Addressing the Needs of the Whole Child
In the spirit of Stephen Girard, the school educates the whole child. Nowhere is this more evident than in the residential program. Students learn life lessons about living in a community, enrich their school day educational experiences, and pursue the school's core values of integrity, respect, self-discipline, compassion and responsibility. Character education is supported through mentored programs led by groups like Alpha Boulée and Alpha Boulé Archousai, Big Brother/Big Sister and ESF Dream Camp.
Living on campus five days per week allows the children to participate in a broad range of extracurricular activities. For example, younger children explore thematic topics such as the world of dinosaurs set up in their dorm's activity room. Older students learn to play jazz or chess in clubs that are far more numerous and in-depth than conventional afterschool programs. Community groups such as the Mainline Chinese Cultural Center offer programs to enhance cultural awareness and respect for diversity.
Residential advisors play a key role in the lives of their students as they guide them through the academic, social, and personal aspects of their lives. Life skills program offerings include financial literacy, basic skills like sewing and car maintenance, and classes and seminars on nutrition and conflict resolution.
Students live in single-sex dormitories arranged by grade level. Residential advisors occupy apartments in the dorm buildings, creating a caring, familial atmosphere for students. Girard requires that all students participate in the five-day program for the full benefit of our academic and residential curriculums. Students go home on weekends
We encourage families to stay in touch with their children by phone, e-mail, letters and regular visits, both formal and informal. In addition, parents frequently visit the campus for scheduled events, such as concerts, assemblies, and Founder's Day; for conferences with faculty and residential advisors, and to participate in parent committees and other groups.
Once a month at the beginning of the school day, all students attend nondenominational services in the school's chapel, offering a forum for spiritual and moral development.