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Updated: 6th January 2019 12:49

All-boys school set to expand following maiden year

An all-boys school in Calgary is going through with plans to expand just as enrolment in the program is set to grow by 50 per cent.

Students at Sir James Lougheed School use laptops to make a presentation about the First World War. (CBC)

An all-boys school in Calgary plans to go ahead with plans to expand just as enrolment in the program is set to grow by 50 per cent.

Officials at Sir James Lougheed School say they are adding Grade Six to its curriculum come September following a promising start to their all boys program.

Eighty students registered to take part in the all-boys program’s maiden year. That number will grow to 125 in the fall.

School principal Garry Jones said the first year of the program was a learning experience for staff too.

"Many boys came here saying that they didn't like school," Jones said. "So our first job was to build a community and get them to get them to want to come to school."

Parent Jessica Dale-Walker enrolled her two sons in the program as soon as she could last year.

"I have two very active boys," Dale-Walker said. "They don't stop for very much."

She says her boys now enjoy going to school.

Debate not over

The All Boys Program was launched at Sir James Lougheed School last September.

Despite the program’s promising first-year, the debate over whether boys and girls learn better apart is far from settled.

Diane Gereluk, associate professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Calgary, said there’s not enough evidence to suggest kids learn better when they are separated by sex.

The All Boys Program was launched at Sir James Lougheed School last September. (CBC)

"We need to be cautious about making blanket claims about boys learn this way and girls learn that way," Gereluk said. "I think individuals learn differently, and for some particular reason, boys at this type school might help in terms of identity and belonging."

But some students at the school say they are finding it easier to learn without girls around.

 "When I was in my last school, a lot of the girls would always raise their hands first and it would always be complicated to understand what the teachers were trying to teach," Zachary Bridges said.

"My mom said that I was a little too into girls," Zachary Kalenchek said.

Jones says staff still has a long way to go to make the program a true success.

"We want boys to know there's a variety of ways to be a boy," he said. "Our approach is trying to say that you know boys can express emotion, boys can like art and music, you know, they don't all have to like sports."

 

 

 

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