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Homes for Sale Near Abraham Erb Public School

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Abraham Erb Public School

Greetings, and welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog! Starting today, we will be looking at the Top-Rated Elementary Schools in Kitchener-Waterloo, one at a time. Today’s school is Abraham Erb Public School in Waterloo!


First of all, where did Abraham Erb Public School’s name come from? Well, Abraham Erb, obviously – but who was he? Abraham Erb was a German Mennonite from Pennsylvania; he was born in 1772.

Along with his brother John, Abraham and a group of German Mennonites moved north into the wilderness of what was then Upper Canada in 1806. John Erb must have gotten tired along the way, as he chose to settle in what would go on to become Preston (now the northwestern part of Cambridge).

Abraham Erb persevered, and he made it several kilometers further north, where he bought two large tracts of land, and hundreds of acres of forest. Abraham Erb built a couple mills (including a grist mill that would be run by Jacob S.

Shoemaker, who oddly didn’t make any shoes), and over the years his land would grow to become the village – then the town, then the city – of Waterloo. Beyond being heralded as the founder of Waterloo, Abraham Erb is also recognized today for his early role in establishing education in Waterloo.

He worked towards building the region’s first school in 1820, and before his death in 1830, he set aside a fund that would help poor children receive an education.

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Abraham Erb Public School (now that we’ve discussed the man, from here on out we’ll be referring to the school simply as Abraham Erb, too) is one of the top-rated schools in the entire Waterloo Region District School (WRDSB).

The WRDSB serves the entire Waterloo Region (as its name implies), with numerous elementary and secondary schools throughout Waterloo, Kitchener, and Cambridge, as well as several schools in the surrounding Townships of North Dumfries, Wellesley, Wilmot, and Woolwich.

In terms of zoning, Abraham Erb serves students living throughout the northwest corner of Waterloo. Essentially, the southernmost part of Abraham Erb’s zoning boundaries are the neighbourhoods just south of Laurelwood Drive; the eastern boundary is Beaver Creek Road.

Abraham Erb serves students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. The school has a student population of approximately 420. School hours are from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm, with office hours running from 8:30 am – 4:00 pm.

The office phone number is (519) 747-7694. Abraham Erb offers French Immersion from Grade 1 to Grade 6 – an exciting opportunity for students looking to learn Canada’s other official language. Abraham Erb students are zoned for Vista Hills for Grades 7 and 8.

Abraham Erb’s team name is ‘the Otters’, and their mascot is an otter named Erb. Erb has been known to go on an adventure or two during the summer, including a diplomatic visit to Ottawa.



As mentioned, Abraham Erb is considered one of the best elementary schools in Kitchener-Waterloo – indeed, one of the best in the entire WRDSB. Part of this assessment comes from the Fraser Institute. The Fraser Institute is a Canadian organization that, among other things, measures and then ranks Canadian schools on a variety of criteria.

This can help parents when choosing where to live, and where to send their children to school: details like how schools compare to other local schools, as well as overall trends in performance within a specific school can be quite helpful in the important decisions regarding your children’s education.

As you’ll see, Abraham Erb not only performs well compared to other schools in the Region, but it has also shown an upward trend in terms of academic performance.

Abraham Erb’s 2016-17 ranking is incredibly high: it has a 9.0/10 average (placing it well within the Green ranking of 7.6+), placing it as the second best elementary school in all of Waterloo (including both WRDSB and WCDSB schools), and the second best elementary school in the entire WRDSB (including schools from Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, and the surrounding Townships).

Impressively, Abraham Erb is also ranked #65 in all of Ontario. The Fraser Institute’s means of assessment stem primarily from the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). Their data points are as follows: average performance in Grade 3 Testing (Reading, Writing, and Math); average performance in Grade 6 Testing (Reading, Writing, and Math); gender gap in performance (Math and Reading); percentage of tests written below standard; and percentage of tests not written.

Of course, this methodology is imperfect, and factors like proportion of students in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program and students with Special Needs can affect overall scores. However, the Fraser Institute does paint a picture of a school’s overall performance.

Abraham Erb deservedly ranks quite highly, but there is another notable element to the school’s success. Abraham Erb’s overall performance has been steadily climbing over the past five years (note that EQAO tests were not written during the 2015 school year, though), which demonstrates the school’s commitment to top tier education.

Assessing a school against its own past performance is in some ways even better than overall, regional comparisons: it shows a school on the rise.

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Abraham Erb is located at 710 Laurelwood Drive, near the intersection of Laurelwood Drive and Erbsville Road, in northwest Waterloo. It’s one of four schools in the highly sought-after Laurelwood neighbourhood. Indeed, the presence of such highly renowned schools is one reason why Laurelwood is so sought-after (another reason is the beautiful Laurel Creek Conservation Area).

Laurelwood Public School and Abraham Erb Public School are consistently two of the top schools in the entire WRDSB (we’ll explore Laurelwood Public School more fully in its own article), and St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School is one of the top schools in the WCDSB (Waterloo Catholic District School Board).

Furthermore, there is a secondary school located in the Laurelwood neighbourhood: Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School (or, as it’s referred to by locals, SJAM [pronounced ess-jam]).

SJAM is currently the newest high school in Waterloo, and it is consistently ranks as one of the top schools in the Region, too. You can read more about SJAM in our article on it here.

Notably, SJAM is located just up the street from Abraham Erb – they’re divided only by a field and a couple trails. Most Abraham Erb students will attend SJAM once they complete elementary school (unless they’re keen to take another program offered only at another secondary school – you can read more about WRDSB’s Magnet Program in the SJAM article).

Being located just up the street from Abraham Erb, transitioning into secondary school at SJAM is simple and smooth for students: they likely won’t need to make any new arrangements or alterations to their transportation situation, and they will likely be more familiar with the school than if they were attending one on the other side of the city.



Abraham Erb Public School is one of the WRDSB’s top-ranked schools. It’s located in one of Waterloo’s most attractive neighbourhoods (Laurelwood), and it aptly bears the name of Abraham Erb, an early advocate of good education (and, as some say, the founder of Waterloo).

Abraham Erb’s a fantastic school in a great neighbourhood, and it’s just up the street from one of the Region’s best secondary schools to boot! Plus it’s got an otter as a mascot

Written by Will Kummer


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