In an attempt to narrow the gap between boys and girls in the subjects of science, technology, engineering and math, an all-girls, public school has been approved by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
The Girls Academic Leadership Academy will join only a handful of other single-gender public schools nationwide—a first for Los Angeles—focused on a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) curriculum.
LAUSD Superintendent Ramon Cortines says data shows girls move from math and science as they get older. “It is clear that within our district, our female student population is underserved in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics,” said Cortines.
The Academy will operate out of bungalows on the Los Angeles High School campus, 4650 W. Olympic Blvd., previously used by a charter school and includes a separate entrance on West St.
While the all-girls academy ultimately represents competition for Los Angeles High School, Joyce Kleifield, executive director of the Alice G Harrison Memorial Trust, welcomes new opportunities available to students. “At Los Angeles High we are focused first on academics, but also on providing the most opportunities for our students.”
Joyce believes the Academy will have a positive impact on the community by providing alternative learning environments, and help encourage enrollment at public schools.
“On a macro scale, the hope is we bring students back to the public school system from private schools who feel they need the opportunity to learn better,” she added.
The Girls Academic Leadership Academy will open in 2016 for grades six to nine, with an additional grade level added each year.
By Billy Taylor