Prince Edward was first opened for classes in September 1921. The original enrolment of 1 120 pupils was drawn from the former Tuscarora Street, Assumption Street and Mercer Street schools. It was build to serve the old south-eastern section of the City of Windsor.
When it first opened, Prince Edward was hailed around the province as an ultra-modern building. This school of “marble halls”, cost the unheard amount of $517 758 to build. Compare this to the $425 000 cost of Queen Victoria School, using the same blueprints as Prince Edward. It was one of the first schools in the province equipped with a separate auditorium and gymnasium, as well as an Industrial Arts room and Home Economics room. In order to properly use all these facilities, the rotary system was introduced; the first time any school in the province had accepted it. The rotary system was a modified and adapted model of the old platoon system, which was being used in some of the larger United States cities.
The enrolment had risen to 1 554 in 1927, one of the highest enrolments of an elementary school in this city, when John Campbell was opened to relieve overcrowding in the area. In September 1931, Tuscarora Street School was closed and Harry Guppy School was opened.
The area surrounding Prince Edward School in 1921 resembled a ploughed field, interlaced with treeless streets. There was no bus or other transportation system anywhere near the school. Yet, visitors came by the hundreds to see the rotary system in action.
The school, during its first year of operation had three principals. The first principal, Mr. W. R. Ellison, died during the first term. Mr. F. Snider was the acting principal until the opening of Queen Victoria Public School in February of 1922. Mr. G. A. Pearson then became principal.
In 1962, King George Public School was converted to a Secondary Vocational School. Some of the pupils from that district were transferred to Prince Edward School.
Today, the Industrial Arts room has been converted into a four-classroom early years environment. In 2009, Prince Edward was one of the first schools to offer full day every day learning for our kindergarten students. This year, the kindergarten team visited Bishop Strachan, a private girls school in Toronto, to see the Reggio Emilia approach to early years programming which focuses on student centered learning. The program is in the initial stages of implementation at our school.
The Home Economics Room has been converted into a kitchen for our breakfast and snack programs. In the morning, the room services approximately 70 students. Throughout the day, students are provided two healthy snacks. In addition, we offer a Tuck shop and lunch program for students that need lunches. The program has decreased the number of students crossing Ottawa street during the second nutrition break. Although not statistically proven, the increase in food availability throughout the day has coincided with our yearly suspension decline.
The auditorium was re-opened in 2011 after structural issues were addressed. The auditorium is fully utilized throughout the day with assemblies, our dance team, music programs and Bongo Buddies. It is the focal point of our community building initiatives. In 2007, 80% of the teachers attended TRIBES training. The staff and students adhere to the TRIBES philosophy in classrooms, playgrounds and during staff professional learning.
The future community building plans for Prince Edward involve a collaborative effort between our school council and school board plant to renovate the library. The library will include various comfortable environments for the students to enjoy reading and will have access for the community through a parent resource centre. The next phase of our nutrition plan involves the creation of a community garden with the assistance of the Ready-Set-Go program and high school students. We will be doubling the size of the garden from last year.