Little Schools in the Parkland


The one-roomed country school was at one time the most important building in its district. Besides being the place where children learned, it served as a meeting place for socials such as card parties, dances, church services, polling stations and so on.

Little School graphic When school divisions became the order of the day, these one-roomed schools were obsolete and to all intents and purposes were forgotten.

At an annual meeting of the Alberta Retired Teachers’ Association (ARTA), a delegate suggested that these schools should be remembered. That seemed to be a good idea, so when I became president of the Wainwright Teachers’ Association (WRTA), I proposed that we write the history of the schools that comprised the Wainwright School Division #32. Now that the Wainwright School Division is no more and we have become part of the Buffalo Trail Regional Division No. 28, it is timely to remember the first places of learning; hence a history of the one-roomed school must be recorded.

To that end a committee of WRTA was formed with representatives from each of the areas of Irma, Edgerton, Chauvin and Wainwright to work on the project. This was put on hold for a while.

Little School graphic Later a committee of Washburn Laird, Marie Valleau, Eleanor Perry, Cynthia Bellentine, Phyllis Worrall, Mary Whitby, Emmy Nysetvold, Mildred Reinhart, Mary Arthur, Nancy Ryall and I was formed. Though I had not envisioned the publication of a book, but rather that information not be forgotten, it was decided that the information be recorded in book form.

Because of illness, death and relocation, the original committee was replaced with Mary Reinhart, Emmy Nysetvold and Phyllis Craig. Through their untiring efforts the project has been brought to a successful conclusion.

Doreen Treffry