Learn About Our School’s Long and Rich History

Union School Haiti History

Union School Haiti was founded in 1919 as a school for the children of U.S. Marine Corps families stationed in Haiti. This was only for the elementary grades and the courses came from Washington, D.C.

Photographer: John Black
Photographer: John Black

From 1920 to 1934, the school, then named Colony School, was located on Turgeau Avenue with 110 students attending classes. On June 10, 1934, the Marines departed and the Colony School was left with 14 pupils—12 Americans and 2 British. In September 1934, the school was transferred to Hasco with 35 pupils. During that year, French was added as one of the subjects taught to all grades. With the help of benefits, raffles, bingos, and plays, in addition to the tuition, the school was able to maintain an average of five teachers a year for the 20 to 50 students attending classes.

In 1936, Hasco closed temporarily and the Colony School was forced to find a new location. During the following six years, the school moved several times. In September 1943, the school was reopened on the Champs de Mars and remained there for 10 years. At that time, the school policy was changed to accept qualified students of any nationality. They also decided to rename the school, calling it Union School Haiti. With the constant increase in enrollment came the idea of constructing a permanent building to house the school. Annual bazaars were held, and the money raised was put into a building fund. The Haitian government donated the site of the present buildings on Harry Truman Blvd. The school moved into this building in January 1954. In the early spring of 1958, it was recognized that more room was needed to take care of increasing enrollment. A new wing was added, enlarging the kindergarten and adding two more rooms for the first and second grades. In September 1962, a new building was opened. It contained a stage, science laboratory, and three classrooms, which could be opened to serve as an auditorium or for other large room purposes.

By 1960, there was a ninth and tenth grade. In 1962, an eleventh grade was added soon followed by the twelfth grade. Union School Haiti became accredited through sixth grade in 1963 and holds provisional accreditation for the higher grades.

The new library, teachers’ lounge, and book storage complex were added in October 1969.