Local School Separates Boys and Girls to Improve Student Performance

Contributor: Sarah Duffey
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Updated: 10/29/2013 8:48 pm
Today, we talked to teachers and students to see how effective they think the change has been. Vincent Armstrong, a student at Gaston Point Elementary, says, "Yes, I'm doing way better." Armstrong says he's noticed an improvement in his grades without the distraction of puppy love. The 2013 school year started out a bit differently for the 5th graders at Gaston Point Elementary in Gulfport, and so far, the school has seen positive results thanks to the new class structure, especially with the boys. Math and science teacher, Ms. Kimberly Robins, says her boys are living up to their full potential in her classroom. Robins says, "It’s mostly the age. They're starting to like each other, and so with that distraction gone, they're able to focus more on what they need to do in the classroom." Takairest Perryman, another 5th grader, says, "I think it's cool because there’s not so much drama and mess going on. Last year, in 4th grade, there was a lot of boyfriend girlfriend stuff and now there’s not so much." The boys in Ms. Robin's class report there's less drama and more football. Armstrong says, "We get to concentrate on our work more. We get to do guy stuff. We get to play football. It's just fun. I like being in the boys’ class." Girls and games aside, the biggest goal of this experiment is to have a positive impact on their grades. The separation is also altering the amount of behavior issues in each of the classrooms. Robins says, "Every nine weeks, we'll check the scores and their behaviors and make sure we're on the right track." Calvin Brooks, another 5th grader, says, "It's better because we can learn more things and we don't get distracted by girls and try to go out with them." According to Ms. Robins, the parents are embracing the change as well. She states, "I haven't heard any concerns. I think they're embracing it and no one has complained yet." The school says they will continue the separated class structure unless they find a negative effect.

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