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Video: A guide to private schools
Video: How to find a middle school
By Psyche Pascual
Single-sex schools have the same goals that most schools share: to give students the skills and knowledge base they need to go on to college and to have meaningful careers. Many single-sex schools incorporate some aspect of character-building — teaching respect or emotional intelligence — into their curriculum. For boys, this may mean focusing on nonviolent ways to communicate and exploring how to be a good friend. For girls, it may mean teaching leadership and public speaking skills.
Many single-sex schools find ways to incorporate fine arts or dramatic performances as part of their academic offerings, and some have won national and international attention for their efforts. (Look out for Grammys on the hallway walls.)
These schools can often attract teachers committed to single-sex education who bring advanced degrees and college-level instruction to the school. Deans and directors at many single-sex schools are former college instructors and administrators.
Find out if the single-sex school you're considering is accredited by a regional or national organization. Still, accreditation is not always a surefire stamp of approval. Some excellent schools lack accreditation by a regional group. But membership in a national or regional organization can give a school single-sex educational resources that it might not have on its own, such as opportunities for collaborative teaching and international studies. Some schools belong to the National Coalition of Girls' Schools or the International Boys' Schools Coalition. But if they don’t, don’t be surprised. Some are so new they don’t yet have a track record.
Many single-sex schools don’t go beyond the eighth grade, an age when many children hit puberty and their curiosity in the opposite sex is heightened. If your child is no longer interested in a single-sex education, it may be a good time to transition to a co-ed high school.
Finally, visit any school you are considering for your child. Get input from other parents, teachers, and the principal. Ask questions that will give you as complete a sense of the school as possible. Make sure you feel that this is the right school for your unique child.
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