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HISD’s New Single-Gender Academies

2011 August 24

This week, I spent some time at two of HISD’s newest schools, the Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy and Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy. These single-gender schools offer a rigorous college-preparatory curriculum with Pre-Advanced Placement and Advanced Placement courses.

When you walk through the halls of these schools, you will notice how quiet they are. Yet, when you go into the classrooms, you will see students sharing ideas and excited about what they are learning. One of our staff members shot this clip of Delesa O’Dell-Thomas, the principal of the Young Women’s College Preparatory Academy, talking about the first few days of school. I want to share it with you to give you an even better idea of what it’s like in that building.

One of the other things that you will notice when you visit the single-gender schools is the way students are dressed. The girls wear plaid jumpers and cardigans, with jackets for special occasions, and the boys have on khaki pants, blue blazers, and Kelly green ties. The kids look great! Dameion Crook, the principal of the Young Men’s College Preparatory Academy, told us on the first day of school that the uniforms have a lot of symbolism.

Those uniforms are a statement about a student’s commitment to coming to school on a regular basis, studying hard, and preparing for college. I am proud of the students and teachers at those schools, and I couldn’t be more proud to have Dameion and Delesa in HISD. They are outstanding leaders and I’m looking forward to spending more time at their schools.

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