Who Are We?
We are a K through Grade 9 Christian school located in West Calgary. We operate as an alternative program within Palliser Regional School Division to deliver a Christian education alternative to families in Calgary.
Education has historically been a high priority for Mennonite people: they have consistently sought ways to link literacy and faith. Since the days of Menno Simons, a Reformation leader to whom they trace their name, Mennonites have believed it essential to have a literate community whose members could read and understand the teachings of Scripture. Through almost five centuries of Mennonite history, education has been an integral part of the life of the family, the church, and the community at large.
Scripture study and learning, faith and literacy, have flourished when the family, the church and the school were closely bound. In the years following the upheaval of World War II, the public school system in Alberta — as the rest of Canada — came under increasing pressure to be neutral with respect to faith and to certain moral teachings of the home and church. Restricting the teaching of faith and morals to the home and to the church, thus excluding it from the school, undermined the Mennonite understanding of Christian community.
In 1980, when the Friesen Family Foundation from Winnipeg proposed that a Mennonite elementary school be established in Calgary, interested parties from several Mennonite churches responded to the challenge. The Foundation offered money on the condition that matching funds be raised within the Calgary Mennonite community. The Mennonite Educational Society was formed in 1981 for the purpose of operating a private day school providing instruction from Kindergarten to Grade Nine.
Menno Simons Christian School opened its doors in September 1983, with fifty-six students and five teachers. Since then, our school has moved several times, grown in student numbers and significantly expanded its program. In the summer of 1997, we purchased our own land and building in northwest Calgary. Our school quickly out grew the building and once again plans were made to move — this time permanently. We purchased land in Springbank Hill and built our dream, a 38,000 sq. ft, state of the art facility. Classes began on September 4, 2001, following 128 days of construction. We are thankful to God for providing for us in the past and trust Him to guide us into the future.
In January of 2006 our school approached Palliser Regional schools to begin exploring a partnership whereby Menno Simons would become an Alternative Program within the jurisdiction. We were looking for an arrangement whereby our core values and philosophy could remain the same while at the same time receiving the benefits of being in a larger system. In the spring of 2006, the Mennonite Educational Society voted unanimously to make this partnership official.
This educational venture has depended on the continued support of a community committed to passing to the next generation a living tradition of literacy imbued with faith. The volunteer efforts of many, their wisdom and experience, their interest and joyful involvement, have brought together the family, the church, and the school to provide excellent comprehensive educational experiences for many students.
We believe that our school is providing a needed educational alternative for young people in our city and we look forward to the future with confidence.