School Board Approves Funding For All-Boys High School

LOS ANGELES (Aug. 23, 2016) – The Board of Education voted unanimously today to allocate nearly $700,000 to upgrade classrooms on the Washington Preparatory Senior High campus where the single-gender Boys Academic Leadership Academy is scheduled to open next year.

The Boys Academic Leadership Academy is the counterpart of the Girls Academic Leadership Academy, the District’s first single-gender high school, which debuted this month on the campus of Los Angeles High School.  With a focus on science, technology, engineering and math, both of the single-gender schools are designed to prepare students for well-paying careers in STEM-related fields.

Board Vice President Dr. George J. McKenna, III, said, “We are pleased to provide a learning environment that is tailored to the unique growth and development needs of young men.  As a graduate of an all-male high school, I benefitted tremendously from the experience and am proud to offer this opportunity to students in Los Angeles.”  The District’s L.A. newest, single-gender schools is located in his Board district, and he served with distinction as principal of Washington Prep in past years.

“This is another step in the right direction to create more options for our students and families that are focused on college and career readiness,” said LAUSD Board Member Mónica García. “Young Oak Kim in Board District 2 led the way and we look forward to more.”

Young Oak Kim is a middle school for girls and boys, with students enrolled in single-sex classes separated by floors.

“The Boys Academic Leadership Academy will provide another choice, another pathway to academic success,” said Superintendent Michelle King, who majored in biology in college before becoming a science teacher in the District.  “These young men will develop high-level skills that will open doors of colleges and careers.”

Like its counterpart, the Boys Academic Leadership Academy will be a span school, serving Grades 6-12.

The leadership academies were the brainchild of Elizabeth Ackerman-Hicks, a veteran LA Unified administrator who is GALA’s first principal.

“It was my honor to write both these school plans” she said.  “I could not be more excited that we will offer this unique opportunity for success for the young men in our District.”

The Girls Academic Leadership Academy is the first, single-gender public high school to open in California in more than 20 years. However, single-gender schools are becoming more popular as a strategy for encouraging student participation and achievement.

In fact, the country’s newest, all-boys public high school opened this week in Washington, D.C.

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 Contact: Shannon Haber (213) 241-6766

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