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LA Unified School District Opens First Single-Gender School

The Los Angeles Unified School District will hold an opening ceremony today for its first single-gender school, one of two such campuses set to open in the area this academic year.

The Girls Academic Leadership Academy is designed specifically to bolster girls’ interest in science, technology, engineering and math. GALA is the district’s first single-gender school, and the first to open in the state in nearly 20 years, according to the LAUSD.

The school is located on the campus of Los Angeles High School in the Mid-City area and will open with classes in grades six through nine. According to the district, an additional class will likely be added annually, ultimately reaching a student population of 700 students by the 2019-20 school year.

The school’s inaugural class includes students from 69 public and private schools from 49 ZIP codes across the area, district officials said.

Superintendent Michelle King is among those expected to attend the opening ceremony, along with LAUSD board member George McKenna, first lady of Los Angeles Amy Elaine Wakeland and Assemblyman Sebastian Ridley-Thomas and Sen. Holly Mitchell, both D-Los Angeles.

LAUSD officials said all-girls schools “provide a culture of academic achievement, while developing students’ self-confidence and leadership skills,” noting that the schools tend to graduate 30 percent more female students than traditional schools and send 50 percent more graduates to college.

A second all-girls campus, the Girls Academic Leadership School, will also open this year in Panorama City. That campus is a charter school authorized by the LAUSD and is modeled after a successful public high school in Denver.

LAUSD is scheduled to open an all-boys school on the campus of Washington Preparatory High School in the 2017-18 school year.

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