The first schools

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August 25, 2016 12:00 AM

Education of the pioneer children was a priority early on in the Colony.  Just over a year after the Barr Colonists arrived, a public ratepayers meeting was held in June 1904 regarding school accommodation and the question of issuing debentures to equip a school building with the necessary supplies. 
The trustees did not know how many students to expect and required this figure before planning a permanent school building.
As a temporary solution, they successfully negotiated renting the Anglican Church for $1 a month. 
After the establishment of Alberta and Saskatchewan as provinces in 1905, once again, the provincial boundary created a challenge. 
A meeting of the ratepayers was called in August to determine the provincial areas included in the new school districts and the division of its present assets and liabilities. 
Two separate school boards resulted from this, Lloydminster School District No. 1036 (Saskatchewan) and Lloydminster School District No. 1753 (Alberta).
Establishing a joint board with representation from both school boards provided a more unified community vision. 
In June 1905, tenders went out for the construction of a permanent school building to be made of either lumber or brick. 
The first school building opened in 1906 on Main Street with two classrooms. 
After a relentless search due to a shortage of teachers in the west, Mr. A. Hartley was our first teacher with 35 students registered. 
Spelling, composition, and grammar were taught from available books.
In the early 1900s, teachers were advised to encourage students to think before speaking. 
Students were required whenever possible to face the class when speaking and to use proper grammar and distinct articulation. 
Frequent recitations arranged for all classes at school assemblies encouraged public speaking. 
Students were encouraged to save an important statement to the last and to sit down promptly when finished speaking. 
A student 14- or 15-years-old should be able to read well, spell the words he or she uses and have neat legible writing. 
Students were to have knowledge of the world’s history especially of Canadian figures. 
English must be spoken correctly and a well-expressed business or friendship letter be easily written.
Students were required to solve business problems correctly and to draw simple objects. 
A base of accurate information and an interest in reading the newspaper was a requisite for all students this age.
The Saskatchewan school opened in August 1910 with a staff of three and high school classes were taught for the first time. 
Originally, offering elementary and high school classes a new four-room school opened in 1912.
This eventually changed and it served as a high school until 1949.
The Lloydminster Public School (Alberta) opened in 1925 and was later renamed the Meridian School. 
Torn down in 1999 amidst local controversy to make way for the current city hall, this community centre was a cherished landmark on the border.
Completed in 1949, the Lloydminster High School (Saskatchewan) quickly ran out of room to accommodate the rapid community growth.
Adding more rooms in 1953, its name changed to the Lloydminster Composite High School. 
A staff of eight teachers taught Grades 9-12. 
Enrolment increased to more than 200 students by March 1953 with a quarter of this enrollment being out of town residents. 
It’s interesting to note at this time all the educational public school classes were under Saskatchewan jurisdiction. 
Enrolment averaged the same for both sides of the border. 
During this time, many of the elementary students made do with classrooms set-up in local businesses or in a church. 
This school was renamed the Neville Goss Elementary School in 1968 after the Lloydminster Comprehensive High School opened that same year.
Initiated in 1958, a dedicated board and a pair of educators spearheaded a school for students with special needs.
This directed the path for the eventual integration of all students into our schools offering an inclusive community spirit.
Established in 1960, the Lloydminster Catholic School Division formed, resulting in the building of the St. Thomas School. 
This led to the construction of other schools, allowing these students to complete Kindergarten through Grade 12 in the separate division. 
Education has no doubt seen considerable technological changes and advancements through the years, providing the youth of Lloydminster with a promising future.

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