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  • School Philosophy

    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.


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Progressive Education with Traditional Values

Our Traditional Programming Makes Us Unique and Effective

Traditional methods and practices make us unique. We provide direct instruction of specific skills, including phonics, grammar, spelling, handwriting and mathematics computation. These skills are first taught separately through direct instruction, and then they are integrated into the practices of reading, writing, speaking, and problem-solving.

Traditional values guide our actions. Our school rules state that we are all expected to show respectresponsibility, and self-control. Through the setting of purposeful goals in the areas of citizenship and academic achievement, and through the provision of fair and firm discipline, traditional values are sustained.

These practices are based on thirty years of research that has proven this to be a sound pedagogy for teaching students.

The resources selected for the traditional program form a building block approach to our instruction. As resources and knowledge are shared across grade levels, there is continuity of instruction throughout your child’s school experience.


Principal's Message

Welcome to James Gibbons!

It is our privilege to welcome you to James Gibbons School.  We welcome back to James Gibbons those families who were part of the school community last year, and we extend a special welcome to new families that are joining us this year. 

The beginning of the school year is an exciting time for everyone in our school community, whether we are a student, parent or member of the staff.  We look forward to renewing connections and building new relationships, as well as to all of the challenges, delights and learning possibilities that the Traditional Program at James Gibbons offers. 

We believe that open communication is an essential component of your child(ren)’s success at James Gibbons.  Please feel free to address any questions or concerns with us here in the school office in person, by telephone or through email. 

As partners in your child’s education we will work together to keep James Gibbons School a special place for children to learn and grow.  Together, we will provide abundant opportunities for children to “spread their wings”.


We extend our very best wishes for a rewarding and productive school year.


Yours truly,


Karen Steinhauer