In the early 1950s, the old Parkdale School served students from grades 1-10 in the community of Parkdale. It was originally located in the building which formerly housed the Eastern School District board office on Linden Avenue before it relocated to Stratford. The need was seen to establish another site to accommodate some of these students. In 1956, our school was opened and grade 6-10 students moved from Linden Avenue to our present location. Initially, the two campuses functioned as one school with a single principal. The school was administered by a board of local trustees who maintained an office in the older building.
Over the years, the older students were gradually moved to other schools. Parkdale School became an elementary school in the late 1970s when the older facility closed and grades 1-6 moved in. This building has remained an elementary school ever since. For many years the school experienced great stability and few changes in teaching staff with many teachers opting to spend most of their careers here.
There has always been a strong link between community and schools in the Parkdale area. Originally the lower floor of Parkdale School was a more open space and was used for a variety of community purposes such as meetings, bazaars, community school, Boy Scouts, and Girl Guides. At one time, the lower back area of the school was used for in-school floor hockey games and other sports.
Sports activities have long played an important role within the community and school. The space which now houses the gymnasium was once occupied by an outdoor rink where hockey games were played and evening skates were enjoyed. The are was lighted at night and music was frequently played from the school for the enjoyment of the skaters. For many years the students participated in annual ice sports at the old Charlottetown Forum which usually included hockey games with students from Sherwood Elementary School with whom Parkdale enjoyed a long-term and healthy rivalry.
With such a strong commitment to athletics and sports, a gymnasium for Parkdale was finally realized and officially opened in the spring of 2002. Before this, physical education classes were held at Park Royal United Church with students being bused between both facilities daily. The school benefited from this partnership in other ways holding Christmas concerts and school fundraising events here as well.
Even with its modernization, Parkdale continues to maintain its close-knit charm. Due to our size, teachers are able to get to know all the students well and follow them through the grade levels, watching them grow and develop their skills. With the dedicated team of professionals currently employed at our school, the future looks bright for both staff and students working at Parkdale.
With thanks to Pat Connolly, former principal at Parkdale