First elected in 1939, a provisional school board was charged with the task of providing a school and education for the sons and daughters of local parents, most of whom were associated with the first gold mines in the area. District No. 1 was formally established on October 1, 1939 under Section 33 of the School Ordinance, N.W.T. The current Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT) emerged much later and provided for the continuation of the existing Yellowknife Education District as a Board of Education under provisions of the Education Act. Miss Mildred Hall opened the doors of the first Yellowknife Public School to 32 eager children in September 1939. This log cabin building, 16 feet by 16 feet, was rented at a cost of $35.00 per month. Previously it had served as a bunk house and kitchen for a local mining company. Mildred Hall lived in the smaller of two parts and because of the tight quarters, children attended school in shifts, grades 1 to 5 in the morning and the higher grades in the afternoon.
On February 21, 2001, the Heritage Committee of the City of Yellowknife commemorated the log school house in a plaquing ceremony. Later relocated to Franklin Avenue, the school house was refurbished and is now an official Yellowknife Heritage Site. Mildred Hall would be amazed at the incredible "school houses" of today in Yellowknife Education District No. 1 (YK1)! Schools operating in YK1 range in size from approximately 30 students in Kaw Tay Whee, the community school of Dettah, to over 700 students at YK1's École Sir John Franklin High School. The district employs over 250 dedicated staff whose expertise and commitment to education make a difference in the lives of over 2,000 students! Together, this YK1 team works to ensure a brighter future for all students, staff, parents and community members. Always striving to provide cutting edge educational services and opportunities for students, YK1 is committed to the words of its motto... educating for life!