905-957-3359 260 Canborough Street, Box 250 Smithville, ON L0R 2A0
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History of E.L. Crossley Secondary School

In 1922, the Fenwick Public School Board set up a Continuation School Class in the old Fenwick Public school with seven high school age students attending. By 1926, the number of high school students had increased and plans were made to build the Pelham Continuation School at the corner of Canboro Road and Balfour St. By 1932, Mr. Edward Lewis Crossley became principal. Pelham Continuation School was renamed Pelham District High School in 1949 and Mr. Crossley remained Principal. In 1958, the Board felt a new high school was needed and Thorold-Fonthill High School was built at the corner of Port Robinson Road and South Pelham. This school reached capacity quickly and by the early 1960s the Board was faced with the need to build yet another High School. At the same time, the Ministry of Education was creating grants to fund vocational education. The Pelham District School Board applied for a grant to fully fund the construction of a new school designed to meet the vocational needs of students in Pelham. They determined to name the school after Edward Lewis Crossley, who was still Principal of Pelham District High School and served as Superintendent on the Board.

E.L. Crossley Secondary School opened its doors to 600 students on September 3rd, 1963. Mr. A. E. Bridgeman was appointed Principal, Mr. J.J. Krar was Technical Director and Miss Shirley Speck was Commercial Director. Under the “Robarts Plan”, secondary schools in Ontario could offer a variety of programs in three main branches. Within the Pelham High School District, the high schools at Fenwick and Fonthill provided courses in the Arts and Science branch so E.L. Crossley offered courses in the Business and Commerce, and Science, Technology and Trades branches.

After a few years, and with an addition to the building, E.L. Crossley became a fully composite school. With the eventual closure of Pelham High School and Thorold-Fonthill High School,. E.L. Crossley Secondary School became the only Public High school serving the needs of students in the Pelham and Wainfleet communities. Its population would grow in time to be just over 1000 students prior to the ending of the five year diploma. Since then the population has balanced out just under 900 students.

Over the years, E.L. Crossley has been known as a Vocational school, a Composite school, a Centre for the Arts and an International Baccalaureate School. All of these changes have been put forward by staff, as they adjust programs to meet the changing needs of their students. Throughout the years though, the school has been consistent in working with the students and the parent community to:

Embrace Excellence
Love Learning
Create Community
Strive to Serve and
Succeed Together

Principal's Message

Welcome to E.L. Crossley Secondary School!  We are school with a proud tradition of excelling in Academics, the Arts, Athletics and Technology. We offer our students a complete range of courses at the Academic and Applied levels in Grades 9 and 10, and at the University and College levels for Grade 11 and 12 students.  E.L. Crossley is also home to three “Specialist High Skills Major” (SHSM) programs in Business, Energy, and Health and Wellness.  (For further information about any of these programs, check out the Specialist High Skills Major box on our home page.)

Situated in the heart of Fonthill, E.L. Crossley is proud to be a community school; we are a school filled with incredible spirit and a true sense of family and community citizenship. Daily life at Crossley is characterized by energy, enthusiasm and involvement by the staff and student body because each one of us understands that a true educational experience is enhanced through participation in the culture of a school. To this end, we support our students through the offering of an abundance of clubs, teams and activities; just check out the tabs for the Arts, Athletics and Clubs on our web-page!

The staff at E.L. Crossley are very enthusiastic and dedicated in their commitment to help support the learning needs of their students, and in ensuring their future success. Our teachers continually strive to make E.L. Crossley the ideal learning environment for our students. Inside the classrooms, our instructional environments are filled with technology such as interactive whiteboards, mobile computer labs, tablets, SMARTBoards, iPads and computers to engage our students and prepare them for their post-secondary destinations, whether continuing their education or entering the workplace.  

I invite you to browse our website and get a glimpse of the wonderful activities and learning that occur in our school on a daily basis. As an active and vibrant school, we are proud of the accomplishments of our students in the classroom, on the sports field and in our community. As parents and community members, I invite you to walk through the doors of our school at any time. The staff and students in our building have truly made E.L. Crossley their home and they are proud to show it off.  It gives me great pride to say that I am the Principal of this wonderful school and I am very excited to be a part of E.L. Crossley's caring community.