Robert Little Public School was originally one of two public schools in Acton, Acton Public School and M.Z. Bennett P.S. As M.Z. Bennett Public School grew in size the community found a need to rename the Acton Public School, so in 1952 Acton Public School was renamed Robert Little Public School.
The community gave the school this name to honor the great educator from the local area, Robert Little. Robert Little was born February 7, 1835 in England. At the age of 13, he was appointed as Junior Assistant at the Lancastrian Night School in Edinburgh and two years later, Assistant Teacher in Sessional School of St. Andrew’s Parish.
In April 1852, Robert and his family came to Canada and he took a teaching position at S.S. No. 5 Esquesing (near the “Scotch Block”). A love for one of his pupils resulted in the wedlock of Little and Sarah Johnson on May 23, 1856.
He was appointed Principal of Acton Public School in 1863. His tenure at Acton was a long and fruitful one. He gained the respect and confidence of both pupils and parents. It was during his supervision of the school that the many fine trees on the present Robert Little school grounds were planted. He sent pupils into the neighbouring woods to bring small maple trees for planting and assigned a scholar to each tree for watering and care.
In 1871, Robert Little was appointed Inspector of Public Schools for Halton County and also acted as Town Inspector of the Board of Education for Milton and Oakville. In 1884, he helped prepare the New Series of Ontario School Readers. He would not accept any remuneration for his work on the educational books.
Robert Little died April 8, 1885, after an attack of typhoid fever. He was deeply mourned by the entire community. A granite monument was unveiled on July 13, 1900 at Mr. Little’s grave in Fairview Cemetery, Acton.
Robert Little School is a monument to an educator who was held in high esteem by his pupils and who helped elevate the school standards in this province.
In 1963 a new wing of Robert Little was completed. In 1968 the present Resource Center was completed. In 1991 additions and remodelings were built to upgrade the facility. As well, the old stone school was demolished. The old office areas and one classroom were combined to become the present office. Four new classrooms were added to the south-east wing, and outside remodellings were done. The gymnasium was extended and several utility rooms were added.
We celebrated 150 years of schooling on School Lane during our 2009-2010 school year.
Robert Little is presently a JK to Grade 5 school. Regular and French immersion programmes are offered to our students. Our principal is Mr Jason Hayter and our Vice Principal is Mrs. Jacqueline Febers. Robert Little also enjoys an active and enthusiastic Parent Council.