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Why All Girls?

Why All Girls?

Our mission is to educate young women to develop their feminine genius—their unique dignity, identity, gifts as women created in the image of God.

St. Catherine Academy has grown into a thriving and rapidly growing school of 260 students. We seek to form the whole woman through a rigorous college preparatory curriculum, vibrant spiritual life, competitive athletics, and constant opportunities for service, leadership, and personal growth.

For many families, they are making a choice between a girls’ school and one or more coed schools. At SCA, we encourage families to ask, “What does an all-girls school do best?” We’re confident they will discover the answer to be, “A lot.”

To help remind families how an all girls’ school will engage, challenge, inspire, and prepare their daughter, here’s a list of the top ten reasons to attend an all-girls school supported by research:

  1. INSPIRATIONAL ENVIRONMENT

Girls’ schools champion the education needs of girls.

  • Single-sex program create an institutional and classroom climate in which female students can express themselves freely and frequently and develop higher order thinking skills 1.
  • The robust learning environmentencountered by students at all-girls schools is highlighted by a recent survey of high school students. The girls’ responses provide unequivocal support for the value of an all-girls educational environment2.
  1. ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT

Girls’ schools create a culture of achievement.

  • More than80% of girls’ school grads consider their academic performance highly successful3.
  • Nearly 80%of girls’ school students report most of their classes challenge them to achieve their full academic potential compared to 72% of girls at coed independent and 44% at coed public schools4.
  1. BUILDS SELF-CONFIDENCE

At girls’ schools, a girl occupies every role.

  • Majority of girls’ school grads report higherself-confidence over their coed peers5.
  • All-girls settings seem to provide girls a certain comfort level that helps them develop greater self-confidenceand broader interests, especially as they approach adolescence6.
  1. DEVELOPS LEADERSHIP SKILLS

Girls’ schools empower students to become bold leaders.

  • Programs at girls’ schools focus on the development of teamworkover other qualities of leadership, while the qualities of confidence, compassion, and resilience also ranked prominently7.
  • 93%of girls’ school grads say they were offered greater leadership opportunities than peers at coed schools and 80% have held leadership positions since graduating from high school8.
  1. SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGINEERING & MATH (STEM)

Girls’ schools champion the educational needs of girls as a group underrepresented in STEM majors and careers9.

  • Girls’ school grads are 6 times more likelyto consider majoring in math, science, and technology compared to girls who attend coed schools10.
  • Compared to coed peers, girls’ school grads are 3 times more likely to consider engineering careers11.
  • During the middle school years, girls show a decline in both their performance in math and their attitudes towards math. New research suggests that girls’ schools may mitigate the declinewhen compared with coed schools12.
  1. DEDICATED TO HOW GIRLS LEARN

Girls’ schools capitalize on girls’ unique learning styles13.

  • To be successful, students need more than just a feeling of support. That support must translate into actions geared toward student success.Nearly 96% of girls’ school students report receiving more frequent feedback on their assignments and other course work compared to 93% of girls at coed independent and 80% at coed public schools14.
  • A study prepared for the U.S. Department of Education observed, “more positive academic and behavioral interactionsbetween teachers and students in the single-sex schools than in the comparison to coed schools.” 15
  1. HIGHER ASPIRATIONS

Girls’ school students strive for greatness.

  • Girls at all levels of achievement in the single-sex schools receive a…benefit from the single-sex school environment in terms of heightened career aspirations—an effect unprecedented in any other portion of our study16.
  • Students at all-girls schools have higher aspirationsand greater motivation than their female peers at coed independent and public schools. More than 2/3 expect to earn a graduate or professional degree17.
  1. EXCELLENT MENTORING

Girls’ school students are mentored by a community of peers, teachers, and school administrators.

  • The overwhelming majority of girls’ school students agree to strongly agree that they feel supported at their schools: 95%feel supported by their teachers compared to 84% of girls at coed schools, 90% report feeling supported by other students compared to 73% of girls at coed schools, and 83% feel supported by their school administrators compared 63% of girls at coed schools18.
  • Research indicates that girls place more emphasis on interpersonal relationships than boys, which may provide girls with beneficial social support… Compared to boys, girls are more likely to socialize in smaller groups, share more personal information with each other, and emphasize helping behaviorover competitive behavior in their friendships19.
  1. PREPARES GIRLS FOR THE REAL WORLD

Girls’ schools engage students in activities that prepare them for life beyond the classroom.

  • Nearly halfof all women graduating from single-sex schools rate their public speaking ability as high compared to 39% of women graduates from coed schools. A similar differential exists for writing abilities64% of girls’ school graduates assess their writing as high, compared to 59% of women graduates of coed schools.
  • In the world outside of school, the answers are not always found in the text. All-girls schools prepare students for the world beyond school by requiring outside research, encouraging them to connect ideas across problem domains, and challenging them to grapple with problems with no clear solution21.
  1. ALLOWS GIRLS TO BE THEMSELVES

Girls’ schools provide an environment where students feel safe to express themselves and engage in an open and safe exchange of ideas.

  • Over88% of girls’ school students report they are comfortable being themselves at school, which means they are free to focus their energies on their learning22.
  • 93% of girls’ school grads are very or extremely satisfied with their school’s ability to provide individualized attention,and 80% strongly feel encouragement to develop their own interests23.

 

Sources:

1 Dr. Rosemary C. Salomone, St. John’s University, Public Single-Sex Schools: What Oprah Knew

2 Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

3 Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

4 Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

5 Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

6 Dr. Rosemary C. Salomone, St. John’s University, Same, Difference, Equal: Rethinking Single-Sex Schooling

7 Dr. Nicole Archard, Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, Student Leadership Development in Australian and New Zealand Secondary Girls’ Schools: A Staff Perspective

8 Dr. Nicole Archard, Kincoppal-Rose Bay School of the Sacred Heart, Student Leadership Development in Australian and New Zealand Secondary Girls’ Schools: A Staff Perspective

9 Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools

10 Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools

11 Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex Schools

12 Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

13 Dr. Carlo Cerruti, Harvard University, Exploring Girls’ Attitudes About Math

14 Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

15 U.S. Department of Education, Early Implementation of Public Single-Sex Schools: Perceptions and Characteristics

16 Dr. Cary M. Watson, Stanford University, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research

17 Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

18 Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

19 Dr. Lisa Damour, Center for Research on Girls at Laurel School, Girls and Their Peers

20 Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College

21 Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

22 Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

23 Goodman Research Group, The Girls’ School Experience: A Survey of Young Alumnae of Single-Sex School

 

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