Edmonton Public Schools provides a variety of programs to support the needs of students. At James Gibbons School we offer the Traditional Alternative program. Traditional programming focuses on traditional values and goals of education and citizenship. Students receive direct instruction of basic skills in a structured learning environment with a focus on high academic achievement.
Spreading our wings, one student at a time.
James Gibbons School is committed to establishing high academic standards and excellent conduct in a welcoming and inclusive school community. Traditional values guide our program with consistent expectations around our core character traits of Respect, Responsibility and Self-control. Traditional methods and practices make us unique. We provide direct instruction of basic skills which include the separate instruction of phonics, spelling and mathematics computation.
What is a Traditional Program?
A Traditional Program is focused on the direct instruction of subject matter through routine and with a continuity of instruction and resources throughout the year. Whereas mainstream programs have children learn experimentallythough personal exploration and discovery of knowledge, a Traditional Program mandates that material be delivered in a systematic and sequential way to the whole group, thus reducing the chances of students missing some concepts. Strong students, once a concept is mastered, may be given more challenging problems on the topic, while students who experience some difficulty can be given special assistance.
Under a Traditional Program, Language Arts strives to build a sequential body of knowledge in the child’s mind concerning the rules and mechanics that control the correct operation of language. This is accomplished with the separate instruction of phonics, spelling, grammar, vocabulary, handwriting, and writing. Similarly, the teaching of Mathematics is focused on developing an understanding of numerical relationships and a sound set of arithmetic skill through the separate instruction of numeracy, memorization, drills and practice questions, and problem solving.
Aside from holding students to a high standard of academic achievement, one of the most valuable things that a Traditional Program strives to provide students with is the concept of work ethic. A good work ethic is an attitude that will give anyone an advantage in whatever one does and, therefore, is viewed as an essential part of schooling and heavily stressed. Together with this work ethic and the orderly, predictable environment, which stresses respectful and cooperative behaviour, the Traditional Program is well-suited to the building of a strong and positive character within students.
What Does it Mean to be an Alternative Program?
An Edmonton public school offering an alternative program teaches the same Alberta curriculum followed by other schools, but does so in conjunction with an alternative program that has been approved by the Edmonton Public School Board. James Gibbons Elementary School is proud to be the only Edmonton public school offering a traditional alternative program that focuses on the traditional values and goals of education and citizenship. As the only such school, we are able to accept students from anywhere on the west end of the city.
All students for whom we are not a neighbourhood school are eligible for yellow bus transportation, and yellow bus service for kindergarten students is free.