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My New School: 1956

My New School: 1956

In 1953 I started grade 1 in Riverside (now Windsor), Ontario, at Edith Cavell School. That building, built in 1919, had grades 1 through 13 jammed into it, and our combined class of grades 1 and 2 had 44 kids in a basement classroom. My teacher was Mrs. Trotter for two years. For grade 3 we moved to the top floor to a room with a view. The baby boom was in full swing, and in September of 1956 for grade 4 we moved to this brand new school named Princess Anne. We had an extra week of summer holidays because the school was not finished in time. This photo shows a group of kids at the front of the school, with my mother standing behind the card table. I am standing beside the table with my tongue sticking out. Princess Anne was demolished in 2009, and replaced with a new building named Dr. David Suzuki Public School. It features solar energy collectors and advanced environmental features. The Edith Cavell School building now houses condominiums. View full size.

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The card table

My parents had a similar table; this one though looking bright new and shiny, manufactured by Samsonite in Stratford Ontario. Accompanied by four folding card table chairs, all metal, no plastic. Today that same table resides here with me, still functional, although the folding chairs have disappeared.

Ontario Grade 13 was competitive

Ontario streamed its high school students into 4 year (grades 9 to 12, never freshman, sophomore, etc) for the general run of students including those intending to go on to community colleges.

Those heading to universities were in an academic stream in the same school. The core courses - math, English, science and such - were heavier. We also had the option of more esoteric courses like Latin, German and French literature.

The final exams for Grade 13 were set by the province, not the school, and were marked independently of the teachers. University placement depended on actual results.

All that was lost in 1988 and standards suffered accordingly.

Grade 13

aenthal - Having Canadian nieces and nephews, I know the answer to your question. Canadian public schools have an optional grade 13, equivalent to first year of college. For many, it is a way to keep college tuition down, by going to 13th grade, then on to sophomore year of college.

Saddle oxfords

What a great photo! I started school five years later (in Mississippi) but it was basically the same look. This photo explains why my wife chides me when I wear my blue/tan saddle oxfords by saying they are "little girl shoes." I scoff at her snide remarks and wear them anyway.

Grade 13? Etc.

Until the late 1980s Ontario had a fifth year of high school for students who may be planning to go on to college.

I just took out the binoculars and can see your old school right now (Cavell), across Belle Isle from my Dad's apartment on the river in Detroit! I remember Riverside when it was still a small suburb, before it was amalgamated into Windsor in 1966.

Great memories of my school days.

So very much like my school days in the early 50's. This picture brought memories of those days some 60 years ago.

Wolf Head Patch

What does it say under the wolf head on the patch ?
The boy standing up against the wall in the rear looks like a "Hood" in training - probably styled after his older brother.

Baby Boom

I started school just a little later. I remember those days, new schools, new desks, new books, new everything. Between Sputnik and attempts to handle all the kids nothing was too good. Hard to believe those new buildings are now older than the ones they replaced. It was a very good time to be a kid.


What is grade 13?
Is it the same as grade 12 but you are calling the first year that others call kindergarten, a grade 1, or a special grade for the terminally unlucky?

Back to the future?

This guy, close to the letter "L". I want his shirt! He looks great, I love his outfit, so modern, so splendid. Awesome. He is from the future, I suppose. I'm impressed, anyway!

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