School Profile

Our Vision
The KW Chinese School is dedicated to excellence in Chinese language and cultural education and to the fostering of good citizenship for each and every individual student. The school aims to implement innovative and learner-centric methodologies to ensure continued success in the programs it offers. 
Web Site 

School Hours

Cantonese Elementary Classes  (JK - Grade 8)                        Saturday 9:00am to 11:30am
Mandarin Elementary Classes    (JK - Grade 8)                        Saturday 9:00am to 11:30pm
Cantonese Credit Classes         (Grade 9 -12)                        Saturday 9:00am to 12:15pm
Mandarin Credit Classes           (Grade 9 -12)                        Saturday 9:00am to 12:15pm

Site Supervisor                                  

Catherine Lehmann Skelton

KWCS Coordinator 

Wei Li

School History

Founded in 1973, the Central Ontario Chinese Cultural Centre (COCCC) recognized the need to introduce and encourage Chinese culture and language to youths in its community. The founding president, Peter Chung Chieh, his wife Shiao-yu and a team of students from the University of Waterloo, established a Chinese school in the Kitchener-Waterloo region in 1973. All teachers volunteered their time, expertise, and efforts for this new and exciting project.

When the government implemented the Heritage Language Program years later, members of COCCC coordinated the setup of the Chinese school with the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) and its operation continued. Since its inception, the KW Chinese School has schooled children at many sites. With past successful coordinators such as Winston Wong, John Yan, Wing-Ki Liu, Bill Chien and Simon Yam,  the KW Chinese school has continued to flourish. The KWCS continues to be affiliated with the WRDSB and offers Elementary Chinese language instruction from Junior Kindergarten through Grade 8, as well as Credit courses for Grades 9 through 12.

Today, as part of the WRDSB's International Language Program, the KWCS operates under the jurisdiction of the Adult and Continuing Education Department, appointing Ms. Catherine Skelton as its Site Supervisor and Ms. Nancy Sinden as its Secretary. 

The KWCS now operates at Abraham Erb Public School (Elementary Classes) and Sir. John A Macdonald Secondary School (Credit Classes) since September 2012. 

Our Students

With an average class size of 22 students per class, our student population is represented as follows:

By Level:

Elementary Program (J.K - Grade 8)                   77%

Credit Program (Grade 9 - 12)                           23%
By Language:

Cantonese Program                                         20%

Mandarin Program                                           80%

Our Programs

The Cantonese Programs are taught with traditional Chinese characters.

The Mandarin (Putonghua) Programs are taught with the Pinyin Romanization System, using simplified Chinese characters.

In the Cantonese Program, students study from The Chinese Lingual-Cultural Centre of Canada series. In the Mandarin Program, students study from the textbook series published by Jinan University Press. Instructors also supplement with additional relevant materials to maintain enthusiasm, taking into consideration individual needs and levels of comprehension.
Our Staff
The KWCS has an experienced and dedicated team of teachers. Our instructors are committed to bringing the best learning experience to all students with time-honoured methods as well as creative adaptations to the pedagogical needs of individual students. 

KWCS Volunteer Group

The majority of our non-teaching staff consists entirely of parent volunteers, assisting in all aspects of the school’s operation. Maintaining a safe, secure and enjoyable learning environment is a priority. Our Volunteer Group continually works towards achieving the following goals:
  • To facilitate and encourage professional development among teachers.
  • To coordinate and implement future improvements to its existing programs, with the assistance and collaboration of the WRDSB.
  • To explore and acquire relevant, student-centred teaching materials.
  • To address parental concerns regarding the education of their children.
  • To increase Chinese social and cultural experiences through extra-curricular activities for both students and their community.
Library Services and Resources

To date, the library holds a large collection of fiction, reference and audio-visual materials, made available to all members of the KWCS. Plans made to expand this collection is on-going and donations from the community are always welcome.

The KWCS has access to multi-media teaching equipment, all of which are effective, fun and educational tools for teachers and students.

Clubs, Activities and Events

  • Bi-Annual Food Drive
  • Chinese Folk Dance Program – Our student dancers perform at local events and organizations within the communit
  • Lion Dance Program
  • Chinese Painting and Calligraphy
  • Chinese Speech Contest
  • Chess Competition
  • Mid-Autumn Festival Lantern Competition
  • Christmas Celebration
  • Chinese New Year Celebration
  • Year-End Celebration – Student Achievement Recognition Awards
  • Summer School - TBA
We are accepting online registration for several courses at

School Facilities

All elementary classes are held at Abraham ErbPublic School at 710 Laurelwood Drive, Waterloo, and credit classes are held at SJAM (Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School) at 650 Laurelwood Drive. The two schools have new buildings and equipment, library, and 2 gyms. KW Chinese School is convenient to shopping, the new Stork Family YMCA and John M. Harper Branch of the Waterloo Public Library. 

Code of Conduct

The staff and volunteers at our school are committed to recognizing students’ achievements and positive behaviour.  They will adhere to and enforce the WRDSB’s “Safe and Secure Schools Policy”:

The WRDSB takes all necessary actions to ensure personal safety and security in our schools. The WRDSB rely on parents/guardians, staff members and the community working together to help students develop the self-esteem, mutual respect and self-discipline they need to grow to their fullest potential as responsible citizens in our society. Our safe and secure school policies support the position that all students require a safe learning environment. These policies are in compliance with the Education Act, the Ministry of Education's safe schools initiatives and other appropriate legislation.

When a student’s conduct may be inappropriate, one or more of the following consequences may be pursued:

  • Student-teacher interview;
  • Student-student resolution conference;
  • Removal of privileges;
  • Referral to principal;
  • Parental contact by teacher and/or principal;
  • Temporary withdrawal from school;
  • Formal suspension.

* For more information on safe and secure schools, please visit the WRDSB website

Inclement Weather

In case of inclement weather on a Saturday morning, your child's instructor will contact your family to let you know that class has been cancelled for the day.

If you do not receive a phone call prior to 8:30am, please assume that classes will continue as scheduled. 

If classes need to end early because of inclement weather, you will be contacted by phone to come and pick up your child early.

Please ensure the office has your updated contact information in case of such an emergency.
You may also visit our website to receive updated information
Parent and Community Involvement
The success of the KWCS relies heavily on the cooperation and support given by its parents. It is this partnership that permits the school to create and promote a consistent atmosphere of enthusiasm for the Chinese language and to foster respect for all staff and students alike.

For further information, inquiries may be made by contacting the school on Saturday mornings at: 519-747-7694

or by email at:

You are encouraged to visit our website at up-to-date information about our school.