Elk Island Catholic Schools Division Profile

 

The Elk Island Catholic Separate Regional Division No. 41(EICS) was formed on Feb.1, 1998, serving the Catholic communities of Camrose, Fort Saskatchewan and Sherwood Park.  In May, 2001, by virtue of a Ministerial Order, the Catholic schools operating in the community of Vegreville were added to the Division.

There are 18 schools in the Division:  two in Camrose, four in Fort Saskatchewan, two in Vegreville and ten in Sherwood Park. 

The identity of the Division is complex, as it contains within it both Roman and Ukrainian Catholic communities.

In Sherwood Park, the Division first began with a movement in 1961, when Father Kenneth Kearns, Our Lady of Perpetual Help's first parish priest, remarked that "you never have a parish unless you have a separate school." This remark inspired his parishioners to lobby the government for the creation of a separate school district. The government-supervised vote was held November 28, 1962 and the decision to form a separate school district was passed 133-1. 

This was the beginning of the Salisbury Roman Catholic District No. 105, which opened its first school, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, in September, 1963. By 1972, The District included Father Kenneth Kearns School and Archbishop Jordan High School.

The 1970s saw immense growth throughout the District, with a total of three elementary and one senior high school and the  amalgamation of eight rural Catholic school districts. This amalgamation continued throughout the next decade and by 1987, the District, now known as the Sherwood Park Catholic Separate School District No. 105, consisted of the amalgamation of 14 member districts. 

In 1998, Sherwood Park amalgamated with Camrose and then regionalized with Fort Saskatchewan, with Vegreville joining in 2001.