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Alternative Program


Cogito Alternative Program

Program Philosophy

Cogito is a knowledge-based program with clearly defined standards of achievment and measuralble learning objectives. Cogito is dedicated to helping average students maximize their academic potential. Cogito (k 0 gi t o) is Latin for I reason. The program provides a Classic Liberal Arts Education and is designed for the student who is willing to work to achieve a high level of academic excellence, in a knowledge-based program, and in an atmosphere of structured and sequenced learning. Critical thinking is stressed. Students work in an environment that encourages self discipline.

The unique program characteristics include:

  • Enriched curriculum

  • Sequenced knowledge content

  • Focus on attention and increased concentration

  • Early literacy development through explicit phonics

  • Strong mental and written math skill development

  • Teachers oriented to a classical approach

  • Direct whole group instruction

  • Strong work ethic expected

  • Regular homework required

  • Committed parental support

Program Overview

The Cogito program is offered as an alternative program within Edmonton Public Schools. It was started at Mount Pleasant School in the fall of 1995. The program has grown steadily over the past seventeen years. Currently, the program is provided at Mount Pleasant School (Kindergarten to Grade Six), Allendale School (Grades Seven to Nine) - located just four blocks north of Mount Pleasant School, Richard Secord School (Kindergarten to Grade Six), Meyokumin School (Kindergarten to Grade Six), Pollard Meadows School (Kindergarten to Grade Six), Edith Rogers School (Grade Seven to Nine), Kameyosek School (Kindergarten to Grade Three) and Malcolm Tweddle School (Grade Four available September 2015, Grades Four and Five available September 2016, Grades four to Six available September 2017). These eight schools form the Southside Cogito campus. Stratford School (Kindergarten to Grade Nine) forms the West End Cogito campus. Northmount School offers the Cogito program in Kindergarten to Grade Six.


Parents are requested to notify the school if their child is going to be absent.

To ensure your child's safety, we will call home if your child is absent and we have not been previously notified. Our answering service phone number is 780.434.6766.

Regular attendance at school is a vital factor in the successful completion of the program at each grade level. Extended absences due to family excursions or other reasons should be discussed with your child(ren)'s teacher in advance. Formal notification of the absence by letter is required. (Refer to "Absences for Holidays").

The safety of students at Mount Pleasant School is of the utmost importance. If your child is driven home from school, it is vital that he or she is picked up promptly at our dismissal time of 3:23 p.m. every school day except Thursday when dismissal time is 2:30 p.m. If you are unavoidably delayed, and cannot make alternative arrangements for your child's transportation, please contact the school office at 780.434.6766 immediately. We would ask that you make alternate arrangements for your child if this is occurring on an ongoing basis. Your support in ensuring the continued safety of our students is invaluable. Please direct any questions you might have about these procedures to the school office.


An important component of the Cogito Program is its emphasis on homework. Homework is assigned in various subjects according to curricular expectations and the teacher's professional judgment. Homework should be meaningful and measured, but time will often vary depending upon each child's individual skill level and ability to complete daily work in class. It is marked and students are expected to make appropriate corrections.

Teachers in the Cogito Program will provide parents with a homework information sheet that describes the homework practice for the student's specific grade level.

Regular homework, central to the Cogito Program, has three major purposes:

  • Teaches personal responsibility and time management skills;

  • Provides additional opportunities for enhanced academic growth and development; and

  • Involves parents in the learning process and keeps them informed.

Parent responsibilities concerning homework are as follows:

  • Provide a time and a place, free from distraction, for the work to occur;

  • Sign the daily homework book, after examining the child's work;

  • Provide encouragement with respect to daily work as well as homework; and

  • Work closely with the teacher if a problem occurs.

Homework greatly enhances student potential for success. In the Cogito Program, it is a daily expectation from Monday to Thursday. Long-term assignments, missed daily work, or review for tests may also be done on the weekend.

Homework reinforces concepts covered during class time. Students may expect to review, practise skills, catch up, and prepare for tests. Students often require help in developing their study skills, and in organizing their time so as to balance homework, extra-curricular activities, and free time. Long-term projects or assignments that are to be completed over an extended period of time build on previous knowledge and skills and expand the student's knowledge and skills of research, organization, and time management. The requirements and scheduling of all assignments will be shared with students and parents. All students will have a home reading program in addition to their daily homework to encourage a life-long reading habit.

When appropriate, parents can use the homework book as a means to provide small written messages to the teacher. The teacher in turn may also use the homework book to provide appropriate communication back to the parent. Parent, student, and teacher initial that they have read all correspondence. Please note that these messages can and will be read by your child. We are unable to guarantee complete confidentiality within the homework books. This should be taken into consideration when determining the level of sensitivity of the correspondence and how your child might misunderstand events. Issues of a highly personal nature should be addressed by other means such as a phone call, a personal meeting or a confidential sealed letter.