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Venice School pupils.(1945).  Photo courtesy of the Biollo-Doyle Family The earliest recorded interest of a school being built for the Hylo-Venice areas are in notes compiled by Father Ludo van Leewwen in his effort to record the history of Venice and Hylo in 1954.  Since there are no official documents supporting these early efforts, the accuracy cannot be confirmed.  However, these notes indicate discussions took place in 1921 to determine a site for a school which might serve both communities.  A site near the cemetery hill between Venice and Hylo was planned.  As only three trustees were possible, the problem of determining which community would get two trustees and which would get only one became insurmountable and finally, Venice and Hylo decided to each build their own schools.

Mary Biollo's first school in Christy Creek. The first pupils (1934).  Photo courtesy of the Biollo-Doyle FamilyUntil the schools were built, some children attended the Mission School in Lac La Biche.  As the church in Venice was built, Father Carlo Fabris started to organize the "Fascio de Venice" for the Italian community with the hopes of obtaining a substantial subsidy from the Italian government for a convent school at Venice.  However, after Father Fabris returned from a trip to Italy in 1927, there was no more talk of a convent school in Venice.

According to the notes by Father Ludo, Venice School was constructed by a contractor by the last name of Rycroft.  Mr. Roger Johnson was the first teacher there and taught only for a few months in 1926.  During the summer months of July and August, Father Fabris taught the children in the church.  In 1926, Leo O'Grady, a returned soldier came to Venice to teach.  As there was no teacherage at the time, he reportedly lived in a separated room inside the school in 1929.

Venice School pupils (1938).  Photo courtesy of the Biollo-Doyle FamilyOfficial documents indicate that Hylo School was erected in March 1922 under the Trieste School District 4101.  One of the earliest documents filed was a response from the Department of Education to J.L. Gibault, Esq., Inspector of Schools replying to a request for a special grant to Trieste School District to allow the school to remain open for several months of the year and to keep teachers employed and paid.  It is an indication of the hard times that were to come.

The early 1930s were turbulent years for the trustees of the Trieste S.D. 4101.  The trustees were in disagreement and at odds over several issues including responsibilities of the trustees, payment of teachers' salaries, as well as hiring of and retention of teachers, student discipline issues and the general administration of affairs in the district. 

The name Trieste School District 4101 was officially changed to Hylo School District 4101 on September 11, 1940 to better reflect the hamlet of Hylo, in which it was located.

On April 29, 1942 the building and contents used for instruction of the senior grades in Hylo were destroyed by fire.  The superintendent approved another suitable building to continue instruction.  However, there is no documentation indicating where this was.


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