Back to school, c. 1955
Regina’s first school was opened by the Regina Protestant School District No. 4 in 1885. The school was located in a building on Scarth Street that was owned by the school’s teacher, D.S. McCannell. The first school built in Regina, the Union School, was located on the corner of Hamilton Street and 11th Avenue. It opened in 1890 and quickly became known as the White School because it was built of white bricks. In 1903 a Normal School program was opened in one of the White School’s attic rooms to train future teachers.
In 1899, the Catholic ratepayers of Regina decided to establish a separate school district. Named the Gratton Roman Catholic Separate School District after a beloved priest who had died tragically in a blizzard, it opened the first Catholic school in Regina in 1900. The Gratton School had 1 teacher and 1 assistant when it first opened. A larger school, St. Mary, was built in 1908 on the site where the SaskPower building is now located; Gratton School was closed when St. Mary opened.
Today, Regina Public Schools serve 22,000 students in 51 elementary and 10 high schools. Regina Catholic Schools serve 10,000 students and consists of 29 elementary and high schools. (See Regina: The First 100 Years by William Argan with Pam Cowan and Gordon W. Staseson).