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Hailing the 21st century as the "Pacific Century," three independent school associations are spearheading a project to bring together private school educators from throughout the Pacific Basin.

Geared to promote and strengthen education throughout the region, a Pacific Basin Conference, scheduled for summer 1996 in Honolulu, will launch the project.

Organizers say the influence of Asia and Pacific countries on technology, the economy, and world affairs makes it an ideal region for partnerships and multicultural understanding.

Administrators and teachers from K-12 schools in the United States, Australia, China, Japan, Korea, Mexico, and Singapore--to name a few--are invited.

The Hawaii Association of Independent Schools initiated "Preparing for the Pacific Century: Building an Educational Community for the Pacific Region," along with the California Association of Independent Schools and the Pacific Northwest Association of Independent Schools.

More information is available from Terrina G. Wong, Associate Director for Programs, Hawaii Association of Independent Schools, 1585 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 1206, Honolulu, Hawaii 96314; (808) 973-1533.

A former student and teacher at a Bethel, Me., private school who died last August at age 97 has left her alma mater $5 million.

Officials at Gould Academy announced Muriel Park Mason's bequest--which also included her home in Bethel and 36 acres of forestland--last week.

Headmaster William P. Clough 3rd said the money will support new programs, carry out long-anticipated building projects, and provide scholarships.

The lion's share of funds, added John Todd, the director of development, will go to the school's endowment--and nearly double it--to insure the school's stability. Also, he said, "It will allow us to remain small and to concentrate on quality."

Gould Academy, a private boarding school, enrolls about 200 students in grades 9-12.

What started as an experiment at the Cushman School in Miami has become a research project at Iowa State University. Last September, administrators at the P-6 private school thought separating their 28 5th graders by gender for math and science instruction might give both boys and girls a boost.

Richard Manatt at Iowa State happened on the experiment. He plans to track the students' math and science performance as they move through the upper grades.

--Laura Miller

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