This editorial appeared in The Rock Hill Herald.
The practice of separating girls from boys in the classroom was the norm decades ago. Now, it seems to be something of a new trend.
The Fort Mill school district announced recently that it is considering single-gender classrooms at two schools. Last month, Gold Hill Elementary started a trial run with 46 fifth-graders and plans to expand it next school year. Springfield Elementary might add a program, and teachers there are studying materials about how boys and girls learn differently.
As Gold Hill Principal Terry Brewer notes, the district is "just at the starting point" of instituting single-gender classrooms and determining the interest of the community. But early signs are that both teachers and parents are at least curious about the idea, and many are enthusiastic.
There is no real verdict as to whether children learn better if they are separated by sex. But gut instinct and the reactions of the pupils themselves indicate the single-gender classrooms work.
In trying to quantify that gut instinct, answers are likely to come from South Carolina. Of the 500 or so schools nationwide that feature single-sex classes, half are in the Palmetto State.
Jefferson Elementary School in York, India Hook Elementary School in Rock Hill and Fort Mill Middle School have launched single-gender programs. The Clover school district also is considering single-gender classrooms.
Single-gender classrooms are a matter of choice; no one is forced into all-boy or all-girl classrooms. And even though they might be separated for much of the school day, they will get together for classes such as gym and computer labs.
To read the complete editorial, visit The Rock Hill Herald.