School History

President Sab Roncucci congratulates student Giancarlo GrelliThe “Dante Alighieri” School of Italian Language and Culture was established in 1962 with 36 students enrolled. The first teacher was Mr. Antonio Falcone. Classes were held every Saturday morning at the Catholic Sacred Heart School. In 1970, the “Dante” contacted the Minister of Education and the Edmonton Catholic School Board, asking them to introduce Italian into Edmonton's school curriculum. After a few months, their request was granted and Italian was introduced at the Sacred Heart school for Grades 7, 8, and 9. For the first year, the “Dante” provided some instructional material. The three courses were taught by Mr. Antonio Falcone. Two years later, Italian 10 was introduced at Archbishop O'Leary High School, with a program of studies prepared by Antonio Falcone, Antonio Petrone, and Antonio Caria. In 1973, Italian 10, taught by Mr. Antonio Petrone, was introduced at St. Joseph's Senior High School. That same year, the junior high school-level Italian program was transferred from Sacred Heart to Cardinal Léger School, where there were more students of Italian origin. In later years, Italian was also introduced at Archbishop MacDonald and St. Francis Xavier High Schools, as well as at St. Cecilia Junior High School.

In 1982, teachers Antonio Falcone and Antonio Petrone wrote a new program of Italian studies for Edmonton Catholic Schools. This program was acquired by Alberta Education and was used all over the Province.

By 1996, there were 172 students enrolled at the Dante Alighieri School and 379 students at regular schools in Edmonton. These numbers do not include students studying Italian at the University of Alberta. Italian at the elementary school level was introduced at St. Philip Elementary School in 1999 through the initiatives of a Parent Committee sponsored by the COM.IT.ES. The program of studies was developed by teachers Ida Renzi, Valeria Palladino, and Silvia Franzese.

Since 1972, the Department of Continuing Education of the Edmonton Public School Board have offered evening Italian courses for adults. The average annual number of students has been 40.

Over the years, the number of students has varied between 140 and 200, and, in 2002, there were 165 students being taught by 13 teachers. Classes for both children and adults are offered, as well as Italian 10, 20, and 30 courses, which were accredited by Alberta Learning.

Since 2001, classes have been held at Archbishop O'Leary High School. In the 2002–2003 school year, there were 192 students enrolled at the Dante Alighieri School.

[Top] [Back]