A.J. Charbonneau Public School was named after Arthur J. Charbonneau, a long-term School Board Trustee in Arnprior.  Mr. Charbonneau spent 39 years as a School Trustee in this area.  In 1960 he became a trustee for the Arnprior Public School Board.  In 1969, the Renfrew County Board of Education was formed taking in 37 municipalities and on this Board, Mr. Charbonneau represented Arnprior.  He was Chairman of the Board of Trustees for two terms: 1975-1977 and again in 1988-1989.  For 15 years he represented our School Board at the Ontario Public School Board Association and was awarded the Dr. Harry Paikin Award of Merit in 1992, the highest honour that can be bestowed on a public school trustee.  He played an instrumental part in the renovations and additions at numerous schools in Arnprior. It is an honour to have this school named for such a dedicated and respected member of our community.

In 1996 property was purchased on Baskin Drive in Arnprior from Mr. M. Callahan with the intent of building a new public school.  Construction began on October 18, 1997 in a field surrounded by cows!  School  staff were allowed to enter the building in August 1998. The first day of classes was Monday, September 1st, 1998.  The official ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house was October 1, 1998 with the first Principal of the school, Geoff Williams and Mr. Charbonneau  officiating the ceremony. Mrs. Clare Hamilton was the first secretary at the school.

The  attractive  and functional school building was designed by architect Mr. Dave Seaborn of Pye and Richards.  M. Sullivan and Sons turned the architect's ideas and drawings into the reality of a well-built structure.  The real process of turning the building into a school began a year before the school opened when a group of parent and student volunteers, under the watchful eyes of the Department of Labour, came together in a work bee to put together furniture for the school.  Then began the work of the staff, who in a very short time and with lots of hard work, transformed empty rooms into inviting places of learning.