Read More About Millen Woods Public School
Millen Woods Public School
Welcome to the WRX Property Group website and blog! We’ve been looking at the six top-rated elementary schools in the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB), and today we’ll be assessing the second woods-related school on the list: Millen Woods Public School in Waterloo (the other woodsy school is Lackner Woods Public School in Kitchener).
Millen Woods’ address is 640 New Hampshire Street, placing it squarely in the wonderful Eastbridge neighbourhood of northeast Waterloo.
See Homes for Sale Near Millen Woods Public School
Millen Woods (as we’ll now be shortening the name to) is a Kindergarten to Grade 6 elementary school. At present, there are approximately 370 students at the school, along with 25 teaching staff, 3 support staff, and a team of custodial staff.
For Grades 7 and 8, students will simply move a few blocks southwest to Lester B. Pearson Public School. For high school, students are then zoned for Bluevale Collegiate Institute. One of Millen Woods’ special programs is French Immersion.
Students will be able to continue French Immersion at Lester B. Pearson Public School, but as Bluevale does not presently offer French Immersion, they will need to transfer to Kitchener-Waterloo Collegiate and Vocational Institute (KCI for short) for secondary school.
You can read about each of the high schools here: Bluevale and KCI. Millen Woods’ school hours are 9:00 am – 3:20 pm; the office hours are 8:15 – 3:45. Its office phone number is (519) 725-4221.
For a little while, Millen Woods held the title of ‘Newest School in Waterloo.’ The fact that it was opened just over seven years ago but another school has already taken its title (Vista Hills Public School) goes to show how rapidly the Waterloo Region is growing; many school boards are closing schools, but the WRDSB continues to expand as more and more students need a home.
The consequence is a slew of new, fully modern schools to benefit students throughout the region. Back to Millen Woods: Millen Woods was opened in January 2011, in a quiet suburban section of Eastbridge (which is itself, on the whole, a rather quiet suburban neighbourhood [RIM Technology Park not withstanding]).
The Millen Woods team name is the Mariners, and their symbol is a blue, white, and green compass rose. Every year, they say, students set sail on a voyage of learning. Their motto is: “I used my head, my heart, my hands / The choice is mine to make / When we SAIL we are: / Showing Respect, Always positive, Including everyone, Loving to learn.” A very positive message, indeed, but a little on the long side!
School and Community
Over the years, Millen Woods has committed to making the school itself the best it can be. Classrooms are equipped with computers and digital technology (Google Classroom, and Chromebooks, are integrated into many of the learning environments), and there is wireless access throughout the school.
In addition to soccer fields, the school offers the wonderful prospect of enjoying a large, natural, wooded area that stretches west of the school grounds (the school’s called Millen Woods for a reason). Millen Woods also commissioned Earthscapes to design a natural playground (not unlike that found in Huron Natural Area in Kitchener), and new playground equipment has been added over the years.
This embrace of nature is also made manifest by Millen Woods’ recent receipt of a very high honour indeed: they are one of a select few schools to win a Gold EcoSchool award, which highlights schools that integrate environmental studies into education and meet the Ontario EcoSchool’s high standards in energy use, waste minimization, and overall greening initiatives.
Millen Woods has a lovely, ever-expanding garden area in front of the school in which students can learn about nature, and outdoor creative areas, too. In terms of community, Millen Woods hosts a ‘dynamic School Council’ that meets on the third Wednesday of each month.
Through this, parents, students, staff, and community members can contribute to and strive to improve everything from fundraising and events to extracurricular and academic opportunities. Speaking of…
The Fraser Institute is a Canadian organization based in Vancouver, with offices in Calgary, Toronto, and Montreal. One of the Fraser Institute’s major initiatives is creating up-to-date ratings and rankings of both elementary and secondary schools in several Canadian provinces (at this time, they rank schools in the four largest provinces: Ontario, Québec, British Columbia, and Alberta).
These ratings stem from analysis of publically-available data culled from the Grade 3 and Grade 6 testing conducted by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO). These tests assess Reading, Writing, and Mathematics. The Fraser Institute analyzes average performance in each of these areas, while accounting for gender gap, tests written below average, and tests not written.
The Fraser Institute then assigns each school with a rating between 1 and 10; schools ranked 7.6 and higher fall in the ‘Green’ category. Millen Woods’ 2017 score was an impressive 8/10 – this places it as the fifth most highly-ranked school in the WRDSB, and the sixth most highly-ranked school in Waterloo (including schools from the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, or WCDSB).
It also places Millen Woods well above the overall Ontario average of 6/10. Millen Woods underwent an incredible upward surge in ranking between 2013 and 2014, going from one of Waterloo’s middle-tier schools to one of its most highly-rated.
That is something to take particular note of: it suggests a commitment to education and growth, and with the high rankings they’ve shown over the past four years (2015 had no EQAO testing), clearly Millen Woods’ commitment is paying off.
There are numerous ways in which Millen Woods has worked to ensure the best possible learning environment for its students. In general, Millen Woods provides students with feedback conferences, portfolios, as well as a variety of assessment and evaluation strategies.
They’ve also implemented a new School Success Plan, which has two aims: to “Continue to promote an increase in Math Fluency across the grades through a variety of strategies, program instruction and planning design through professional development of all staff,” and to promote and develop empathy amongst students, while also ensuring students’ overall well-being (Millen Woods).
Millen Woods is one of the top-rated schools in all of Kitchener-Waterloo, and it has demonstrated a true commitment to maintaining this status. It offers a wide range of clubs and activities, it is incredibly environmentally-aware (with a garden out front, and a large forest out back), and it has implemented and integrated various technologies into its classrooms.
If you’re looking to move to Waterloo, Eastbridge may be the neighbourhood for you, and Millen Woods Public School may be the perfect school for your children.
Written by Will Kummer