The Los Angeles Unified School District held an opening ceremony Friday for its first single-gender school, one of two such campuses set to open in the area this academic year.
The Girls Academic Leadership Academy is designed specifically to bolster girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math. GALA is the district’s first single-gender school, and the first to open in the state in nearly 20 years, according to the LAUSD.
“They’re just amazing, intelligent, curious, wonderful girls,” principal Elizabeth Hicks told KCAL9. “And we hope that they develop and keep their voice from middle school all the way through high school.
“It’s definitely important because there’s not a lot of women, particularly women of color, in the fields of engineering and computer science.”
The school is located on the campus of Los Angeles High School at 1067 West Blvd. in the Mid-City area and will open with classes in grades six through nine. According to the district, an additional class will likely be added annually, ultimately reaching a student population of 700 students by the 2019-20 school year.
The school’s inaugural class includes students from 69 public and private schools from 49 ZIP codes across the area, district officials said.
LAUSD officials said all-girls schools “provide a culture of academic achievement, while developing students’ self-confidence and leadership skills,” noting that the schools tend to graduate 30 percent more female students than traditional schools and send 50 percent more graduates to college.
A second all-girls campus, the Girls Academic Leadership School, will also open this year in Panorama City. That campus is a charter school authorized by the LAUSD and is modeled after a successful public high school in Denver.
LAUSD is scheduled to open an all-boys school on the campus of Washington Preparatory High School in the 2017-18 school year.
—City News Service
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