Packing ARRA history into a book

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Annapolis Royal students publishing school history book

Students at Annapolis Royal Regional Academy are researching the school’s history in an effort to publish a book about the school that will soon be closed down. This old photo is from the Annapolis Heritage Society.

The students of Annapolis Royal Regional Academy will become published authors this year, with the creation of a “Then and Now” book celebrating the school’s history.  The book will be compiled throughout this school year, with every student contributing to the process. The goal is to bring together a complete history of the school, and to capture recollections, photos and memorabilia from students past and present.

Principal Darlene Thomas says the idea to create a book came from one of the school goals, to help improve students’ writing abilities.

“When we researched the data about our students, we discovered that many had difficulty with the writing process,” Thomas explains. “So, we decided to make one of our ‘Continuous School Improvement’ goals focused on writing, and this project came from that goal. We were thinking of ways to get students to buy in to the work, to get them feeling proud of what they create.”

Every ARRA student will write something for the book, whether a story, poem, caption, or song. They will also have a hand in selecting old photos and editing the historical accounts of sports, famous people who attended the Academy, staff lists, and even the school rules and dress codes through the ages.

Members of the community are invited to take a look in their attics for photos, documents, memorabilia or any other information they’d like to contribute to the project.

When the book has been published, copies will be available for sale, and the hope is to provide a copy to every current student as a keepsake of their time at the school, since it is slated for closure following renovations at Annapolis West Education Centre. The school also hopes to make copies available at local libraries.

The project was kicked off at an assembly at the end of September. Throughout the year, students will present their work at monthly assemblies, so that everything created in the course of the project will be celebrated whether or not it ends up in the final version of the book.

Community members interested in contributing photos or information for the book are welcome to contact the school office at 532-3180.


Our goal: With the closing of ARRA scheduled for June of this year, staff and students at ARRA are putting together a book based on the three schools that have occupied this location.

  • The Grange- 1883-1900
  • The County Academy- 1900-1939
  • Annapolis Royal Regional Academy- 1939-2014

We are looking for school life pictures and information from the County Academy and The Grange.    

As a school we came up with 16 main themes to research. Any primary documents will be scanned and the originals will be returned right away. We are sensitive to the fact that many of these resources have sentimental value and are irreplaceable. If you would like to bring these resources into the school we can copy them while you are there.   

Themes to be researched

Girl sports Boy sports Transportation (school bus-other forms of transport from the different time periods) Fashion Rules and discipline- How has it changed?Special events at the school Town history, demographics, economy (1921 town fire, closing of Cornwallis etc...)World history (ARRA veterans) Clubs & student council Student body, numbers + personalities+ class sizes etc...Staff from the three schoolsSocial events (ie. winter carnival, prom etc...)Subjects taught and academicsProminent people who attended school hereMajor world/Canadian events from 1883-2013Physical changes to the buildings, as well as the demographics of the school


Please help us research and preserve the legacy of our schools


Organizations: Annapolis Royal Regional Academy, Continuous School Improvement, Annapolis West Education Centre County Academy Cornwallis Clubs student council

Geographic location: Annapolis Royal

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