St. Agnes Overview
St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School is self-described as the “Little School with the Big Heart.” This year marks the 60th year that St. Agnes has been open and that moniker has been well-earned, as evidence of this is witnessed on a daily basis amongst students, staff and the St. Agnes Community.
St. Agnes was officially opened in December of 1956. It was the fourth separate school to be built in Waterloo. The modern one-storey structure, built on a seven-acre parcel of land, consisted of six classrooms, a library/storage room, a staff room and a principal’s office.
The enrolment for the 1956-57 school year was 110 students, taught by three teachers, one of whom was the Principal, Sister Constantina, who taught a combined Grades 6, 7, 8 class of 32 students. Within two years, the school had grown to 142 students and the first graduating class was promoted to high school. The subdivision in the Northeast end of Waterloo continued to grow rapidly and by 1962 an addition of six more classrooms was added. Enrolment had ballooned to 308 students. In 1965, when enrolment had reached 388 students, a gym was added to the school. Over the years, enrolment rose as high as 620 students. Students from St. Louis, St. Thomas and St. Michael enrolled at St. Agnes when their respective schools closed and St. Agnes boundaries changed. In 1996, when St. Matthew School opened, St. Agnes boundaries changed again. Portables slowly disappeared, and enrolment remained steady at approximately 270 pupils with 25 staff members. In 2001 a final addition was put onto the school including a bright beautiful new library, staff room, health room and offices.
St. Agnes Church was opened in 1969. The relationship that resulted between school, church and community continues to be a positive one for all involved. Beginning in 1964, as the neighbourhood grew and the need arose, Sunday Mass was held in St. Agnes School for those people who did not have a car to attend the parish church of St. Louis. Over the years, St. Agnes School and Church have shared many landmarks in the lives of the St. Agnes Community families. The receiving of first sacraments, school masses, school and church socials and involvement by the church pastor and pastoral assistant have created a harmonious and spiritually fulfilling relationship for all.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit St. Agnes School, you will immediately feel the warm embrace of our WCDSB vision: “Heart of the community, success for each, and a place for all”. The mural on the wall in the main foyer shows Jesus, our best teacher, surrounded by students. This symbolizes for us how important it is to listen to His word and to model the gospel values in all our actions.
The current enrolment at St. Agnes Catholic School is approximately 280 students. We have 12 classrooms consisting of Early Years to grade 8. We have 30 dedicated staff members and an active School Council. We also pride ourselves on the wonderful events and programs that occur at St. Agnes and we appreciate the many volunteers who are happy to support the life of the school in any way.
At St. Agnes School, the “Little School with the Big Heart”, we consistently strive to “preach the Gospel often, and if necessary, use words.” (quote from St. Francis)