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School Ratings, quality of schools
#1
Hey everyone, we are getting closer to our move to KW.  We are still trying to find a house in your crazy real estate market.

I have a question about quality of schools and school ratings.

I have noticed a general trend that schools on the east side of the city (Chicopee, Rosemont, Heritage Park communities) rank lower than schools on the west side of the city (Laurelwood, Birchwood, Westvale communities).  

Do you put any value into these ratings.  Do you have kids attending these schools on the east side?  Are they good schools? I'd like to know specifically about Howard Robertson Public School, Smithson Public School, Crestview Public School.

Any thoughts or input would be greatly appreciated.  We have found some homes we can afford in the areas of these schools, but seeing schools rated 2.5 out of 10 scares me.
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#2
Crazy market! K-W is pretty sedate compared to the Toronto market. Smile

Don't take the school scores at face value without looking at the details as they don't necessarily tell you the whole story on the quality of teaching (which IMHO does not vary so radically anyway). If you look at the school details, you will see that the lower-ranking schools have typically 10-20% ESL students (and more than that if you include students who are not native English speakers but no longer need ESL classes), and also tend to have more special-needs students. Both of these will impact the average test scores. I personally don't think the lower-ranked schools in this region are "scary" as such.
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#3
I can't speak specifically about those, but I'm a high school teacher and I take our rankings with a massive grain of salt.  I know high schools have a number of magnet programs that can skew rankings in one way or another.  ESL programs for example will show lower literacy rates, well ya of course they will.  AP or IB schools will show higher rates.  These don't really show the actual quality of learning and the school community at a given school.  I've taught at two of the Region's "lower" ranked high schools and they are GREAT learning spaces.
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#4
That is my take, rankings reflect more the quality of the intake than anything else. Good schools are correlated to neighbourhoods with more professionals where parents generally pay more attention to education.
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#5
Cool. Thanks guys. That was kind of my take on it, and Spokes, its great to hear a teacher's point of view.

And in an odd turn of events, we have an offer on a house in New Hamburg. Our road to KItchener-Waterloo has taken some interesting turns lately. This new turn may have us in a small town.
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#6
I personally think the surrounding towns and villages are among the unsung virtues of the region. New Hamburg, in particular, has some of the best assets: pretty little downtown core, gorgeous setting nestled in the folds of the Nith River, and easy access. Hopefully the bus route catches on and sticks around.

If you like cycling, you couldn't ask for a better spot. Wellesley, Wilmot and North Dumfries have some of the best road cycling routes in the region, and if mountain biking is more of your thing, the Hydrocut is just down the road.
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#7
(07-17-2016, 10:06 PM)Cartcanuck Wrote: Cool.  Thanks guys.  That was kind of my take on it, and Spokes, its great to hear a teacher's point of view.  

And in an odd turn of events, we have an offer on a house in New Hamburg.  Our road to KItchener-Waterloo has taken some interesting turns lately.  This new turn may have us in a small town.

Good luck with the offer.

If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask.
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