6 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE

DCPS has single gender schools, but what is the reasoning behind the separation?

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- At the Leadership Schools at Eugene J. Butler boys and girls walk in the same front doors, but from there they separate. Boys are on the top floor, girls are on the bottom floor.

The idea is not just about separating boys and girls, it is also about strategically teaching to that gender.

"One of the strategies that works very well is competition, so we push competition in the young men's academy across the board," says Truitte I. Moreland, the Principal of the Young Man's Leadership Academy.

The boys are broken up into three so-called "houses".

"The house of honor, the house of scholarship and a house of service," tells Moreland.

Those houses will compete against each other and whichever house has the most amount of points at the end of the year wins a cup and gets their picture taken.

"We will hang that picture on the wall and they will be a part of the history of Eugene J. Butler and we will do that every year," says Moreland.

On the young women's side of the school, Principal Tamara Williams says competition doesn't always work with girls.
Instead the teachers focus on teaching to the five senses, switching up groups and desks so cliques don't form and creating a cozy environment in classrooms which research shows girls respond better to.

They will have three "societies."

"The society of service, the society of scholarship and the society of success," explains Williams.

The girls will focus on service projects and it all leads up to an 8th grade leadership cotillion.

"They will go through etiquette classes, learn how to be a lady how to give of themselves in service and at the end participate in a big ball and the 8th grade men will be their escorts," tells Williams.

Parents like Lawrence Sibley welcome the change.

"It's an improvement on making sure the kids get educated and get the one-on-one education that they need," says Sibley.

It is also the first Duval County Public School to require prep school type uniforms.

"We want them to look like the leaders they will become," tells Williams.

6 LINKEDINCOMMENTMORE
Read or Share this story: http://www.firstcoastnews.com/story/news/education/2014/08/19/the-strategy-behind-single-gender-classes-at-dcps/14289283/