The majority of the school-age population is largely overseen by the two public school districts in the Region; the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Catholic District School Board. The Waterloo Region also offers a growing range of alterative schooling options.
The Waterloo Region has 147 elementary schools comprised of provincial schools, publicly-funded French-language schools, private schools and one special needs school. All specialized elementary schools run a regular elementary school program following the provincial curriculum.
There are 21 secondary schools (grades 9-12) operated by the two public school boards, offering varied learning opportunities for students aged 13-21.
There are an additional 12 private, special-needs and alternative-language schools. One of these secondary schools offers a rolling enrolment 12 months a year.
Scholar’s Hall, one of the Region’s four private schools, has a dual-language program in immersion: 50 percent French and 50 percent Spanish with classes offered to all its secondary school students.
There are two French-language school boards governing the region, offering a choice of elementary and secondary education for French-speaking students:
The Waterloo Region District School Board and the Waterloo Region Catholic District School Board instruct in a variety of languages reflective of the presence of a large immigrant population in the Region. These advanced language programs are offered as secondary school credits. They follow the International Language Program guidelines and approximately 90% of enrolled students speak the language at home. These programs run part-time at various public schools throughout the Region on evenings and weekends. Various ethno-cultural associations in Waterloo Region promote these courses and assist in sustaining community interest.
Concordia, The German Language School in Kitchener, is the largest Saturday German School in Canada. It is a part of the Waterloo Region District School Board and its curriculum adheres to the “Leitfaden” of the Federal Republic of Germany as well as to the guidelines of the Ministry of Education of Ontario.
There are over 600 students taught by thirty-five teachers and educational assistants. Two streams are offered: the German stream is for students who have a working knowledge of the German language and the English stream is for those who do not use the German language at home.
There are a number of faith-based, language, and special needs schooling options available in the Waterloo Region. There are six independent and eight privately operated, faith-based elementary schools in the alternative school system. All elementary schools in Waterloo Region are inspected by, and follow, the provincial curriculum set by the Ontario Ministry of Education.