For most people, having four boys in a family is challenging enough, let alone trying to find one school that suits them all. But for Christ Church Episcopal School parent Katie Gallivan, “having all 4 boys in the same school brings more blessings than challenges” because of how CCES has handled the unique dynamics of a large family.
But CCES wasn’t actually the Gallivans’ first choice for their family.
CCES Makes School Transitions a Smooth, Family-First Process
The Gallivans originally had their first child, now a 10th grader at CCES, in a different private school. Mrs. Gallivan recounts how they started at a school with larger class sizes that was “very much geared toward conformity.” In that environment, her then-quiet kindergartener “felt overwhelmed and shut down.” The teacher even believed that her son couldn’t read. Mrs. Gallivan knew better. The Gallivans started looking at other options and decided to give CCES a try.
“The transition is a whole-family event,” said Mrs. Gallivan, and CCES went above and beyond to make their son’s--and their family’s--transition as smooth as possible.
When they decided to make the change, they visited the school several times the summer before school started so that their son could adjust to his new teacher and classroom. At the time though, they didn’t realize that this transition was allowing the rest of their family to adjust as well. “When the younger boys started CCES, they had already been to the school on a daily basis for most of their lives. It was a very natural progression for them to start school, and they were excited to finally be there.”
One Size Does Not Fit All, and Christ Church Works With Each Child’s Needs
Today, all four of the Gallivan boys are enrolled at CCES, and “the one size fits all mentality” is nowhere to be found.
“Siblings can be dramatically different,” says Mrs. Gallivan, “[but] I think that is one place where CCES is able to stand out, in building those relationships with families as they come along.”
To other families with several children who may be thinking about CCES, Katie advises, “being proactive is much better than being reactive; a short meeting with anyone who will be directly involved with a ‘distinct’ child is a strong plus. Providing some information on the front end makes their job easier and their efforts more productive. Our children couldn’t be more different if they came from different planets! [But] the teachers do treat them as individuals, regardless of their siblings. The habits children develop at an early age set the tone for their entire educational experience. If they learn in the early years to take risks in their thinking and set their own bar high, both personally and intellectually, those habits will stay with them.”