Single-Gender Breakthrough: Dallas District Opened Three New Single-Gender Schools

By Collie Lane, Parent Herald October 05, 03:48 am

Three more single-gender schools were opened by the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) this year, bringing a total of five single-sex schools in Dallas. Single-gender education is an old school approach that is now earning new momentum in the Dallas district.

Opened in 2004, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School has received national recognition. Its achievement paves way for the opening of Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy in 2011.

And this year, the district opens Solar Preparatory School for Girls in James B. Bonham Elementary School, Young Men's Leadership Academy in Fred T. Florence Middle School and Young Women's STEAM Academy in Balch Springs Middle School. Other districts like Columbia district and Los Angeles have also opened single-gender schools, while in Texas, Fort Worth and Austin have added single-gender schools.

Education Week has reported that the Young Men's Leadership Academy at Fred F. Florence Middle School focuses on leadership; while the Solar Preparatory School for Girls at James P. Bonham School provides dual-language program with a focus on science, technology, engineering, the arts and math or STEAM. The Young Women's STEAM Academy at Balch Springs Middle School gives emphasis also on STEAM.

"We have a mantra that we are not just ... preparing them for school," Nancy Bernardino, the principal of Solar Prep, said to Education Week. "We are preparing them for life. So the experiences that we give them -- How do we problem-solve? How do we ask questions? How to be those leaders and that voice for others? We think that's what's preparing them for the real world," she added.

A study has revealed that single-gender school provides advantages for both boys and girls. For instance, girls in exclusive schools for girls feel a lot comfortable with science and math while boys learn to appreciate literature in exclusive schools for boys.

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