New all-girls public school filling up fast

If you’re like many folks, spring break may not be on your radar yet. But Liz Hicks is already thinking ahead to the next school year – and for good reason. She’s a longtime teacher and administrator in the L.A. Unified School District. This fall, she’s taking on a new job as principal of the district’s first all-girls school.  

It’s called the Girls Academic Leadership Academy or GALA.  It’ll be based on the campus at L.A. High and will have a special focus on science, engineering, technology, and math. The school will ultimately serve girls in middle and high school, but they’re starting out this fall with just sixth and ninth grades. Sixth grade is now full, but they’re still accepting applications for ninth-graders. And Hicks says they’re seeing interest from a wide range of students and families:

Educators have long debated the pros and cons of single-sex schools, but Hicks says her school will follow a model that has worked in other districts to counter a tendency for girls to show declining achievement in math and science once they enter middle school.

Hicks is also involved in getting an all-boys school up and running by fall of 2017. She says that school will have a focus on English and language arts.

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