estate team is always a click or call away to answer any questions about the Kitchener-Waterloo area, from neighbourhoods to know-how. Feel free to contact us today and see how we can help!