Peace supports local school's pilot program

Mechanicsville, VA - Delegate Christopher K. Peace (R-Mechanicsville) toured Mechanicsville Elementary School to observe the school's pilot program on single sex education. Under Principal Amy Woodward's leadership, two fourth grade classes, one for boys and one for girls, explore the benefits of separating the genders for academic settings, students continue to socialize at lunch and recess. Peace stated, Having attended both public and private schools in my lifetime including thirteen years of single sex education, I have often wondered why our public schools have resisted all male or all female classrooms. I commend Hanover's leadership in this important school choice issue."

Mechanicsville Elementary joins at least two other area schools with similar pilot programs including Laburnum Elementary in Henrico and a newly completed pilot program at Bailey Bridge Middle School in Chesterfield.

National studies have consistently demonstrated that both boys and girls enrolled in single-gender schools consistently perform at a higher level than those enrolled in coed schools. One study revealed a 90 percent decrease in daily disciplinary referrals.

Another study showed that both boys and girls who were educated in single-sex classrooms scored on average 15 to 22 percentile ranks higher than did boys and girls in coeducational settings.

Kevin Layne stated, "The boy's classroom also maintains a business casual Tuesday, and when the Delegates arrived many of the children were wearing ties. Mr. Layne provides ties for children who don't have them. Delegate Peace and Hargrove support this program and will encourage its expansion across the county.

"If the data confirms what most of the research suggests then I also hope to encourage counties in the 97th District to provide similar programs in fourth and eighth grade, " Peace asserted.

Peace, along with encouraging this school choice initiative, is also exploring how better technologies can enhance the learning environment, including Open Content Digital Textbooks. "A great opportunity exists to address educational issues with innovative solutions. Instead of simply pouring more money into the system or mandating pre-kindergarten, let's modernize our schools an equip our students with the best tools for an environment conducive to learning."

Peace explained, "Everyone should see how well behaved and engaged these young students were, clearly this program will make a great and lasting impact on these young people."

Delegate Christopher K. Peace was elected to represent the 97th District of the Virginia House of Delegates on January 24, 2006. The 97th District includes parts of Hanover, Caroline, King William, King and Queen, Henrico, Spotsylvania Counties and all of New Kent County. Peace now sits on the prominent House Courts of Justice, Health Welfare and Institutions, and Science and Technology Committees.