Maurice-Lavallèe School, which has the distinction of being the first publicly funded francophone school in Edmonton, is a beacon of community life in the French Quarter. Previously, during its first ten years of existence, Maurice-Lavallée School was called École J.-H. Picard, and it merged the high school students of Collège Saint-Jean with the female students of Académie Assomption.
The first bilingual public school in Western Canada built with public funds, it was named in honour of Joseph-Henri Picard (1857-1934), a francophone political and educational pioneer in Alberta, who founded the Saint-Jean Baptiste Society in 1894 and the francophone newspaper Le Courrier de l'Ouest.
On November 27, 1984, Maurice Lavallée, accompanied by his wife Jeanne, presided over the inauguration of the school that would bear his name. Maurice Lavallée was born in 1904 in Saint-Robert, Quebec. In 1927, he began his teaching career in Edmonton at the Jesuit-run Collège Saint-François-Xavier. In 1930, he became editor of the newspaper La Survivance until 1935. For eighteen years, he was president of the Association des éducateurs bilingues de l'Alberta, guiding and supporting the work of these teachers in the writing of programs.
In 1994, Maurice-Lavallée School became one of the first five schools managed by a Francophone authority, the Conseil scolaire Centre-Nord. Over the past 25 years, the school has undergone many changes in terms of the grade levels it serves. In 2009, it became a senior high school with a reputation for excellence in all areas.