The first Elementary School in downtown Salmon Arm opened in August, 1898 in a building on the north side of Front Street, on the site of the present (2004) Lordco business. Between 1898 and 1908, classes were held in various locations, but in August, 1908, a new four -room school was opened on Harris street (2nd Avenue NE). This school, known as City School, was destroyed when fire broke out in the basement, shortly after 10.00 a.m., January 31, 1917. The building was evacuated in an orderly fashion. The loss of this building once again necessitated classes being conducted in buildings around town until a new school on Harris Street was completed in January, 1919.
By 1922, the need for more Elementary School space, plus an increased demand for High School classrooms, saw the construction of a new High School which later became the Salmon Arm Elementary School.
Throughout the 1940s, overcrowding forced classes once again to be held in temporary quarters such as City Hall, and repeated by-laws for new schools were defeated by the public. Finally, in June 1949, another plan which called for the construction of a new Junior-Senior High School (J.L. Jackson) and conversion of the High School to an Elementary School was presented to the rate-payers and was approved. In September 1950, the Minister of Education, Hon W. T. Smith, opened the two schools
By the 1990s, the elementary school boasted eleven divisions from kindergarten to grade seven and a full and part-time staff of 20-25 people. However, the late 1990s saw the effects of a declining birth rate, a change in demographics, and the government's decision to consolidate enrolment in fewer classrooms. In 2003, despite strong protests from parents, students, and educators, Salmon arm Elementary closed its doors.