There are twenty-three co-ed high schools in the Wake County Public School System.
Although most teenagers attend one of these twenty-three schools when they reach high school, there are other options. If the student’s parents do not choose to have their child attend one of these public schools, there is the option of same sex schooling.
Although both types of schools have their benefits, studies have proven that students attending same sex schools excel in academics.
Researchers at Stetson University in Florida completed a three year pilot project comparing single-sex classrooms with co-ed classrooms at a nearby elementary school in Florida.
The students were assigned to classrooms with equal class sizes and were taught by teachers with the same teaching experience; the only difference being the class’s genders.
After taking the FCAT (Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test), boys in co-ed classes scored 37% proficient, while boys in all male classes scored 59% proficient, and at the same time, 75% of girls in co-ed classes scored proficient while 86% of girls in single sex classes scored proficient.
Another survey taken from graduating alumni from 61 all-girls schools nationwide showed that 95% of survey respondents were very or extremely satisfied with their schools’ ability to provide a rigorous academic curriculum and 93% were very or extremely satisfied with their preparation for the academic challenges of college.
There are three same sex high schools in North Carolina, one of them being St. Mary’s, located in Raleigh.
This location gives girls in Raleigh a chance to attend one of these exclusive schools while staying in their hometown.
Jenna Webley, sophomore, attended her freshman year at St. Mary’s High, but transferred to Leesville this year. She is one example of how the form of schooling is not for everyone.
“It just wasn’t fun. Everyone was super competitive with their grades and I spent all my free time doing school work. And there were no boys or football games!” said Webley.
Although this form of schooling was not right for Webley, she understands why it would be a better choice of high school for some.
“At St. Mary’s the teachers took much more initiative in our education. They really wanted us to succeed so they would reach out to us one-on-one and try to help. At LRHS the teachers just let you do it on your own.”
Overall, everyone has a form of schooling that works for them, and luckily, Jenna found her place : “Leesville is great. Everyone is nice and welcoming, I’m much happier here.”