School Choice & Charters

Girls-Only Online School Prepares for Opening

By Katie Ash — July 14, 2009 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The first girls-only online school is slated to open this fall, launched by a consortium of private all-girls schools.

Called the Online School for Girls, the venture plans to offer two Web-only pilot courses for high schoolers during the fall of 2009 and four courses the next spring. The consortium is made up of the Harpeth Hall School, in Nashville, Tenn.; the Holton-Arms School, in Bethesda, Md.; the Laurel School, in Shaker Heights, Ohio; and the Westover School, in Middlebury, Conn.

“To see a school at the caliber of Holton-Arms move in this direction, to me, is really an indicator that online learning is becoming mainstream as a way to expand options for their students,” said Susan D. Patrick, the president and chief executive officer of the Vienna, Va.-based International Association for K-12 Online Learning.

Larry Goodman, the director of strategic planning for the Laurel School and a co-director of the Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, said the online school will leverage the aspects of technology that work best with girls. Although experts say the ways boys now use technology are changing, Mr. Goodman said boys have traditionally seen technology as “a toy,” while girls have viewed it more as “a tool.”

The development of Web 2.0 tools—which allow users to collaborate and connect with one another—dovetails with the way girls tend to learn, added Ann Pollina, the head of the Westover School and the president of the board of the Concord, Mass.-based National Coalition of Girls Schools.

“It’s all about connection, all about communication,” Ms. Pollina said.

Some experts, though, question the arguments for the girls-only approach for the online school.

Dr. Leonard Sax, a physician who is the executive director of the Exton, Pa.-based National Association for Single Sex Public Education and the author of the book Why Gender Matters, said that collaboration and connection are aspects of technology that engage boys in technology just as much as they engage girls.

“There are dozens of first-person shooter games out there,” he said. “What makes World of Warcraft so popular [among boys] is precisely the fact that it is collaborative. You can go online and collaborate with real boys.”

A version of this article appeared in the July 15, 2009 edition of Education Week

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Well-Being Webinar
When SEL Curriculum Is Not Enough: Integrating Social-Emotional Behavior Supports in MTSS
Help ensure the success of your SEL program with guidance for building capacity to support implementation at every tier of your MTSS.
Content provided by Illuminate Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Profession Webinar
Professional Wellness Strategies to Enhance Student Learning and Live Your Best Life
Reduce educator burnout with research-affirmed daily routines and strategies that enhance achievement of educators and students alike. 
Content provided by Solution Tree
English-Language Learners Webinar The Science of Reading and Multilingual Learners: What Educators Need to Know
Join experts in reading science and multilingual literacy to discuss what the latest research means for multilingual learners in classrooms adopting a science of reading-based approach.

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School Choice & Charters Opinion The Biden Administration Is Right: Charters Need to Be More Accountable
The proposed changes to the federal Charter School Program are just common sense, write Jitu Brown and Randi Weingarten.
Jitu Brown & Randi Weingarten
3 min read
Illustration of students and teachers holding puzzle pieces.
<b>F. Sheehan/Education Week and iStock/Getty</b>
School Choice & Charters What's Behind the Fight Over the Biden Administration's Stance on Charter School Funding
Proposed new rules for federal charter school funding have drawn the ire of many in the charter school community.
8 min read
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest as thousands of public school teachers, administrators and supports march through the streets of Sacramento during a protest held at the California State Capitol urging state legislators to provide more funding for public schools in Sacramento, Calif., on May 22, 2019.
Publish Charter school parents stage a counter protest during a march in Sacramento, Calif., that advocated for more funding for public schools in 2019.
Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP
School Choice & Charters Opinion Families May Like Their School But Want More Options. That’s Where Course Choice Comes In
Educational choices have grown inside each school as a result of the pandemic. Families should take advantage of this.
3 min read
Image shows a multi-tailed arrow hitting the bullseye of a target.
DigitalVision Vectors/Getty
School Choice & Charters Mich. Public School Advocates Launch Effort to Stop DeVos-Backed Proposal
The former secretary of education is backing an initiative that advocates say would create an unconstitutional voucher system.
Samuel J. Robinson, mlive.com
4 min read
Student with backpack.
surasaki/iStock/Getty