The story of St. Edward’s School emphasizes adaptation and innovation over the years. The saga began with two parishioners walking to Kingston to meet with Bishop Cleary in 1884 to ask for the diocese’s support for a Catholic school in Westport, with the bishop agreeing and then arranging for the CND Sisters to teach in the school. To best serve the students in the area, St. Ed's offered first form (Grade 9) classes from the beginning, adding second form (Grade 10) in 1890, third and fourth forms (Grades 11 and 12) in 1916 and, finally, the complete high school program with fifth form (Grade 13) in 1940. It was then officially recognized as a Grade A Continuation School. These grade levels received funding from the province, a rarity for a Catholic high school. Bus routes were established for students not only in the outlying regions of Westport but for Elgin, Bedford and Stanleyville parishes as well. Imagine how privileged and blessed the students of that day must have felt. They no longer had to leave their homes and communities to complete their secondary education in a Catholic school! When the provincial Department of Education urged the combining of boys’ and girls’ classes at the turn of the twentieth century, the Sisters to this time had solely taught girls. Lay teachers taught the boys. In 1903, after much prayer and discernment, the General Council of the CND made the decision to keep the teaching sisters in Westport and to offer co-educational classes. To accommodate increased high school numbers, a two-room addition was added to the school in 1954. After the disheartening but inevitable closing of the high school in 1967, a beautiful new elementary school was built on the site in 1970. The new St. Edward School, with a student population of one hundred and twenty-five from junior kindergarten to Grade 8, now came under the jurisdiction of the Lanark Leeds Grenville Roman Catholic Separate School Board, with its central headquarters in Smiths Falls. Previously, from 1886 to 1969, a Board of Trustees from the parish was responsible for the governance of the school. Due to increased enrolment, two portables were added by 1992; in 1994 the school was once again renovated, creating four classrooms from what once was an open concept area. In 1998 the province of Ontario legislated a further amalgamation of school boards. Now St. Ed’s is part of the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario, headquartered in Kemptville. The new board encompasses the counties of Lanark, Leeds, Grenville, Stormont, Dundas, Glengarry, Prescott and Russell. St. Edward Catholic School under construction in 1994. The open concept school was divided, then transformed into classes with walls being built and doors added. 9

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