Matt Penna and Kay Hensley both teach seventh-grade social studies at Whittemore Park Middle School, but there's a world of difference inside of their classrooms.
Penna's classroom is bustling with noise. Students get up and move, sit on their feet, eagerly try to answer questions and toss a ball to see who gets to talk. Hensley's classroom is quieter, more organized - down to the way things are hung on the walls. The students sit in groups of four, they raise their hands to talk and the room smells like flowers.
Penna teaches boys and Hensley teaches girls in the new single-gender seventh-grade classes at Whittemore Park - the only school in the Horry County School district to have such classes.
Three weeks into the new school year, students seem to be adjusting and some even seem to be thriving in the environment, which separates girls and boys for core classes of math, science, social studies and English.
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