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Edmonton Catholic Schools

130 Years of Catholic Education

Celebrating 130 years of Catholic Education

The 2018-2019 school year is an exciting one for the Edmonton Catholic School District as we celebrate our 130th anniversary. Below is some information on the history of Catholic education in Edmonton.

Catholic education in Edmonton has a proud tradition that dates back to before Alberta was a province. In August 1888 Edmonton Catholic parents applied to organize a separate school district for their children. In October of that same year three sisters from the Faithful Companions of Jesus sailed from France to open a convent and a school in Edmonton. They began teaching at the newly formed St. Joachim Catholic School on November 2, 1888. That first year the sisters taught 23 students. At that time compulsory schooling began at age seven and was complete by the age of 12.

In the 130 years that have passed since the first school bell rang at St. Joachim Catholic School, the Edmonton Catholic School District has grown from one school with 23 students to 96 schools with approximately 42,500 students.

The Edmonton Catholic School District was built by those who believe in and support Catholic education. They were people of adventure and spirit. Today's Catholic students, parents, staff and trustees are also people of adventure and spirit. They also believe in a Catholic education that meets academic needs while learning values and morals necessary for a full and productive life.

People often ask "Why Catholic education? Why integrate faith, life and culture with education?" The answer is the same today as it was in 1888-to help future citizens discern and develop their God-given talents and reach academic success. That is the Catholic way.

ECSD 125 Years and Beyond

In 2013-2014 school year the District celebrated its 125th anniversary and the video below was created to capture our deep history. In this film over 80 people were featured, who each represent Edmonton Catholic Schools in the year they were born. The film chronology flows from the oldest person to the youngest, offering a history of our school district, Edmonton and Alberta.