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January 22, 2024


Greenway School is named after former Manitoba Premier Thomas Greenway and was the city’s largest school when  it opened in 1910. Designed by J.B. Mitchell, the twenty-classroom, two-story, 161-foot long building with a capacity  for 1000 students was located on Burnell St. and St. Matthews Ave. After the First World War, the WSD School Board  approved construction of a second school on the site in response to the neighborhood’s growing population.  Greenway No. 2 was a one-story, eight-room “bungalow style” school that operated as a junior high. When nearby  Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute opened in 1922, Greenway No. 1 and No. 2 became entirely elementary schools. School 390 Burnell Street Greenway School No. 1  1910 Greenway School No. 2  1919 Greenway School No. 3  1997 School Patrol Program  1936.

In 1936, Greenway teacher Louise Staples made Canadian history. Her principal, worried  about the dangers of increased traffic around the school, asked Staples to develop an action  strategy to keep students safe. In response, she created Canada’s first organized school safety  patrols, a group of fourteen boys, led by their captain Douglas McGhee (girls were allowed to  be patrols by 1938). Staples told the Winnipeg Free Press “I had to do something, kids were  just running wild across the streets and I couldn't do everything myself. Someone was going  to get killed." The patrols raised money for their red and green felt arm badges by holding a  paper drive and a candy sale. The Winnipeg Police Department helped train the patrols and Carpentry & Sewing Classes  1936 Louise Violet Staples (1899-1988) was a teacher at Greenway School between 1928-1945. In 1936, she established  the Canadian Schools Safety Patrol program. After a 45-year teaching career, Staples retired in 1964. In the same year,  the Louise Staples Award was created to annually recognize Winnipeg’s most efficient patrol captain.

The school’s current building opened in 1997 with a ribbon cutting ceremony. Greenway No. 1 and No. 2 were  demolished in this era with the space used to add a play structure and other initiatives on the playground. Today, Greenway is a Nursery to Grade 6 school dedicated to improving students’ literacy and numeracy skills,  while teaching the importance of sustainability. Since 2011, they offer PALS (Pets and Learning in schools), an  animal-assisted reading program. To help improve student literacy abilities and to teach them about animal  kindness, children — who are often more comfortable in the company of dogs — will read to dogs, they will walk  them in the hallways and have them perform tricks.

Greenway is a Jane Goodall Institute of Canada Roots and  Shoots school. It is one of five Winnipeg schools (Lord  Selkirk, Robert H Smith, Meadows West and King Edward  are others) and one of eight in Canada, who participate in  this initiative which believes that social activism can better  the community. The school embraces this creed with its  dedication to environmentalism particularly through its  composting program. In 2018, they built a four-cell  Patrol  1967 Thomas Greenway composter financed by the Goodall Institute, and Greenway now begins each school year by holding an assembly to get students  excited about composting. There is a compost club that meets everyday at 1:00 p.m. and student leaders assign compost tasks for  the group. 

In June 2020, Greenway Learning Assistance Center teacher Nicholas Skrabek  told the school division reporter “We've  been learning composting in the school and we've had our compost go into the gardens. The students have seen that process and  they know it's making for better quality of soil and better food. They're seeing the whole 360 big picture." Explaining that parents  were phoning the school hoping to use the composter, Skrabek said “There are signs that not only are the kids getting it, but it is  spreading to be a part of their home culture.”

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