Broward considers creating an all-boys public school
The Broward School District is looking for ways to address dropout rates among African-American boys and poor students.
By Laura Figueroa/lfigueroa@MiamiHerald.com – The idea of opening all-boys and/or all-girls public schools is gaining support from the Broward School Board.
At a Tuesday workshop, board members discussed the possibility of opening an all-boys school to address drop-out rates among African-American boys and students from poor communities.
“It can be a way to save some of our children that we know our traditional educational model is not working for,” Superintendent Robert Runcie told board members.
The idea to open a single gendered school was part of a broader discussion about how to revamp magnet and specialized programs. The district is also looking to provide more schooling choices to stem the flow of students switching to charter schools. This year, the district lost some 6,000 students to charters.
Most board members signaled their support for single-gendered schools, but expressed concerns about costs and ensuring that girls would also eventually have access to a similar academy.
“As long as we can offer equal amounts and equal opportunities … I can be all for this,” board member Maureen Dinnen said.
Though Broward has experimented in the past with single-gender classrooms at Nova and South Plantation high schools, designing an entire school around that model would be a first for the district.
Miami-Dade has two single-gender schools: The Young Women’s Preparatory Academy, which opened in 2006 in Little Havana, and the Young Men’s Preparatory Academy in Buena Vista, which opened in 2008.
Runcie said Tuesday’s discussion was the first of many needed to develop a pilot school, noting that the district would need at least a year to conduct research into schools that have had successful programs and to put together a leadership team for the schools.