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  • Biography of Namesake

    Biography of Namesake

    Bessie Nichols

    ‌Of 132 trustees elected to the Edmonton Public School Board between 1882 and 1982, only 14 were women. The very first of these 14 women was Bessie H. Nichols. On February 16, 1912, Nichols became the first woman in Edmonton to be elected to civic office. Only the day before the election had the legislation changed to allow for women to sit as school board trustees. Earlier in February 1912, the Alberta legislature had made an amendment to Edmonton's charter permitting women to vote for the first time.

    Although personal information regarding Nichols is limited, it is known that she had graduated from the University of Toronto in 1897 with a Bachelor of Arts in modern languages. It is believed that she is initially from Hamilton, Ontario and moved to Alberta in the early 1900s where she began teaching at Alberta College in 1903. Later, she worked for lawyer James E. Wallbridge as a stenographer and had become his law student by the time she had entered politics in 1912.

    Nichols was heavily supported by the Council of Women of Greater Edmonton to run in the 1912 election. With a strong support system behind her, Nichols was elected to the Edmonton Public School Board with 1446 votes, only 75 behind veteran trustee Walter Ramsay. Of the seven elected trustees in this election, she received the second highest number of votes. It was not only women that Nichols was popular with, rather the entire community supported her bid to run in the election. It was believed that a female trustee would be a great help to schools and Nichols' background and training would allow her to fit the position and get results. She was identified as a hard worker and was considered to be just as capable as a male school board trustee. She was likely the only candidate in the election with little to no opposition. Her candidacy was supported by both mayoral candidates as well as all alderman candidates.

    (Source: Looking Back: A Century of Education in Edmonton Public Schools and articles and newspaper clippings acquired from the City of Edmonton Archives, Edmonton Public Schools Archives and the Edmonton Public Library)


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  • Registration


    Bessie Nichols - Full in Planned Classes

    Bessie Nichols School is full in planned classes in Grade 2 to Grade 9 in the regular Program. Kindergarten students who are resident and live in the attendance area may still register. We will only accept resident students who move into the school’s attendance area for Grade 2 to Grade 9. A resident student of Edmonton Public Schools has at least one parent or legal guardian living in Edmonton who is not Roman Catholic. Non-resident students can enrol in another Division school with space in planned classes.

    If you are registering for Kindergarten or if you are new to Edmonton Public Schools, you must register online.


    If your child is new to Edmonton Public Schools, you can register for school online. Visit the Division website to learn how to register for school.


    You will need to pre-enrol on SchoolZone to tell us the school you’d like your child to attend next year. Find important dates and deadlines and learn more about pre-enrolment, which opens between March and April each year.

    If you have questions about registering for school, contact the school office.


    If you are interested in our Kindergarten program, please see this video where we walk you through our programming, peek into our Kindergarten classrooms, and find out how to register. Registration opens on February 1.
    If you are interested in participating in a Question & Answer session about Kindergarten at Bessie Nichols on February 2 at 6:00 pm, please fill out this form. You will receive a Google Meet link via email on February 2 around 4:00 pm to join us virtually. 
    Please note that if you are joining from a laptop, chromebook, or desktop computer you do not need a Google account. If you are connecting from a device such as a Smart phone or tablet you will need a Google account and the Google Meet app.

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Welcome to Bessie Nichols School!

As the first female elected to public office in the province of Alberta, Miss Bessie Nichols was a model of forward thinking and inclusivity. As the school named in her honour, we are committed to exemplifying and celebrating these same qualities.  At Bessie Nichols School we are committed to working in partnership with students, parents and our community to establish a world-class education and success for every one of the children we serve.

At Bessie Nichols we are proud to offer a state of the art learning space. Students and staff have access to the vast digital world and global network where they can access, understand, create and share knowledge and expertise to enhance and support their learning. We consider ourselves fortunate to be teaching and learning in a 21st century space with access to the best 21st century learning tools available.

Though we have both feet firmly planted in the 21st century, we hold closely the traditional values of Commitment, Accountability, Integrity, and Respect.  As a community of learners we are committed to always doing our very best work for the students, always strive to conduct ourselves with the utmost intergrity and insist on respectful relationships between adults and children alike.  We ask everyone in our community to share in these commitments and hold us accountable to them.

We recognize that parents play a vital role in their children's education, whether it is supporting them in learning at home, serving as a volunteer in the school or participating in our School Council, or Bessie Nichols Fundraising Society meetings and activities. It is our goal to build a strong partnership between home and school to ensure the success of every child that we serve. We look forward to parents becoming involved in supporting the critical work of teaching and learning at Bessie Nichols. Parents, you are a part of the school and are always welcome!

We hope you will stay connected to what is happening at Bessie Nichols through our website, SchoolZoneTwitter and Facebook. Our website provides important information about our school and serves as a launch pad for SchoolZone, Twitter and Facebook. SchoolZone is used to keep you informed of school activities and to provide access to newsletters, attendance, and progress reports.  

We encourage you to follow us for regular updates, photos and videos on the happenings at Bessie Nichols School through these electronic media.  Of course you are always welcome and encouraged to phone, email, or stop in to see us if you have ideas, questions, or concerns.  We look forward to working with you.

Jeremy Brooks,


Bessie Nichols School