Single-sex classrooms in public schools have been on the rise for a decade, but middle schools in Kansas are testing out single-sex lunch and recess, reports The Wichita Eagle.
At several middle schools in Wichita, Kan., boys eat lunch while girls have recess and then the two groups switch. Principals told the paper the policy was put in place to eliminate “inappropriate smooching and boy-girl drama” and also to get students to finish—or at least eat—their lunches.
“It seemed like 80 percent of our students were throwing away whole lunches,” Michael Archibeque, principal at Pleasant Valley Middle School, told the paper. “I was just trying to get them to eat.” And he succeeded. Staff members immediately noticed that students, especially girls, were eating more.
In addition, kids have become more active during recess and the number of discipline problems has decreased.
Students don’t favor the change, according to Principal Jennifer Sinclair, but they are warming up to it.
However, Leonard Sax, executive director of the National Association for Single-Sex Public Education, who favors single-sex classrooms, said he does not support segregating lunch and recess because students miss out on “the most important period of the day in terms of negotiating relationships and ... learning social skills.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.