Donnan School officially opened in 1949 as King Edward Park School. Due to the close proximity of another school with a similar name, a contest was held to rename King Edward Park School.
The name "Donnan" was chosen as the result of that student contest. Donnan School was named after John Donnan, a dairy farmer. The Donnan's Queen Alexander Dairy covered 525 acres and included the present day areas of King Edward Park and Idylwylde. The barn stood on what is now the Shamrock Curling Club. The land on which the school is now located was donated to the city to be used for recreational purposes. Students have been attending Donnan School for over 50 years, with enrollments as high as 450 students in the late 1970s.
In the spring of 1996, Edmonton Public Schools received requests for a Sports Alternative Program site that would meet the academic scheduling needs of athletes in our city. The Sports Alternative Program was started at Donnan School in September, 1996. Initially, programs were offered for figure skaters, downhill ski racers and hockey players. Over the years, the sports alternative program has expanded with program offerings in soccer, lacrosse, dance, swimming, diving, equestrian pursuits and gymnastics, among others.
Donnan students have excelled both in their academic and in their sport pursuits. Based on the success of this academic/athletic combination, work began in 2007 to offer an LTAD (Long Term Athletic Development) program for all students. LTAD is a program that recognizes the need for active lifestyle choices in all students. Donnan students receive programming aimed at academic excellence as well as daily physical and emotional health.