Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish Saturday School
The Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish Saturday School was formed in 1959 to include kindergarten and eight grades. The classes meet only once a week on Saturdays at the Vanguard College in Edmonton.
Originally, the school used the Church premises for the younger grades and the Polish Canadian Society building for the older ones. The school was operated under auspices of the Canadian-Polish Congress - Alberta Branch with 151 children enrolled. Later in 1969, grades one to four were held at St. Basil's School and kindergarten and grades five to seven continued to meet at the Polish Hall. In 1971 the school moved to its new location at Sacred Heart Catholic School in downtown Edmonton offering grades one to eight and in June 1972, one hundred sixty three children successfully completed the school year under leadership of principal, Mrs. Chrzanowska. The children have actively been involved in preparing artistic programs for community celebrations such as May 3rd Constitution Day and November 11th Independence Day, organized annual St. Nicolas party, Christmas programs and participated every year in the Adam Mickiewicz essay-writing competition in Polish literature, history and religion. Many of the children have also been active in the Polish scouting
In the early eighties, after the declaration of Martial Law in Poland and the birth of the `Solidarity` movement, Polish immigration to Edmonton increased significantly and provided for the school more children who spoke fluent Polish. Among these immigrants there were many school teachers who began to share their knowledge, patriotism and passion with the existing Polish school, with Maria Chrzanowska in her continued position as the school's principal. In 1986 Maria Chrzanowska was presented with an award by the Minister of Culture for her 32 years of service as the principal
of Henrik Sienkiewicz Polish School. Two hundred twenty five children enrolled at the school that year.
In December 1996 for the first time Polish credit course was being offered at Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish School. It had been an optional course until then and became compulsory course for children in grade nine.
In 2000, after more than forty five years under the patronage of the Canadian Polish Congress - Alberta Branch, the Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish Saturday School was transformed into the Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish School Parents' Association.
The parents' association prepared new bylaw and became engaged in hiring the school principal and teachers. Since 2003, the school has been operated by the Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish School Parents' Association and transformed from the
community heritage school to an accredited private school under the title of Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish School.
More detailed information regarding Henryk Sienkiewicz Polish Saturday School can be found on the school's website (www.pshs.ca) and in a book published by the Canadian Polish Historical Society of Alberta in 2009 and entitled "Polish Education in Edmonton 1906-2006".