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School Philosophy

Who was James Gibbons?

James Gibbons (1837–1933) was a prospector, hunter, trader, and farmer. He was born in Ireland and came to North America in 1854. After coming to Edmonton in the 1860′s in search of gold in the North Saskatchewan River, James Gibbons and his partners invented a sluice box that would separate river sand and gravel from particles of gold.

 In 1878, he started farming and became a prominent land owner in the Edmonton area. Some of the land he owned included what has today become Laurier Park and the Edmonton Valley Zoo.


School Focus and Philosophy

Our Mission Statement

We believe that children will become good citizens and life-long learners, that they will be able to achieve their ambitions if they are given consistent, structured education with clearly defined standards of academic achievement, supporting traditional values of home and school.

School Focus

As a Traditional Alternative Program we are committed to high academic and conduct standards. We believe that achievement is maximized when

  • everyone develops intellectually, socially, physically, and creatively;
  • a focused learning environment supports meaningful participation;
  • everyone is a teacher and a learner;
  • individuals are responsible decision-makers;
  • individual differences and beliefs are respected; and
  • the school is a safe and welcoming place where adults and students work together with care and compassion.

 Within the Alberta Education curriculum these commitments are achieved by

  • direct instruction of basic skills;
  • continuity of instruction and resources across grades;
  • technological supports integrated with curriculum;
  • regular homework;
  • consistent, firm, fair discipline;
  • focus on traditional values and goals of education and citizenship; and
  • strong parent partnership.

I am happy with James Gibbons School.  It has high standards for both academic achievement and character development.

–Mehtap C.



School Values

Respect, Responsibility, and Self-Control

We ensure academic achievement for every child by 

  • setting goals
  • instructing at the student’s level
  • evaluating performance
  • providing feedback
  • celebrating success

We provide direct instruction of basic skills, such as 

  • reading and phonics
  • writing and grammar
  • spelling
  • handwriting
  • mathematics computation and numeration
  • mathematics problem solving

We provide regular homework beginning in kindergarten, with homework agendas signed daily.

We provide consistent, fair discipline through school-wide rules and a written parent support agreement

We provide continuity from grade to grade of resouces, skills and strategies.

We nurture parent and staff partnerships 

  • in areas of learning
  • in areas of conduct
  • by advising the school council on educational direction
  • through opportunities to fundraise and socialize that are provided by the Parents’ Association.

We provide character education by developing 

  • attitudes of respect, responsibility, and self-control
  • a vocabulary of civil traits, such as honesty, patience, etc.