SCHOOL DISTRICT # 1340
Peter Quiring and Gladys (Penner) Wiebe
the Penner family first arrived in Clark’s Crossing in 1902,
the education of their children was very important, in fact two of
the Penner families moved from their original homesteads within a
year so that they could be closer to a school for their children.
first, the children were taught as they had been in Manitoba, the
basic “3 R’s,” using the German language and the
Bible as their main text-book, in private facilities provided by
members of the church.
in 1905, having recognized the need for a better education and
proficiency in the English language, the Penner family was
instrumental in building the Penner School on SW 11-38-5 W3, on what
is now named Clark’s Crossing Road.. On May 2, 1905 an
application for a School District was filed with the Commissioner of
Education, signed by Peter J. Dyck (husband of Peter O. Penner’s
daughter Margaretha), Jacob Peters and Jacob Penner (son of Peter O.
Penner). These three men became the first trustees of Penner School
District on June 13, 1905.
July 6, 1905 the School Board passed Bylaw No. 1 to borrow $1,000 at
eight percent interest, for the building of the school, desks, a
stove, a blackboard and the school site. Following approval of this
loan, the school was built in the summer of 1905, and the first
classes were held in the fall. The school year appeared to be three
months in the fall and three months in the winter-spring.
School District # 1340 encompassed a block of sixteen sections of
land - Sections 33-36 in township 37, and Sections 1-4 and 9-16 in
township 38 - a total of 10,240 acres of land, of which 9,600 acres
was assessable land. At the time of the petition for the school
there was a population of 107 people in the school district.
Thirty-three were children aged between five and sixteen, and twenty
were children below age five. A number of quarters were Temperance
Colony land and were vacant.
the original one-room school was moved away. The school records were
still in the building, and all were lost. Two other buildings were
then moved in and built together, and Penner School became a two-room
school. Other changes took place in the structure, however it
remained a very small country school. Many Penner family members
have fond memories of attending Penner School.
later years, as the students graduated from Penner School there was
no place for them to go to high school, and so they were bounced
around from one school to another, wherever there was room - they
were sent to city high schools, to Dalmeny, and to Warman, and the
students were separated. This was not a good situation for them, so
about 1979 Penner School District No. 1340 joined the Saskatchewan
Valley School Division, and from then on all Penner School students
continued on to High School at Warman SK.
School was in use as a school for seventy six years until 1981, when
a Penner School Reunion was held in the summer. The building then
became a community center, and ten years later the first Peter P.
Penner Reunion was held at Clark’s Crossing Community Center.
building’s use as a community center continued until September
1997, when Penner School re-opened as a life-skills training school.
An article from the October 1, 1997 issue of The Saskatchewan Valley
News, says: “Penner School, an alternative school for middle
year students at risk (of dropping out of school), has opened with
seven students currently enrolled. The program was approved by the
Saskatchewan Valley School Division with the mission being a
complementary educational option for students ... it is a
non-residential “farm school” ... the target group is
students in need of behavioral change ... students work on English
and Math first thing in the morning. By the third period, which is
just before the lunch break, they have been going outside to scrape
and paint the building or undertake other repairs or renovation
projects ... Penner School offers regular core academic programs for
the students and they are allowed to participate in the various
work-training programs which happen outside the school system ...
Saskatchewan Valley School Division hopes the program will help the
students return to a regular school setting, help them to learn to
make better life choices and assume responsibility for their actions,
improve their school attendance, learn effective conflict management
skills and increase self confidence.” Penner School had
returned to the values of our Penner forefathers, teaching students
many practical things, including again the “3 R’s.”
This new use of Penner School continued for two years.
the summer of 2005, a stone and plaque were erected on the Penner
School site by the Penner Family, commemorating the 100th
anniversary of the founding of Penner School in June 1905.
January 1, 2006 Penner School became part of the new Prairie Spirit
School Division, created by the amalgamation of the three school
divisions surrounding the city of Saskatoon.
The Clark's Crossing Road signs were installed in 2012 through the efforts of Marg Hein-Wiebe, who attended Penner School and still lives there. |
The stone and plaque were installed at the original site of Clark's Crossing in the summer of 2017, again thanks to the tremendous determination and efforts of Marg Hein-Wiebe.
the past several years the building has been occupied by the
Saskatoon Snowmobile Club as a clubhouse.
I am submitting the history of Penner School District # 1340, and accompanying photos. |
This story has been modified from how it appeared in the Penner Family History Book,
completed by myself in July, 2000.
Gladys (Penner) Wiebe