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The history of Sir Casimir Gzowski Polish School

The Polish School in Kitchener is the oldest Polish language school in Canada, being in continuous operation since 1894.  It was a Polish nun – Sister Maria Ottona from Notre Dame Convent, who started formal Polish lessons. 

In 1958 a Parent’s Association was established and for the next twenty years took responsibility for keeping the school alive. 


From 1978 the Polish School was the first one in the region that took part in the Heritage Language Program offered by the Government of Canada.  From that point on, the Ministry of Education, through the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, provided major financial and professional support to the school.

To mark the 95th Anniversary in 1989, the Polish School was named after Sir Casimir Gzowski, who was a famous Polish immigrant, engineer and patriot. 


Now Sir Casimir Gzowski Polish School is part of the International Languages Program run by St. Louis Adult Learning Centre and still receives support from the Parent’s Association.  The school is located at St. John’s School.  Every year approximately 200 students study in classes from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 8.  Lessons are on Saturday mornings from 9:00am to 11:30am.


Throughout the school year children are involved in many celebrations for parents, peers and the Polish community.  Some of the special events include: assemblies to honor Polish national holidays, history lessons with guest speakers, along with a variety of school competitions and regional recital competitions. 


It is the hope and dream of all Polish-Canadians living in the Kitchener-Waterloo area that the Polish School will continue to flourish and grow over the next hundreds of years!       

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