Do the best neighbourhoods and schools go hand in hand in Kitchener Waterloo? That’s not an easy question to answer. There’s probably a grain of truth to this but there are also tons of exceptions and lots of questions needing answers.
There are many buyers who want to buy in a great neighbourhood and also want the best learning experience possible for their children. So I made a map a while back that uses letter grades not unlike the numerical system the Fraser Institute uses to rank schools schoolsrankings.org And I wrote about this subject 6 years ago
But be cautious interpreting the data. The Fraser Institute has been accused of hyping up faults in our educational system due to their well known free market stance on all things government. Critics suggest that the performance gap between schools isn’t as high as reported by the Fraser Institute.
Cautions aside the schools data can be weird to look at. Two of the poshest neighbourhoods in the region don’t have schools at all and residents here probably send the kids to private school. A sharp jump in performance can be seen in the newest Waterloo suburbs in comparison to Kitchener’s counterparts. Does that 25K difference in household income between the two cities really impact schools scores? And you also find poor performing schools in seemingly good areas so what’s up with that?
For some of the poorer performing schools I don’t doubt that economics plays a part. I’ve lived here a long time and know Kitchener Waterloo. Neighbourhoods with older housing, a higher proportion of rentals and lower incomes tend to have schools with lower scores.
But how do you explain Prueter or Meadowlane? I grew up in the area and remember when Meadowlane was built. Forest Heights isn’t what I’d call a problem neighbourhood. And Prueter sits almost across the street from St. Teresa with an A- score.
If you’re looking for the best neighbourhoods and the best schools in Kitchener Waterloo then by all means use my map. But realize its limitations and note that exceptions galore found easily. Do you need a school with a very high score and want urban living too? Would a school with a B ranking still work? What about Catholic vs. public? In a lot of cases the Catholic schools do quite well. If you’re looking for the best schools for you and your kids then scores alone might not be enough.