Read More About Laurelwood Public School
Laurelwood Public School
Greetings, and welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog! Over the past couple weeks, we’ve been looking into seven of the top-rated elementary schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) and sharing the basic facts about them.
Today, with Laurelwood Public School, we reach the end of that series. Laurelwood is at present (and at numerous points over the past decade) the top-ranked school in the WRDSB, according to analysis by the Fraser Institute – but more on that later.
So read on to learn all about Laurelwood P.S., and check back later this week for an overview of the top seven WRDSB elementary schools, and the start of our series on the top seven Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) elementary schools.
Laurelwood Public School’s address is 460 Brentcliffe Drive, which is in the northwest quadrant of Waterloo. As its name suggests, Laurelwood P.S. resides squarely within the wondrous neighbourhood of Laurelwood. For several years running, Laurelwood has been one of the most – and often the most – popular neighbourhood in all of Waterloo, and its access to fairly new, high-ranking schools (Laurelwood P.S., Abraham Erb P.S., St.
Nicholas Catholic Elementary School, and Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School) is a major factor in its popularity. SJAM, it should be noted, is one of the top secondary schools in the WRDSB; you can read about it here.
Indeed, Laurelwood is seen as an ideal place for families, with great outdoor opportunities (Laurel Creek Conservation Area is incredible), a range of community activities, and close proximity to shopping while also being separate enough to feel quiet and safe – you can read all about Laurelwood the neighbourhood here.
But let’s turn back to Laurelwood the elementary school.
Laurelwood opened its doors in September of 1998. It is a Kindergarten to Grade 8 school, meaning students won’t need to switch to another school for their senior elementary years (Grades 7 and 8). There are currently approximately 550 students and 65 staff at Laurelwood.
Unique and noteworthy elements of the school itself include an outdoor learning circle and a butterfly garden, as well as the woodlot and neighbourhood park upon which the school borders. Having access to these sorts of spaces enables Laurelwood’s staff to provide students with a more holistic education.
Students at Laurelwood can take advantage of numerous extracurricular activities, including many athletic opportunities, and special events like musicals (in the 2017-18 school year, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dream Coat was the school’s big project).
See Homes for Sale Near Laurelwood Public School
Laurelwood offers French Immersion for students interested in cultivating fluency in Canada’s other official language. Upon graduation, Laurelwood students are zoned for nearby Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School (SJAM for short) for high school. The WRDSB’s Magnet Program, though, allows students to transfer to a secondary school outside of their zoning if they’re pursuing a Specialized Course not offered there (you can read more about the Magnet Program in our article on SJAM).
For example, students who took French Immersion in Laurelwood will need to transfer to another high school, as SJAM does not at present offer that program (Waterloo Collegiate Institute [WCI] offers Extended French, and Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational School [KCI] offers French Immersion).
Laurelwood’s classes run from 8:40 am – 3:00 pm; office hours are from 8:00 – 3:45. The office phone number is (519) 884-9999.
We saved Laurelwood for last in our WRDSB series, as it is, at present, the #1-ranked school in the City of Waterloo. Not only this, but Laurelwood is also the highest-ranked school in the entire Waterloo Region (Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge, and the surrounding Townships) – in both the WRDSB and the WCDSB.
That’s quite an achievement! But before we dive deeper into the ranking, let’s first discuss where the ranking comes from (the Fraser Institute). The Fraser Institute is a Canadian organization based in Vancouver that conducts research in a variety of fields affecting Canadians – education is one of their most prominent areas of focus.
Using publically-available data, the Fraser Institute compiles schools’ scores on certain standardized tests and grades them on a 10-point scale. Elementary schools are assessed and ranked based on their performance in the Grade 3 and Grade 6 testing conducted by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO); the Fraser Institute analyzes average performance in Reading, Writing, and Math, while also taking gender gap, percentage of tests written below average, and percentage of tests not written into account.
Schools ranked 7.6/10 and higher fall into the ‘Green’ quadrant of schools.
Moving back to Laurelwood: the Fraser Institute presently ranks 3064 elementary schools all across Ontario (they also assess schools in Alberta, B.C., and Québec). In the 2016-17 school year, Laurelwood ended up as #52 in the entire province (within the top 2% of schools), and #26 out of Ontario’s public schools.
Amazingly, Laurelwood has done even better in years past (2012-13 saw its score reach 9.7/10, placing it in the top 25 throughout Ontario), but the overall theme of Laurelwood is not just quality: it’s consistency.
In each of the past 5 years (though note that there was no EQAO testing in 2015), Laurelwood has scored higher than 8/10. Also worth noting is that between 2016 and 2017, Laurelwood’s score increased from 8.8/10 to its present standing of 9.2/10 – the scores themselves are important to pay attention to, but upward trends are very good indications of a school’s performance, as well.
So as it stands, Laurelwood sits as the top-ranked school in the entire Waterloo Region (in both school boards), with fellow Laurelwood-neighbourhood schools Abraham Erb P.S. and St. Nicholas Catholic Elementary School also placing in the top 5 overall.
Do note that the EQAO tests themselves, and the Fraser Institute’s school rankings/annual Report Cards, are imperfect measures of success, though, and factors beyond the test scores themselves can affect overall results. Nevertheless, Laurelwood’s consistently impressive performance is certainly one indicator of a top-tier WRDSB elementary school.
The City of Waterloo has a sterling reputation for its educational opportunities: many of its elementary schools consistently perform among the best in the region, as do its secondary schools, and it has two very well-regarded universities (University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier University).
Laurelwood Public School earns the distinct privilege of being the top-ranking elementary school in a city full of high-ranking elementary schools. Likewise, Laurelwood (the neighbourhood) has the distinction of being one of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in a city also full of sought-after neighbourhoods.
Families looking to find great educational opportunities for their children will find much to love about Laurelwood – both the school and the neighbourhood.
Written by Will Kummer