Petite Rivere Elementary School

VISION STATEMENT: Petite Riviere is a creative school, which respects individuals and nurtures their intellectual, social, emotional, and physical growth in a challenging and safe environment. Petite Riviere Elementary School is located in Petite Riviere, Nova Scotia, Canada. It is a small, cozy, elementary school. Here at Petite we have a soccer field, a basketball court and a regular sized playground. Our playground is surrounded by beautiful trees and grassy areas to play tag and other fun games. We have 90 students and 3 buses that take the students to and from the school. At Petite, we have a tremendous amount of volunteers who help out at our school. At the bottom of the schoolyard, you can see some of the beautiful Petite River, but if you go down on our trail, which is named the Little River Trail, you can see most of the river. Down the trail we have a place to sit and observe the wildlife. School History The Mi’kmaq  were the first settlers in Petite Riviere. In 1604, the ship on which Samuel de Champlain travelled, anchored in Green Bay. He named our village Petite Riviere (small river) Later in 1632, additional French settlers came to settle our village. Petite Riviere Elementary School opened on November 1st, 1961. Jessie Crouse was the principal when the first school opened. They closed the old school and sold it to Mr. Malcolm MacLeod. The following information is taken from the text The Rising Village by Malcolm G Parks. On May 8, 1604, Samuel de Champlain anchored his ship, Dom de Dieu, in Green Bay. Champlain drew charts of the area, and on them, he named the river, Petite Riviere. In time, this became the name of the village. In 1632, some of the French colonists that landed in LaHave, settled in Petite Riviere. The next group of early settlers, made up of Scots-Irish, German, and British-American, arrived between the years 1767 and 1770. Descendants of these settlers are still living in the village today. The first school house in the village was located across from what is now Fraser's House on the Italy Cross Road, just up from the United Church Manse. This school was supported by fees paid by the families of the students. The first public school was built in the 1860's. It was situated on the Broad Cove Road, next to the Frasers, just past the corner of the Broad Cove and Italy Cross Roads. It was a two-room single-storey building. This lasted for 43 years, and in 1910, was torn down. The new school, called the Seaview School, was a two-storey building. The lower grades were on the ground floor, and the higher grades were upstairs. In 1961,this school was replaced by the present Petite Riviere Elementary School on Wentzell's Road and contained grades primary to six. For the first time, after grade six, students had to leave the village and travel by bus to the Hebbville School. A Brief History of Petite Riviere Elementary School 1961-present Petite Riviere Elementary School officially opened on November 1, 1961. It replaced a two room school, called Sea View School that was located on the top of Spikes Hill in Petite Riviere, and one room schools in the communities of Crousetown, Broad Cove, Cherry Hill, and West Dublin. When the present Petite Riviere School was opened, Mrs. Jessie Crouse agreed to be principal and was principal from September 1961 until June 1975. The present school was built on a section of the Wentzell farm and for the 11 years when Anne Wade was principal, the Grade 6 classes would hold archaeological digs in the present softball field where they found artifacts of old farm buildings. The school served all of the surrounding communities from Voglers Cove to Mount Pleasant, to Crousetown, West Dublin and the LaHave Islands. Many of the students from the LaHave Islands came by boat in the mornings to the government wharf at Bush Island to meet the school bus. The first school buses were privately owned by Jimmy Seaboyer and there were only two buses so there was a second bus run and some children had to stay at school until 4:00 p.m. each day to wait for their bus. When Petite Riviere Elementary School opened there were eight classrooms with 214 students. When Anne Wade became principal in 1975, there were approximately 180 students and that year there were only seven classrooms. The enrolment has continued to decline from that time. From 1986 until 1992, Elmer Garber was principal. Following Elmer Garber, Dave Patrick was principal until June 1996. Karen Jay-Moore was principal from September 1996 until June 2000. Next were Joyce Veinote Gates, Allan Turner, Joanne MacNeil, Janet Baxter, Leslie Jones and the present principal is Scott Rawding.Over the years Petite School has experienced many changes. Gradually there were fewer classrooms and combined classes became a reality in the school. Former classrooms became a staffroom, a music room, a library and a resource classroom. We presently enjoy the positive effect of smaller class sizes. The standards of education continue to rise. Students from Petite Riviere Elementary excel academically and in extracurricular activities. Our students have won and are continuing to win national and provincial awards in science, mathematics, writing and citizenship. They are being recognized for their academic and leadership qualities when they go on to junior and senior high school.