415 DUNVEGAN Drive Unit# B, Waterloo, N2K2C8
415 DUNVEGAN Drive, Waterloo, Ontario N2K2C8
160 STEEPLECHASE Way, Waterloo, N2K0E5
160 STEEPLECHASE Way, Waterloo, Ontario N2K0E5
237 PASTERN TR, Waterloo, N2K3X1
237 Pastern Trail, Waterloo, Ontario N2K3X1
349 SANDOWNE Drive, Waterloo, N2K1W1
Waterloo, Ontario N2K1W1
349 SANDOWNE DR, Waterloo, N2K1W1
349 Sandowne Drive, Waterloo, Ontario N2K1W1
338 RIVER OAK Place, Waterloo, N2K3N8
338 RIVER OAK Place, Waterloo, Ontario N2K3N8
St. Matthew Catholic Elementary School (St. Matthew for short) is a Kindergarten to Grade 8 elementary school. There are currently over 400 students here, served by over 50 staff. Its address is 405 Pastern Trail, in eastern Waterloo, and its phone number is (519) 886-9311. St. Matthew offers Extended Day Care. St. Matthew’s team name is the St. Matthew Wildcats, and their mascot is a Wildcat – exemplifying the tenacity with which students approach their goals.
St. Matthew received its blessing and was opened for students in September, 1995. At this time, the eastern segment of Waterloo was growing rapidly, and the two closest Catholic schools (St. Agnes, southwest of Highway 85, and St. Thomas Aquinas, which closed and is now École Élémentaire Catholique Mère-Élisabeth-Bruyère) were unable to accommodate the increasing number of families. Thus, St. Matthew was built!
St. Matthew’s building features eye-catching red bricks and a window with a Cross above the front entrance. But from its very inception, the driving focus of St. Matthew was to be its people: the teachers, the staff, the Parish, and perhaps most importantly, the students. St. Matthew was built not only to be a school, but to be a centre of the community, and it has succeeded.
St. Matthew stands fairly centrally within the eastern Waterloo neighbourhood of Lexington. Lexington is a suburban neighbourhood with lovely homes and relatively quiet streets. Two ways in which the neighbourhood – and St. Matthew’s location within it – shine are its close proximity to the Conestoga Parkway and to the Grand River.
The Conestoga Parkway (Highway 85) makes getting around Kitchener-Waterloo fast and easy, and the Grand River (just a ten minute walk from St. Matthew’s entrance) is one of the Region’s most impressive natural features. You can read more about Lexington here.
St. Matthew is part of the St. Agnes Parish. In addition to St. Matthew, St. Agnes Catholic Church also serves two other WCDSB elementary schools (including St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School, which is also on our list) and St. David Catholic Secondary School (more on it later). The Parish history stretches back to 1967, and it now includes around 1250 families. St. Agnes stands southwest of St. Matthew – just a short drive away, particularly if you make use of the Conestoga Parkway.
Learning about the WCDSB schools’ names can be interesting in and of itself (the names become more meaningful when you understand their history). But individual schools often highlight certain virtues and positive characteristics of their patron saints, which students are encouraged to value and integrate into their lives, which is the case at St. Matthew.
St. Matthew (also known as Matthew the Apostle or Matthew the Evangelist) lived in the First Century AD, in the Roman Empire. He worked, at first, as a tax collector, but he would go on to become an early apostle of Jesus and preach in numerous countries. He appears several times in the New Testament. Every year, the school celebrates his Feast Day on September 21st.
The Fraser Institute is a Canadian organization that, among other things, compiles an annual ranking of schools in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, and British Columbia. For Ontario elementary schools, they make use of the results from the Grade 3 and Grade 6 Testing run by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO).
Using average performance in Reading, Writing, and Mathematics, while also taking Gender Gap, tests written below standard, and tests not written into account, the Fraser Institute assigns each school a rating out of 10. St. Matthew’s current rating (as of the 2017 Testing – the latest available) is a highly respectable 7.8/10. This score places St. Matthew in the top 15% of schools across Ontario (there are over 3000), and in the top quadrant (Green) of ratings.
Compared to other schools in the WCDSB, St. Matthew also does quite well, placing in the top 10 elementary schools in both the WRDSB and WCDSB throughout the Waterloo Region, and in the top 5 WCDSB elementary schools overall. Furthermore, St. Matthew has shown a capacity for growth in its scores between years, and it has not fallen below a 7.3/10 in the past five years.
Extracurricular and Co-Curricular Opportunities
The first element to highlight is very Kitchener-Waterloo specific: St. Matthew is a great school to learn about – and play with – technology. St. Matthew has partnered with both RIM (now known as BlackBerry Limited) and the University of Waterloo (one of the driving forces behind Kitchener-Waterloo’s reputation) to enable students to pursue tech-related interests.
From this, St. Matthew formed the WCDSB’s first Lego Robotics Team, and became area champions in 2010. Other opportunities include Gauss Math, Folk Dancing, Young Authors, Choir, Drama, Forest of Reading (Canada’s largest recreational reading program, created by the Ontario Library Association), and more.
We mentioned that St. Matthew’s team name is the St. Matthew Wildcats, so of course there are athletic opportunities here, too! Students will be able to participate in more individual-oriented activities like Cross Country, 100 Kilometer Club, and Track and Field (both school and area meets). There are also a range of team sports, including Soccer, Softball, Basketball, and Co-Ed Hockey. Beyond variety, St. Matthew has also had quite a few successes and victories over the years.