By Kathy McGrath
Planning and construction of Charlottetown Public School took place in 1967 while Canada was celebrating its 100th anniversary. The school and many of the surrounding streets were named in honour of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference where the Fathers of Confederation formed the country.
Here are some interesting points in the school’s history:
- Operated originally by the Scarborough Board of Education, Charlottetown Public School opened its doors to 250 students from kindergarten to Grade 8 during the 1968-1969 school year. By the next school year, enrolment had grown to 435. The building contained 13 classrooms and boasted a modern library resource centre
- Charlottetown’s first principal, C.V. McCormick, experimented with a pilot project that separated boys and girls in Grades 1 and 2. Statistics at the time showed that young boys progressed more slowly than girls, so Mr. McCormick did not want the boys to feel frustrated or like they were in competition with the girls. The boys’ teacher, Miss Bond, said they were noisier, harder to discipline and more interested in science and space than girls. She created arithmetic problems for them that incorporated Hot Wheels and other traditionally male-oriented toys.
- To accommodate the influx of students from the growing community, eight additional classrooms and a second gymnasium were added in 1971. Seven years later, the school experienced a significant change with the opening of Joseph Howe Senior Public School. Charlottetown became a junior public school serving students from junior kindergarten to Grade 6 and Howe accommodated kids in Grades 7 and 8.
- In 1985, the Charlottetown Boulevard Childcare Centre, an incorporated non-profit organization, opened at the school and provided child-minding services until it moved off-site in 1997 to its current location on Island Road. The school now houses two childcare programs operated by the East Scarborough Boys and Girls Club.
- In the mid-2000s, due to the number of people dropping kids off in cars, the school designed a Kiss-n-Ride program to help students move quickly and safely from cars to the schoolyard each morning. A contingent of adult volunteers still pitches in to keep this essential service operating.
- One of the school’s most enduring and anticipated traditions is the annual Charlottetown Winter Fair, which is held in November. It raises funds for computer equipment, musical instruments, playground equipment and special events. Last fall marked the 36th anniversary of the festival.