Saskatchewan One Room School Project provides an online history for current generations to enjoy, preserve, and experience, our historical educational, architectural, and cultural, heritage.

The one room school house of the late 1800s of the NWT and early 1900s provided education to a burgeoning population. This webpage shows the changing and evolving history of the Saskatchewan One Room School House..

Evolutionary Stage Date Event
Transient lifestyle, Hudson Bay and Northwest Company trading posts, trading, hunting, gathering and fishing are the economic lifestyle, education by the family. Very few persons at this time know how to read or write and there are also only a few of missionary or trading post schools established. 1840 Missionary Henry Budd established Cumberland House wherein the Bible and the Three r's (Readin' Ritin' and "Rithmetic) were taught.
1857 Henry Youle Hind conducted the second expedition to the North West Territories to give consideration to the west as a region for settlement. He also confirmed the existence of the desert like area in Southern Saskatchewan but also described a fertile belt running through the prairies astride the river valley.
1857 1857-1860 The first expedition to the North West Territories to gain understanding of economic possibilities, transportation routes and development, and natural flora and fauna was undertaken by Captain John Palliser. He identified an area of Southern Alberta and South West Saskatchewan as unfit for civilization as it was an extension of the Great American Desert. The dire prediction that the west won't amount to much persisted until the late 1800's.
1867 Adam McBeath, of the Hudson's Bay Company teaches the three R's and supplements these courses with geography, history, English composition and bookkeeping to HBC officer's children.
1867 The Canadian Constitution sets out educational jurisdictions for Eastern provinces of Canada.
1870 In 1870, the Hudson's Bay Company surrendered Rupert's Land to the British Crown, who transferred the territories to the Dominion Government of Canada.
1871 Dominion Land Survey from 1871-1880 allowed for Sections 11 and 29 to be set aside by the Dominion Government for school sections in every surveyed township. A township was 6 square miles. If sections 11 or 29 were located on land not suitable for a school house, then schools could be centered within the community of school children. Consistently using sections 11 and 29 would mean a walking distance to school of 2 -3 miles. By 1880 southern Saskatchewan and a region by Prince Albert had been completed with a road allowance surrounding each section increasing the size of the township. After this time road allowances run north-south between every section however east west road allowances are located only on the north side of sections 7 to 12, 19 to 24 and 31 to 36.
1872 The Presbyterian Mission in Prince Albert, NWT, was established by Reverend James Nisbet. English and Cree Sunday School services were provided.
1875 The North West Territory Act was enacted. The majority could establish public schools, make assessments and collect taxes. Protestant and Roman Catholic churches may also establish schools.
1878 Lt. Governor petitioned by Moise Ouelette and Pierre Landry to establish a school as St. Laurent. No taxation was set up therefore no funding was available. Hon. David Mills, Minister of the Interior decided that when school corporations are formed, they may tax themselves. Taxation system was set up for Territorial offices, salaries, justice.
1879 There are 5 elementary schools reported in the "Herald" Nov 17, 1879. Emmanuel College at St. Mary's Anglican Parish School, Prince Albert, NWT, teaches English, Theology, Grammar and Composition of Cree, and Sioux. Prince Albert sports a skating club and baseball club.
1880 One Half the teacher's salaries for schools of 15 or more pupils in attendance would be allotted by a Federal Government Grant.
1880 Prior to 1880 pioneer settlers educated their own children and some Church Missions were established. The Hudson Bay Company provided for education for employee children. Any schools established in this time frame provided education in French, English and Cree. Taxation was opposed by residents education and a civilized society would not be heard of on this rugged frontier land.
1881 Classical languages, Math and English were taught as Collegiate Anglican School, Prince Albert, NWT.
1882 The principal railway divisional point on the prairies arrives in Moose Jaw.
1883 Ground work began by politicians for legislation to establish school districts. Saskatoon sees the erection of the School House of Temperance Colonization Society.
1884 Depression year.
1884 Emmanuel College at St. Mary's Anglican Parish School, Prince Albert, NWT, reaches its height of growth with 37 students. High School opens at St. Anne's Convent, Prince Albert, NWT. Prince Albert School District and Colleston School district
1884 Moose Jaw School District #1 Dec. 5, 1884-1968
1884 Territorial Ordinance #5, was the first Territorial school law, which allowed for the formation of school districts. It provided for a general supervision of North West Territorial Schools, 1/2 salaries paid by the Board of Education to 10 protestant and 9 Roman Catholic Teachers of this time. Communities establishing school districts may choose the name independently. Moose Jaw processes the first application in the North West Territories to establish a school district under this legislation. Moose Jaw School District #1 operated 1884-1968.A Public School system is seen as a necessity, education should be open to every child as much as possible however attendance is voluntary.
1885 Riel or North West Rebellion disrupts establishment of school districts.
This era is the birth of formal 'civilized' education and infancy of one room school houses. A high immigration rate creates ethnic colonization blocs with mixed languages and cultures Focus of families is on homesteading and success in agricultural endeavours. There is little or no money, any finances are invested into proving up the land and improvements. Schools and lessons also focus on agricultural success, with school gardens, and education is taught based on schools of the ethnic bloc homeland. Schools are rustic with benches and slates, not much money for taxes or school districts. Few schools have books or proper heating for winter months. Once Grade 4-5 is achieved which is the mandatory attendance limit, they help out on the family homestead; some children seeking out their own homestead as teenagers following in the families footsteps rather than seeking out secondary education or diversification. 1886 First Board of Education meeting. There are less than 90 schools in the whole of the North West Territories. In attendance are Lt. Gov. Dewdney, Father Lacombe, Mr. John Secord from Regina, Mr. Charles Marshallsay from Whitewood, and James Brown as secretary. The perception of the 1900s was that the west won't come to much stemming from the Palliser Triangle prediction of 1857-1861. Taxes, education and civilization have no place on the rugged frontier which was re-inforced by this same sentiment which brought about the Riel Rebellion. The results of the Riel Rebellion paved the way for change. It was seen as a necessity to establish schools at which attendance is voluntary however open to every child. Settlers start to see a need in commerce to establish a common country language to speak, read and write as protection from unscrupulous horse dealers, and traders, those who may have illiterate settlers place their X to amounts not owing, and a threat where homestead may be cancelled if correspondence between land titles office could not be replied to.
1886 76 North West Territory Schools encompassing 84 teachers and 2, 553 students. A private School opened in Swift Current in 1886, using a Railway Box Car on the Ground Spelling and 3 R's were taught by Mrs. Thomas Rooks to C.P.R. children.
1886 Qu'Appelle School District #2
1886 Prince Albert School District #3
1886 Regina School District #4
1886 Broadview School District #5
1886 Kenlis School District #6
1886 Maverick School District #7 Moose Jaw
1886 St. Andrews School District #8 Prince Albert
1886 Colleston School District #9 Prince Albert
1886 Prince Albert East School District #10
1886 Wapella School District #11
1886 Moosomin School District #12
1886 Saskatoon Protestant Public School District #13
1887 Emmanuel College Boarding School for First Nations opens in Prince Albert, NWT.
1888 There is a North West Territory provision to establish "Union Schools" which would provide curriculums for High School, Public school and teacher training. Nisbet Academy opens which is a high school for girls and young ladies in Prince Albert, NWT. New Stockholm S.D. #120 was a Swedish settlement.
1889 A group of local tax payers still object to public education funding from the Government. It was a common perception that the west won't come to much stemming from the Palliser Triangle prediction of 1857-1861. Taxes, education and civilization have no place on the rugged frontier which was re-inforced by this same sentiment which brought about the Riel Rebellion.
1889 File Hills Indian Residential School was a Boarding schools 1889-1911
1889 In public school children were taught Standards I-V. The first high school grade was referred to as Standard VI. A junior or Class 3 provincial certificate or Standard X: Middle, Class 2 or Standard XII: Senior, Class 1 Standard XII. A one years provincial certificate or Class 3 Standard was needed to teach until the 1920's. Even in 1889, a group of tax payers opposed public education funded by the Government.
1889 Hannah, the sister of Nellie McClung teaches for one term at Kenlis S.D. #6. Swift Current S.D. #167 Public School District ws established.
1890 Kenlis S.D. #6 near Abernethy, Sk. established 1886 had a visit from Poetess Pauline Johnson reciting "The Legend of Qu'Appelle" at a concert.
1890 In the late 1800's, settlers could provide labour for Government related projects such as road construction, bridges, fireguards in lieu of paying taxes. Taxes were $1.25 per day or a day's work. The settlers were short of cash because of the drought and deprression and the government required manpower for these developmental projects.
1891 First Normal School is established, however there are no applicants for attendance. Miss K. Gillespie (future wife of Hon. W.R. Motherwell) taught in the area known as Balcarres, NWT. (Balcarres became a town in 1901)
1892 There are 249 School Districts in the whole of the North West Territories. Government School Bill is passed.
1894 Miss K. Gillespie (future wife of Hon. W.R. Motherwell) teaches at the Crowstand Mission School for 3 years in the Kamsack area and Cote Reserve.
1895 Text books are selected by the provincial government for the curriculum and are introduced in 1895. Financial times are hard for most school areas, very few schools have text books, the few that are owned are treasures. Grassington Mud School is set up in South Western Saskatchewan modelled after the typical Mud Houses used by settlers in the area.
1896 There were 366 school districts in the North West Territories with 433 teachers educating 12, 796 registered Students.
1897 North West Territorial Government initiates Community development and Fire Districts or Statute Labour Districts by Statute Labour Ordinance. 2 days of labour per quarter section could be offered in lieu of paying taxes. These districts are precursors to the Local Improvement Districts later reformed into Rural Municipalities. The prairie fire was a devastating experience during the dry summer months and spread rapidly. The smoke from the fire's rampage could be seen for miles.
1898 Statute Labour Districts re-named Local Improvement Districts.
1899 Weyburn School district 512 is built "The Stone School" "Wee Bourne" or small creek is incorporated in 1899 becoming a village in 1902.
1900 Deluge of settlers from Sifton's immigration policy and bloc colonization during the first two decades 1900-1920 meant that schools could not be built fast enough to keep up with settlement expansion. The majority of settlers were agricultural seeking out the $10 homestead patent, and not educated teachers, which also meant teachers could not be supplied to schools which were constructed. School district organization is optional dependant on the majority of (isolated) settlers.
1900 Massive immigration to the west resulted from the Immigration policy of Clifford Sifton, Minister of the Interior.of immigration. Bloc colonization patterns developed in Saskatchewan. The Board of Education is now called the Department of Education of the North West Territories. Schools could not be supplied fast enough. From 1900-1920 schools were organized at a rate of one a day giving rise to the Saskatchewan Pioneer Slogan: "A New School Everyday for Twenty Years". There were 492 schools established throughout the North West Territories reaching 20,343 registered children and taught by 592 teachers. Of these approximately one quarter are opened less than 150 days of the year. Uniformity is not achieved in the early 1900's. 14 years of age is the compulsory age limit or grade 4-5 achieved. Family size is on average 8-10 children per family. 60% of the schools are "summer Schools" and the teachers change yearly. Epidemics such as whooping cough or contagious diseases force the closure of schools.
1900 Prior to 1900 there were 2 school terms per year. Summer School Apri1-Oct. 31 and Winter School Nov.1-Mar. 31. Any school with 15 children living within 1-1/2 miles (which were usually inside town) would be open all year 210 days. Those rural schools with smaller attendance would open only for the summer term which compromised the children's educational progress as compared to those children in attendance for a full years term. Winter terms were hard to attend in rural areas: children had to share winter clothing to attend winter school, roads were terrible, snow and cold made both roads impassable and school houses too cold, families had limited finances to afford horses etc for transportation. Approximately 1/4 of schools were open less than 150 days per year. Schools are on average 25-50 miles apart. After 1900 Rural schools which consist of 12 pupils living within 1-1/2 miles of the shool would attend school year of 190 days.
1901 84% of residents in the prairies are rural residents.
1901 Bloc settlements of ethnic and cultural groups provided a means for homesteaders to cooperate in proving up homesteads. Savings were spent on travelling to the "Next Best West", paying the $10 filing fee for a homestead, and purchasing oxen or horse, farming equipment, building a house, and making improvements to the land to be granted land patent title in 3 years. There was no extra money for taxes, clothing, shoes, no English for forms and school district application process. Immigrants with farming backgrounds became teachers providing education in the language of the community in many of these colonization areas. Education was seen as improving the community, and a settler of the would apply for a provisional certificate which would last one year. Agricultural farmers not educated teachers made up the massive immigration surge, there were no training schools, so oft times the settler who taught for one years would return to proving up his land, and another farmer would teach the following year. The shortage of teachers in the first two decades of the twentieth century was compounded by World War I and the absence of local personnel due to enlistment.
1901 French and German Catholics with local school boards arrange for competent teachers to teach in their mother tongue for the last hour of the shool day which would include reading composition and grammar.
1901 In the early 1900's lessons were written on slates with slate pencils with an emphasis on Reading Writing and Arithmetic. Recesses were held with no sports equipment or handmade hockey sticks and pucks or handmade baseball bats and balls. Teachers often also provided the community with extra services such as interpreting, or letter writing. School District organization is optional depending on the majority of settlers opinions of the community. there are 900 School Districts in the North West Territories. School which could afford texts use "Alexander Readers" which were written in script. Many schools that have been formed are "Parochial Schools" teaching religion, beliefs and ethnic language rather than the curriculum of public schools or the registration of school district. Public Schools allow 1 hour of ethnic language instruction at the end of the school day. German Catholics are assured that the School Board could employ teachers who were competent to instruct and use the mother tongue. 84 % of residents in the North West Territories are rural residents. The population in the area now known as Saskatchewan is less than 100,000 residents. Saskatoon sees the erection of the Stone School house.
1901 Miss K. Gillespie (future wife of Hon. W.R. Motherwell) is Principal at File Hills Indian Residential School which closed 1950.
1902 Evansdale S.D. #708 and Floral S.D. #688 established in Local Improvement District 18B3 in the Clavet area. Craik S.D. #891 established at Craik, Sk.
1903 If factory made desks, "Double Stationary Desks", were too expensive for the district, long tables and long benches were used. Often the early schools used planks on barrels which meant seating without backs. school rooms may have 4-5 rows of double desks iwth ink wells in the center. Many early schools were built of logs, rough lumber on poor foundations, or in old dwellings such as granaries, not built to withstand severe cold. Schools would have no blackboard or insufficient blackboard. A substitute of green window blind paper on rolls was used as black boards. The carpenter of the area would be in charge of construction after land transfers set up. Most school house interiors were painted blue. The school room would be supplied with a box stove or oil can on legs without an insulating jacket. Very few school grounds had play apparatus. Early introductions were swing, climbing ropes, teeter, and sand pile. Recess and noon hour games included hide and seek, Tom Tom Pull Away, skipping stones, sailing twigs and wading in nearby sloughs, or skating in the winter season. The school grounds contained 2 outdoor toilets and were surrounded by wire fence, with planting of Maple and Carragana trees. Later barns for cutters, caboose, buggy and teacherages were built.
1903 Brownell S.D. #904 set up in Local Improvement District 19C3 (Northen Saskatoon area). Whoosier S.D. #849, and Pleasant Point S.D. #320 both started near Dundurn, Sk
1903 The Construction directives of 1900 were sent out in 1903. Log School houses replaced by frame, stone or brick building. The directives were put forth according to regulations set out by leading authorities of the time on school architecture. Proper lighting, heating, ventilation, building dimensions and interior arrangement and furnishings of 1 and 2 room schools were set out in the plans Trustees would submit plans of proposed buildings to conform to these directives. Blueprints required that the total area of window glass must be equal to at least 1/5 of the floor area. Early construction of schools might place windows on two sides or three sides resulting in too much light, and cross lighting. No lamps were supplied by the Board of Education. Many school rooms had ceilings 12 feet high to meet ventilation requirements. Many early schools plans were too large for the initial settlement, then the plans were too small to cope with the immigration boom.
1904 Eby S.D. #1026, near Swift Current, Herbert S.D. #1075, En 2 S.D. #1099 near Herbert, and Prarieville S.D. # near Swift Current are built. Antelope S.D. #1116, and Chamberlain S.D. #1157 established NE and in Chamberlain, Sk respectively. Douglas Plain S.D. #900, Avondale S.D. #954, McTavish S.D. #1167 were all built around Asquith, Sk.
1905 Beverley S.D. #1172 near Beverley, Lobthal S.D. #1290 near Main Centre, Turnhill S.D. #147 near Rush Lake were constructed.Blackley S.D. #1932 in the Blackley area of Saskatoon in Local Improvement District 19C3 established. Hanley S.D.#934 established in Hanley, Sk. Coates S.D. #1330 built near Dundurn, Sk. Kenaston S.D. #1192 started in town. Bladworth S.D. #1451 sets up in the town of Bladworth. Near Craik, is a school district named Bennett S.D. #2015.
1905 Saskatchewan becomes a province. There are 716 school districts with 25, 191 registered students and 1,011 teachers. The Department of Education of the North West Territories now is called The Department of Education.
1906 Norman F. Black teacher at Weyburn's Stone School brought basketball to Weyburn, Saskatchewan.
1906 Reed Valley S.D. #1522 near Herbert, Flats S.D. #1602 near Success, Bethania S.D. #1626 near Herbert, Pleasant Hill S.D. #1665 near Swift Current and Rockside S.D. #1689 near Rush Lake, Horodenka S.D. #1845 near Moose jaw are applied for. Smilesville S.D. #1641 still stands near Kenaston, Sk. Kipp S.D. #1589 ( [aside] cost for the building was $1,000) and Silver Lakes S.D. #1501 are built near Bladworth. Ames S.D. #1411, Eildon S.D. #1510, Hustlers S.D. #1536 and Bennett S.D. #1452 set up in 1905 near Craik, Sk. Near Cudworth, Sk are built Horodenka S.D. #1845, Kotzko S.D. #2701.Lathom S.D. S.D. #1538 near Osage Sk was named after an English family.
1906 Very heavy winter. Children educated at home for winter months.
1907 Grades 1 through 8 are taught in public school followed by junior, middle and senior. If 15 children resided within 1-1/2 miles of the schoolhouse, the school year would be 210 days in length. Rural schools held 2 school terms. 60% of Rural schools were "Summer Schools" operating approximately between March 15 / April 1 through until Oct 31or in milder winters until December or January. The school term would be about 120 days long. "Winter School" operated from approximately Nov. 1 / Dec. 31 until March 15 / 31. Many rural schools would be closed during the winter season due to the cold climate, heavy snow, inadequate heating for school rooms, shortage of winter clothing for children, roads which could not be traversed or illness. Many rural children would board in town during winter storms or to attend the 'urban' school with the longer school year. High schools provide agriculture and metal work, wood work and domestic science.
1907 There are 15 German schools serving 50-60 children each with a total of 45 German schools serving 1,200 children in the province. A request was made to teach German at anytime during the school day.
1907 Waldeck S.D. #1718, Gull Lake S.D. #1748 , Cut Bank S.D. #1822 near Bundarmare built. Wall Lake S.D. #1764, and Odel S.D. #1893 established near Dudurn, Sk. Falkingham S.D. #1754 begins near Kenaston, Sk. Hallbrite S.D. #1952 set up near Craik, Sk. Barrett S.D. #2015 set up near Chamberlain, Sk Around Asquith, Sk were the school districts of Eagle Creek S.D. #1741, Nelson S.D. #1486, Grange S.D. #1769 and Asquith School starts above Andrew Mather's store in this year.
1908 There are 2,070 school districts established. There are about 45 schools using German as the language of instruction, teaching German, Old Colony catechism, Bible, Arithmetic, and Writing. Elvevow S.D. #2175 is a landmark near Dundurn, Sk. Haultain S.D. #2431 built in 1908 moved in 1952. Ronaldsburg S.D. #2049 sets up near Kenaston, Sk. Aylesbury S.D. #2127 and Barrett S.D. #2015 are built near Craik, Sk. Chamberlain sees the establishment of Aberfeldy S.D. #2090, and Banbury S.D. #2149 nearby. Fartown S.D. is established near Marshall, Sk. and costs $1,000 to build. Bonnie Brae S.D #1837 established near Outlook, Sk.
1909 Section 177 School Act of the Saskatchewan Department of Education sets up a school for training Ukrainian Teachers called "english School for Foreigners". Gilead S.D. built near Hanley, Sk. And Aikins S.D. #2304 near Kenaston, Sk. Banbury S.D. #2149 and Beacon S.D. #2805 established near Craik, Sk. Chamberlain area establishes uplands S.D. #2290.
1910 1910-1920 Government program used by many communities to build country schools. By this date, teachers arrive in the western prairies from the British Isles, some as professional teachers others with a grade eight standing and teaching as "permit teachers". The ranching country South of Township 5 to the U.S. Canada border had their School Districts run by the Local Improvement District until mid 1950's. The Local Improvement Districts (L.I.D.) was the forerunner to the Rural Municipality (R.M.) Horse disease epidemics are rampant, horses falling to Swamp Fever, Encephalitis, and Glanders.
1910 Indianola Sod Schoolhouse is built 65 miles South oif Swift Current. Many homesteader homes are Sod houses, and a request was made to built the school house in the same fashion. Kotzko S.D. #2701, Skala S.D. #2712, Ozeriany Carpathian S.D. #2722 near Cudworth are built. Hamre S.D. constructed near Hanley, Sk Beacon S.D. #1452 built near Craik, Sk.
1910 Most school districts had a Football (Soccer) team and hockey team.
1911 School districts are requested to submit five names written down in order of preference for their new school to avoid duplication. Parkhill S.D. # 492 set up near Craik, Sk.
1912 Bergheim School District established with Welshman J.D. Williams a bilingual teacher facing language barriers. He introduced outdoor projects such as school garden and the first inter school field meet to increase community integration. School houses were community gathering places. Summer picnics saw nail driving contests, pie eating contests, "thread the needle" races, wheelbarrow races, rowing contests, ball games, pole vaulting. There were winter Christmas concerts, socials, dances, card parties; whist and hollo; and political meetings.
1912 Ealingford S.D. #3069, Aude Hill S.D. #666, Ranchview S.D. #2847 were set up in the Kindersley area. Wingellow S.D. started near Hanley, Sk. Erie S.D. #856, and Squaw Creek S.D. #3223 built North of Craik, Sk. Wildflower S.D. #2560 is built near Alsask, Sk at a cost of $2,000 paid for by debenture over 10 years.
1912 Very heavy winter. Children educated at home for winter months.
1913 Gleanalmond S.D. #3170, Turvin S.D. #3032, Stoney Vista S.D. #3000, Loverna S.D. #3144 were established around Kindersley, Sk Jagoe S.D. built near Hanley, moving to Box Elder S.D. in 1953. Wyandotte S.D. #1355 establised East of Hanley supported in 1952 with Haultain School Building moving here as well. Briggs S.D. #841 near Bladworth, Sk. is built. Prairie Isand S.D. #1135 near Chamberlain is built. Denehurst S.D. #1070 established near Brock, Sk.
1913 There are 16 "consolidated districts" encompassing 36-50 square miles in which residents convey children to a central community school. Small school districts cannot raise enough taxes and there is a limited school population. Children are transported to school at the expense of the school district.
1914 Teachers were given special training during the war years 1914-1918 to replace teachers who had enlisted. Students who had completed public school were given a crash course on starting stoves, sports, curriculum set up and were able to supervise correspondence classes. During this time of teacher shortage, many of the 'teachers' were barely older than the 'students'. During WWI, the building program was halted. Many schools were used by military authorities for hospitals or emergency war use.
1914 World War I (1914-1918) Commences
1915 Superba S.D. #2984 erected near Alsask, Sk used 'new' innovations such as plaster, fir floors, hyloplate blackboards impressed the residents with its "superb splendor" and was therefore christened Superba. It was also a year of a bumper wheat crop, and for children crossing through the wheat field, one seven year old lad did get turned about trying to take a short cut on the way to school.
1916 648,000 residents live in Saskatchewan. Chatham S.D. #3117 is near Kenaston, Sk.
1916 Establishment of schools should provide education to an area not exceeding 20 square miles. Within the school district there should be at least 10 children of schools age, as well as at least four persons who can be assessed for school sponsorship. There have developed two basic educational systems in Canada. Protestant community schools without religious teaching, and Roman Catholic French Irish Schools combining education with religion. There are 60 French schools established by 1916. The Saskatchewan population reaches 648,000.
This is the era of the One Room School House. The prosperity of the 1920's could build the school house according to established guidelines. Improved standardized Schools with equipment, double stationary desks with inkwells, and standardized curriculum and texts. Improved transportation and higher wealth. The industrial revolution commences and introduces the radio, media, phone lines, and mechanized farm work. The school term becomes year round, attendance improves, most children attend and finish primary school. The hard times of the dirty thirties with no employment available see many children also attending secondary schools. The English language is becoming more common in public, and the ethnic language of bloc settlements is now mainly spoken at home or at church. Many ethnic cultural and language distinctions begin to disappear. 1917 A survey found very few teachers spoke English in the ethnic bloc colonization areas, or had teaching qualifications. Many teachers only had 5-6 years of education and taught for one year at a time with a provisional certificate. Very few children could speak English in 1917.
1917 School attendance act is now enforced. $10/month fine for non-attendance. Formation of school districts has been optional, very few teachers spoke English or had teaching qualifications teaching with a provisional certificate with 5-6 years of education. Very few children could speak English. Some isolated ethnic blocs have not established school districts. The formation of this act sees 90% of children attending school over 190 days per year. Thee are no school districts using German as a language of instruction 1917-1922.
1918 From 1918-1919 The Cudworth School District #1052 had 1 teacher and 79 children, which was soon rectified with 2 teachers in 1919, and 3 classrooms and 3 teachers by 1922.
1918 Recommended standardized plans and specifications were set out for school buildings and freely sent out. It is now illegal to construct any school building unless plans were approved by the Minister of Education. Plans submitted show grounds, school buildings, teacherages, toilets/privies, and water supply via cistern or well. Plans for auxillary rooms, training shops, gymasiums and physical fitness training, science labs technical subjects, and libraries arose following WWI. Glazing area of windows should not be less than 1/4 of floor area and this should be from the left and rear of seated students.
1918 World War I (1914-1918) Ceases
1919 Fines introduced for ethnic languages used in public schools. Legislation passed forbidding foeign language teaching except French. French can be taught for the first grade and 1 hour for later grades. Schools moving away from religion and ethnic link in the community. There are 133 French schools, 11 private Mennonite and Hutterite Schools, over 40 Ukrainian-Polish Schools. Average school has some equipment, however much of it is not recommended by Department of Education or authorities. Discontinue use of those not approved.
1919 Catholic religious symbols are gone from public schools via a revision to the school act.
1919 This year begain a decade of improved transportation and higher wealth. The industrial revolutions introduced the radio, media, phone lines, and mechanized farm work. Schools are stocked with equipment. The English language is becoming more common in public, and ethnic language of bloc settlements is now mainly spoken at home or at church. Many distinctions begin to disappear. Vocational Education Act is introduced.
1920 During the "roaring Twenties" school teachers taught 8 subjects, 10 grades and an average 60- 70 children. The janitor, teachers, or older students would have an early start to school to light the stove and warm the school house. Classes would be from 9 am to 12 noon and re-commence 1:30 -4:00 to allow students to walk home for lunch breaks in urban areas. In rural areas students would bring lunch in lard, jam or syrup pails and set them on the stove to warm for lunch. Jackets were hung in the boys/girls coat rooms. Opening exercises consisted of Good Morning, singing the "Maple Leaf Forever" facing the Union Jack Flag, singing "God Save the King" facing the pictures of His Majesty The King, King George V (1910-1936) and Queen Mary. followed by the Lord's Prayer and the 10 commandments. The teachers would register the children next. School grants were dependent upon school attendance and days of operation. The teacher would allow about 40 minutes per lesson spending about 2 to 3 minutes per grade to introduce new material. Material was re-inforced with blackboard notes so grades could work independantly while the teacher was instructing another grade. Some subject material could be introduced to combined grades allowing the teacher more time to present the work. Older students would help younger students with their lessons.
1920 Technology of World War I introduced the need for training shops, gymnasiums, libraries, science labs. Technical subjects, equipment and physical fitness training are now seen as necessary for broader education. Whereas previous education focused on helping the early settlers' family learn a common language for communication and skills needed to succeed as homesteader in the agricultural sector and in commercial ventures as seller of agricultural goods and trader. the "Canadian Reader" books 1-7 and "Highroads to Reading" for Grade 8 are introduced.
1926 There are 4,679 School houses with 6,054 School rooms and 6,250 teachers. During this era every school district had a baseball team, and "Canadian Readers Books 1-7" for Grades 1 to 7 and "Highroads to Reading" for Grade 8 are introduced.
1930 The decade of the "Dirty Thirties" produced a great number of teachers. The drought made it impossible to farm and many returned to school to obtain their certificate to provide for their livlihood Between 1929-1937 there was a huge exodus of 66,000 people from Saskatchewan. Settlers were in financial distress, many declared bankruptcy. Schools were in dis-repair and many closed. No religious emblem or clothing are allowed in public school during school hours.
1931 A new curriculum and teacher's guide is developed. Correspondence schools supplemented with radio classes help to serve the increase in students. Exams are held at local schools.
1932 There has been applications approved for 5,010 school districts of which 4,870 are operating. Of the 5,010 there are 4,511 which are rural one room school houses.
1936 His Majesty the King, King Edward VIII is now celebrated with "God Save The King" and reigned 11 months followed by His Majesty the King, King George VI (1936-52). In 1936, Saskatchewan's population reaches 932,000 persons.
1937 "At present in Saskatchewan we have over 5,000 purchasing and employing agencies, 5,000 paid secretaries, paid auditors, separate bank accounts, 5,000 non-correlating, non-co-operating unites." MacLeans magazine.
1937 Assiniboia Grain Growers Baseball team are the provincial champions. Eventually this team in the 1930's had to be banned from tournaments to allow other teams to have a chance at the coveted prize money during the depression years.
1937 There are now 5,151 school districts established and communities can support 4,917 as operational.
1939 World War II (1939-1945) Commences
1940 The Dirty Thirties and the resulting economic depression placed school houses in disrepair for lack of finances. The Second World War between 1939-1945 again resulted in many residents enlisting which meant a shortage of labour for repairs in the 40's when times started again to be more prosperous. There was a closure of about 1,000 School Districts between 1940-1945. There was no machinery, as any and all was given to the war effort (WWII 1939-1945). Many wives and children move to urban areas or to parent homes. Family size is now on average 2 - 3 children each.
This is the era which marks the decline and death of the One Room School House. The number of One room School houses peaks in the late 1940's and starts to decline due to the lack of money of the dirty thirties depression and lack of labour during World War II. Better qualified teachers and consolidated or composite schools are now used, teaching diverse subjects keeping pace with the industrial and technological revolution. Rural children are bussed into urban centre schools. Children attend both primary and secondary schools with many more students after WWII also achieving post secondary education. Transportation and shift to urban centres have dissolved ethnic cultural bloc settlements, schools are now a diverse mix of students receiving a uniform provincial curriculum. 1944 1944 School Act. In schools, uniformity of education and larger school consolidation is introduced. Consolidated schools provide better qualified teachers, free transportation is introduced. They are known as the "Lighted Schoolhouse", providing school instruction to the children by day and instruction to the adults by evening. Technology increased farm size, and many farmers now live in urban centers, travelling to the rural farm. The Federal Government introduces Family Allowance which improves attendance.
1945 Larger School Unit Act introduced. After World War II educational change to the more modern school system. Oxbow School Unit #1, Wakaw School Unit #48.
1945 Former school districts which saw 8-10 children living in the area, now have only 2-3 children.
1945 World War II (1939-1945) Ceases
1947 By 1947 there were 5,192 school districts in Saskatchewan alone, comprising 7,440 teachers and 177, 566 students. The 1947 school act required that school districts cannot be larger than 20 square miles and the length and width could not exceed 5 miles. Within this area were 4 persons who could be assessed and 10 children between 5 to 16 years of age. To establish a new school district, a petition would be drawn up by 3 residents in the community over the age of 21. A plan was drawn up showing the children resident per quarter section, ratepayers name in district, and any streams, lakes and roads. An "x" would show the proposed location of the school which would be on a dry location suitable for building, central to children, 2 hundred yards from the center of the school district boundaries, away from sloughs, water, and graveyards.. The Rural Municipality would be petitioned regarding school boundaries. The Department of Education required the petition, plan, boundary certificate, school meeting notice, public notice posting, declaration by ratepayers, poll sheet votes, minutes of the first meeting and 5 proposed names for the new school.
1950 The Fifties see the post war baby boom and post war immigration to Saskatchewan. The population is rising again. Television makes its appearance in prairie homes, industrialization makes combines and machines available.
1951 The population of Saskatchewan is at 832,000 residents.
1952 Her Majesty the Queen, Queen Elizabeth II (1952-present) is celebrated in opening exercises with students singing "God Save the Queen"
1954 600 bus routes have been developed throughout Saskatchewan, there are now 1,050 School districts supplying the educational needs of 12,500 children.
1960 Georges Vanier, Governor General of Canada holds an impromptu visit to the one room schoolhouse of Coates S.D. near Outlook, Sk while on a trip to the South Saskatchewan River Dam.
1960 8 out of 10 country schools have now closed their doors. Lager centers and composite schools bring students in by bus from 15 - 20 miles away. Roads and travel have improved, school transportation is free.
1961 Less than 1,000,000 residents live in Saskatchewan. 1961 SK population; 925,181
1966 51 % of Saskatchewan Residents are rural resident which shows a pronounced shift to urban settlement stemming from 1) Lack of employment of the 1930's 2) Nuclear family of parents and children was disrupted during both world wars, with wives and children moving to urban centres settling with extended family members. 3) Larger farm size because of industrialization, vehicles and combines allows farmers to live in urban centers and travel to the farm.
1973 Pike Lake School House #177 closed from 1973-1977
1978 Larger School Unit Act repealed.
1978 Pike Lake School House #177 re-opened 1978. One of the last One Room School houses being used.
1979 The Education Act introduced with 122 School Divisions.


Abrams, Gary William David. Prince Albert: The First Century 1866-1966. printed by Modern Press, Saskatoon, Sk. 1966.

Asquith and District Historical Society. The Asquith record.Asquith, Sask. : , [1982].

Bowen, Genevieve. Living and learning in a rural school . New York : Macmillan, 1946

Calder, Donald G. Scott. Seventy years of progress in education : an abbreviated historical outline of the Department of Education, Province of Saskatchewan, 1884-1954.[Regina : Department of Education, 1955]

Canadian Education Association. New trends in delivering elementary and secondary education to small/rural schools / Toronto. 1988

Chamberlain Historical Society. Chamberlain crossroads : a trip back in time. Chamberlain, Sask. : 1981. ISBN 0969080107

Charyk, John C. Syrup pails and gopher tails : memories of the one-room school . Vancouver : Douglas & McIntyre, 1992 ISBN 1550540467

Charyk, John C. The Little White Schoolhouse Volume 1. Western Producer Prairie Books. Saskatoon, Sk. ISBN 0-919306-08-X. 1908.

Collins, Robert. Butter down the well : reflections of a Canadian childhood Saskatoon, Sask. : Western Producer Prairie Books, 1980. ISBN 088833060X

Craik History Book Association. Craik : friendliest place by a dam site. Craik, Sask. 1985 ISBN 0969217706 (v. 1)

Dobbin, L.L.. "Prairie People Mrs. Catherine Gillespie Motherwell, Pioneer Teacher and Missionary". Saskatchewan History Volume XIV No. 1. Winter 1961. Ed. D.H. Bocking Saskatchewan Archives Office U of S Saskatoon, Sk. 1961.

Dundurn and District History Committee. Dundurn memoriesdundurn, Sask. : , 1982

Eaglesham, Isabel. The Night the Cat Froze in the Oven. A History of Weyburn and Its People. Weyburn Review. 1963-1970.

Foght, H. W. (Harold Waldstein). A survey of education in the Province of Saskatchewan, Canada. A report to the Government of Saskatchewan. Regina, King's Printer, 1918.

Gowan, Don C. Grassland Settlers. The Swift Current Region During the Era of the Ranching Frontier - Canadian Plains Studies 4. Canadian Plains Research Center. U of R. 1975.

Greene, Reverend David L. Recollections and Reminiscences. "Early Pioneer Sports in Saskatchewan". Saskatchewan History. Volume XIV. Autumn 1961. Number 3. Saskatchewan Archives Office U of S Saskatoon, Sk. 1961.

Gutiw, Dmytru. Our Grandparents, Our Heritage. Apex Graphics. Saskatoon, Sk. 1988.

Hanley History Book Society. Ripples and reflections : Hanley.[Hanley, Sask.] : , 1982

Istrati, Konrad C. Virgin Sod, Opening and Settling the Prairies of Southern Saskatchewan. Friesen Printers. Altona, Manitoba. ISBN 0-88925-660-8. 1986.

Kenaston History Committee. Kith 'n kin : the history of Kenaston and districtKenaston, Sask. : , 1980

Leacy F.H. and Urquhart, M.C. Historical Statistics of Canada Second Edition. Statistics Canada. Ottawa, On. 2001. ISBN 0-660-18360-9.

Magocsi, Paul R.; Multicultural History Society of Ontario (1999) (digitise online by google books). Encyclopedia of Canada's peoples. University of Toronto Press. p. 564. ISBN 0802029388, 9780802029386. Retrieved 2010-11-22. Unilingualism in schoolsMatheson, Murdock. Looking backward over my fifty years in Saskatchewan

McLachlan, Elizabeth. With unshakeable persistence : rural teachers of the depression era Edmonton : NeWest Press, 1999. ISBN 1896300111

McLachlan, Elizabeth. With unfailing dedication : rural teachers in the war years Edmonton : NeWest Press, 2001. ISBN 1896300480

Oliver, E. H. (rEV. Edmund Henry). The country school in non-English speaking communities in Saskatchewan[Regina?] Saskatchewan Public Education League [1915?]

Outlook-Broderick History Book Committee; Outlook and District Golden Circle. Milestones & memories Outlook, Sask. : , 1980

Pattison, Mary. Cory in Recall, History of Cory. 1967.

Pensioners and Senior Citizens Organization, Branch no. 125. Bladworth and district memories Bladworth, Sask. 1978.

Poelzer, Irene. Saskatchewan women teachers, 1905-1920 : their contributions Saskatoon : Lindenblatt & Hamonic, c1990.ISBN 0921505019

Poelzer, Irene, Sister M. Ruth. A study of some problems of early rural schools in the Saskatchewan area 1884-1918 [manuscript] . 1964.

Rose, Mildred A. "Still Stands a Schoolhouse." Folklore. Saskatchewan History and Folklore Society. Autumn 1982. Vol. 3 #4 Moose Jaw Sk.

Scharf, Murray P. A report on the declining rural population and the implications for rural education. Saskatchewan School Trustees Association, Research Center,Regina, Sask. 1974

Statistics Canada. Canada year Book Ottawa, Ont. 1905. 1921. 1925. 1931. 1936. 1943. 1946.

Thomas, L.H. "Archival Studies The Reports of the Board of Education". Saskatchewan History. Volume II Number 3, Autumn 1949.. Saskatchewan Archives Board. U. of S., Saskatoon, Sk. 1949.

Wright, Marilyn. Scarce as hen's teeth : a biography of Amelia Myrtle Evans Foster Speer Makwa, Sask. 2000.ISBN 0968716709 (pbk.).

"School District Names" Saskatchewan History Volume III No. 1. Winter 1950. Saskatchewan Archives Office U of S Saskatoon, Sk. 1950.

Thank you for stopping by # [an error occurred while processing this directive]
Web Page title: Evolution.htm
URL: /~cansk/school/Evolution.htm
Copyright Web Publish Date: Thu Sep 13 2018 All Rights Reserved
E-mail Webmaster ... Important Notice