It sounded so old-fashioned to me, like something from another century. I could not imagine I would like to be in an all-girls school. While there were plenty of boys who took over the classroom, most were fine in my opinion. Unless you had a real bully in the class, what difference could it possibly make? After all, I like boys.
About 97 percent of teens who attend a private residential therapeutic school show improvement in behavior, communication, confidence, and any emotional problems they were experiencing, according to a study of nine private schools.
The study, conducted by independent research company Canyon Research & Consulting Inc., involved 993 students ages 13 to 18 who attended schools operated by Aspen Education Group between August 2003 and January 2006. Regardless of age, sex, or the reason for treatment, most teens showed a significant improvement between the time they entered treatment and the time they were discharged.
Many times parents have to make difficult decisions that are in the best interest of their child. Temple University Professor Gabriel D’Amato writes that “some children need to be removed from the home in order to allow for a possible change in behavior and to permit new types of behavior to emerge” (Ref 3). Sending a child away to school may prove to be the wisest course of action, even when the child fights the idea.
You may be surprised to learn that 80 percent of all high school dropouts are boys. What is more, boys comprise fewer than 50 percent of the current college population. Is this a new phenomenon?
Some experts say that traditional industrial education – the “sit down, be quiet and learn” approach – a system in place for decades and far more suitable to female learning, has been failing boys for a long time. Ask any man if he liked school during his elementary, middle, or high school years, and chances are, he’ll say no. But years ago, whether or not a boy liked school, he was generally forced to perform because of a strict authoritarian system that was in place to support the educational system. If a boy failed to pay attention or acted out, a teacher or principal could punish him – even by physical means.
NCGS engages the power of many voices to strengthen our schools, communities, and world. Now is a time when we need to assert our collective voice—educators, parents, students, alumnae, and supporters—to ensure innovative, vibrant, and safe school environments. We must focus on our commitment to educate and empower students with the skills and confidence to make a positive impact on our world.
Deep learning requires that students feel safe and secure. Not just safe to express themselves and their ideas, but safe from threat of physical harm.
Educators play a critical role in empowering students with the tools and informed perspective to become influential contributors to our complex, changing world. We cannot achieve this without an unwavering faith in the security of our classrooms and campuses, and a steadfast imperative to requiring safe learning communities for our students. Furthermore, students cannot reach their full potential and develop into the leaders of tomorrow when faced with today’s reality of school shootings and violence.
“There has never been a better time to be female.” —Terri McCullough, Director of No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project, a Clinton Foundation initiative led by former Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton
I am a product of a girls’ school. The year I graduated, Saturday Night Fever had just come out. As a member of the yearbook staff, we were allowed to stay overnight in the school library to celebrate the yearbook’s completion. When we laid out the last photo and copy, we cranked the music and danced our hearts out to “Staying Alive.” The Head of School lived upstairs, and that night she joined us, not to quiet us down, but to dance with us. Surely, we were dancing to celebrate finishing a yearbook, but we were also dancing to celebrate ourselves. In the eleven years I spent at the school, my teachers knew me, encouraged me, saw promise in me, and urged me to see my potential. It was there I learned to write, to explore a text, to sculpt, to skip on a balance beam, to sing, to dissect, to explore, and to find my voice. It was there I discovered the extraordinary relevance of a girls’ school. That was over thirty years ago, and though the mission of educating girls has always been important, it has never been more relevant or more urgent.
As a new school year begins, we’ve been thinking a lot about how girls learn best. In many ways, this question could be answered by describing what girls’ schools do best. This is because girls’ schools are dedicated to championing the educational and developmental needs of girls.
So how do girls learn best? Here are just a few elements that are critical for helping young women reach their full potential:
The admissions season is coming to a close with families weighing their options. They are pouring over acceptance letters, evaluating financial aid packages, and reviewing for the final time their pros and cons lists comparing different schools. Lists that will help them make the ultimate decision—one that’s led equally by the head and the heart—which school will they entrust with educating their daughter.