Cogito Parent and Student Handbook

“Everyone Succeeds and Grows”
At E. S. Gish we are:

Gracious,  Industrious,  Self-controlled, Honest

E.S. Gish Elementary Junior High
75 Akins Drive
St. Albert, Alberta
T8N 3A5
Ph: (780) 459-7766

Bell Schedule
Junior High Elementary
Welcome Bell 8:45 a.m. Welcome Bell 8:45 a.m.
Lunch 11:58 a.m. – 12:51 p.m. Morning Recess 10:27 – 10:42 a.m.
Dismissal 3:13 p.m. Lunch 12:08 – 12:51 p.m.
Dismissal  3:13 p.m.
Kindergarten Morning Kindergarten Afternoon
Morning Starts 8:52 a.m. Afternoon Starts 12:40 p.m.
Morning Dismissal 11:25 a.m. Afternoon Dismissal 3:13 p.m.









Early Dismissal

On the first Wednesday of each month, the afternoon is set aside for staff meeting. There is no morning or afternoon kindergarten on this day and all students are dismissed at 12:08 p.m..


All students are expected to attend school regularly and to be punctual.  Students arriving late disturb the rest of the class, feel left out, and can get behind in their work.  If your child is late for school it is important they check in at the office when they arrive.  Parents please call the office at (780) 459-7766.

Cogito Program at Gish

Cogito is a structured, knowledge-based, alternative program.  High academic standards are upheld and students are expected to work hard.  Whole group, teacher directed instruction is emphasized.  A structured classroom environment focused on learning is established and maintained. Regular homework supported and monitored by parents is required.

The unique characteristics include:

  • Enriched curriculum
  • Focus on attention and increased concentration
  • Early literacy developed through explicit phonics
  • Strong emphasis mastering basic facts and mental math
  • Expects and develops strong work ethic
  • Regular nightly homework
  • French as a second language begins in grade one
  • Student’s grades are reported in % beginning in grade three

Cogito (ko gi  to), from the Latin word meaning “I think” or “I reason”.

Academic Expectations

Students enrolled in Cogito strive to meet high standards, both academically and in building the Cogito environment, in which:

  • Students are always challenged to produce their best possible work
  • Work habits and organizational skills are valued
  • An orderly, structured environment is followed
  • Student uniforms contribute to perceptions of success
  • Accuracy and precision in oral and written work are expected
  • Students become increasingly responsible for their learning

Dress Code

Uniform Specifications For Grades K to 6

The formal uniform is worn on the first school day of every week, for school events, for fieldtrips, and as otherwise identified by the school.  Remaining days of the school week are considered casual days.  Students are expected to wear all of the formal uniform items, including:


  • White short or long sleeved dress shirt (tucked in)
  • Cogito tartan tie
  • Grey pants or walking shorts
  • Burgundy Cogito crested vest, V-neck sweater or cardigan
  • Black or grey socks
  • Plain black dress shoes (no embellishments, closed toe & heel: no sandals, crocs, or boots)


  • White short or long sleeved dress shirt (tucked in)
  • Cogito tartan tie
  • Grey pants, grey skort, grey walking shorts, tartan kilt or tartan tunic
  • Burgundy Cogito crested vest, V-neck sweater or cardigan
  • Black, grey or white socks/ black, white or grey tights
  • Plain black shoes (no embellishments, closed toe & heel: no sandals, crocs, or boots)
  • Hair accessories and jewellery must be understated and coordinate with the Cogito colours

On other school days, students can choose any items listed above or the long or short sleeved golf shirt (burgundy or white), white turtleneck or the Cogito hoodie.

Parents’ choice of supplier would include purchasing a long or short sleeve plain white dress shirt with plain collar, white turtleneck, black belt (if item has belt loops), hosiery, and black footwear.

“Mufti Day”

The first Wednesday of each month is a school spirit day when the student council chooses a theme day such as: crazy hat, jersey day,  tacky sweater day.  Children in the Cogito program may choose to participate in the theme, wear non-uniform attire, or wear their uniform.

Uniform Supplier Information

We have a complete set of formal and casual uniform pieces at the school.  The primary purpose of having the uniform closet at the school is for sizing confirmation.  There will be periodic uniform sizing nights throughout the school year when parents and students can confirm which size to order from the supplier.  A focus week is held in April when all parents and students are invited to be sized for the upcoming fall season.

The uniform closet is maintained by the Uniform Sub-Committee chair, Phebe Eglauer.  Anyone who would like to be sized outside of the advertised sizing nights or focus week should contact her directly by email to set up a personal appointment at the school.

Neat Uniforms by McCarthy’s

Shop online

Phys. Ed. Change-Outs

Students in all grades are expected to have a pair of running shoes for gym.  Students in grade 4-9 are required to change into shorts or track pants for regular gym classes.


Regular homework is central to the Cogito Program, a homework note is sent home at the beginning of each week, and has three main purposes:

  • It teaches personal responsibility and time management
  • It provides opportunities for academic growth
  • It involves parents in the learning and keeps them informed

Parents’ responsibilities concerning homework are as follows:

  • Provide a suitable space and time
  • Review weekly homework note
  • Check and sign agenda daily

Students’ responsibility concerning homework are as follows:


Gracious by having a positive attitude and a willingness to complete assignments.

Industrious by beginning homework quickly with minimal supervision.

Self Controlled by sticking with “it” until the job is done.

Honest by sharing all assignments and their due dates.

Poetry Recitations

In Kindergarten to grade six, a poetry recitation is assigned every 4-6 weeks. The classroom teacher will assign a poem that is grade specific and age appropriate for students to read, memorize and present for their classmates.  Poetry recitations have a number of benefits with the development of:

  • Public speaking skills
  • Confidence
  • Independence
  • Exploring figurative language

Junior High Presentations

In Junior High students continue to develop their public speaking skills by working on a variety of oral presentations.

School Fees

Payable to E.S. Gish Elementary Junior High School

Learning Resource Fee

Grade 1-6                                    $55.00

Grade 7-9                                    $65.00

Agenda Cost                                $10.00

Recorder (grades 4-6)                  $10.00

Instrument Rental Fee                 $50.00

(grades 7-9)

(need fee schedule from office)

Lunch Program

A $60.00 fee for the school year is levied for all students that stay for lunch.  The money is used to hire noon supervisors and purchase such supplies as microwaves and games.

Students participating in extra-curricular activities at noon are not charged a lunch fee for the day of the activity.

Students are asked to remain in their lunch rooms until the 12:30 dismissal. Students, who stay for lunch, in grades 1-6 are not under any circumstances able to leave the school grounds without written permission from their parents.  Grades 7 – 9 students may leave school grounds at their own discretion unless directed otherwise by a parent/guardian.

Optional Lunch Programs

  • Thursdays – Lunch Lady provides hot lunches for students that pre-order. Order forms are sent home and can be filled out and brought back to school, or can be ordered on-line.
  • Fridays – Pizza lunches can be purchased.  Tickets are sold in the front foyer beginning at 8:30 a.m.  One quarter of a pizza costs $4.00. Slices are distributed in the foyer at the beginning of the noon hour.

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

Grade 1 – 3 Intramurals

Grade 4 – 6 Running Club, Chess Club, Homework Club, Cheerleading (gr.6), Ski Club, Safety Patrol

Grade 7 – 9 Volleyball, Winter Basketball, Track, Badminton, Rugby, Student Council, Year Book, Travel Club (gr. 8-9), Cheerleading

Parent Volunteer Opportunities

We welcome and encourage parents to participate as volunteers in the school.

Cogito Steering Committee                      Field Trip Chaperones

School Council                                 Classroom/Library volunteers

Akinsdale Parents

Cogito Steering Committee Executive

Chair:  Mike Maxfield

The role of the St. Albert Steering Committee is to support and enhance the experience of the students in the program.  The committee is advisory in nature, providing input to the principal. The Steering Committee meeting dates are published in the school newsletter.

Transportation/Bussing Information

Your Bus Pass

Bus passes are available throughout the year from Transportation Services, located in the District Office at:

60 Sir Winston Churchill Ave.
Transportation Department
St. Albert Protestant Schools
Phone:     (780) 460-3712
Fax:         (780) 460-7686

Student Drop – Off and Pick – Up

For the safety of the children, parents can enter the east parking lot and proceed in order to the neon safety figure. Vehicles proceed in a single lane to the left of the safety figures. Students are to exit the vehicle and proceed to the crosswalk and then proceed to their assigned doors. Parents are reminded to park on Akins Dr. if they are entering the school. The parking lot is used for assigned staff parking only. If dropping off your child on Akins Dr. please do not stop within  five meters of the crosswalk.

Thank You.

We require everyone’s cooperation with this important safety issue.

Walking and Biking to School

Safety Patrols and supervisors are in front of the school by 8:30 a.m. to help everyone arrive safely.  Please use the designated crosswalk when crossing the parking lot for you own safety.  Bicycles are to be walked and stored in the bicycle stands located on the south side of the school.

Reporting Periods

Student academic progress is measured frequently using a variety of assessment procedures.  Parents and students are informed on a regular basis from:

  • Quizzes and tests that are sent home for review
  • Written feedback and/or verbal comments on assignments done in-class
  • Rubrics that accompany major assignments and recitations

Parent Teacher Interviews

Parent/teacher interviews are held twice during the school year, once in November and again in March.

Dates for 2010/11:

November 24 & 25                 March 22 & 23

Holidays & Important Days – 2009 /10

August 30                First Day of Classes February 10 & 11        Teacher’s Convention
September 6           Labour Day February 21              Family Day
October 11              Thanksgiving March 22 & 23          Parent-Teacher Interviews
October 12             Staff PD Day March 25 – April 3   Spring Recess
November 11           Remembrance Day April 22                    Good Friday
November 12          No School -Non Operational day April 25                    Easter Monday
November 24 & 25 Parent-Teacher Interviews April 26                    District PD Day
December 20 – Jan. 2  Christmas Recess May 23                     Victoria Day
January 3                Classes Resume June 30                    Last Day of School (1/2 day)


Are normally held the first Thursday each month.  Parents and family members are encouraged to attend.  Check the online school calendar for dates and times.  Students are expected to wear formal uniform attire on assembly days.

© Copyright St. Albert Cogito