ALTON, IL (KMOX) – Single-sex classes are working well for one Alton, Illinois school.

It began as an experiment last school year: segregate male and female students in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades in all their classes except math and English.

St. Mary’s Middle School Assistant Principal Judy Kulp says a few parents were concerned but the girls were more open to it than the boys.

“When we asked the students, just at random times, ‘how do you feel it’s working?,’ for the most part they do like it,” she said.

Kulp says the policy allows students to focus more intently on their classes and students who were more reserved, less likely to even read aloud, are participating. “Now that they don’t have that pressure of having the opposite sex in their class with them, they’re a little bit more apt to participate. We’re seeing positive signs that way.”

And, she says, school officials have changed the way material is presented. Boys like more movement and competition while girls prefer structure.

As to whether the experience will become permanent, Kulp says that simply depends on the balance of boys and girls in their small school of 115 students.


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