Named after Frank Oliver (1853-1933), who brought the first printing press to Edmonton and co-founded the Edmonton Bulletin in 1880. Oliver came to Edmonton in 1876 and went on to form much of the early legislations in the North West Territories. Oliver became the province of Alberta's first Member of Parliament in 1905, sat in the House of Commons from 1896 to 1917, and was Minister of the Interior and Superintendent General of Indian Affairs from 1905 to 1911. As of 2022, Oliver School is pending a name change due to the harmful legacies of Frank Oliver.
Oliver School opened March 13, 1911 as a three story school with 12 classrooms. Materials used in construction consisted of brick and stone and it was the first brick school constructed west of 109 Street. The design was inspired by Collegiate Gothic style. Portables were used to help with overcrowding and a twelve room addition was built in 1928, referred to as the West Annex. In 1957, a gymnasium was added and a Public Address system was installed. In 1995, the Nellie McClung Girls' Junior High Program began operating at Oliver School.