The Girls School Difference

From the NCSG website:

Girls’ schools are more relevant today than ever before.  At NCGS, we believe a school for girls is better than a school with girls.

Girls’ schools are places where girls take center stage. Girls occupy every seat in student government, every spot on the math team, and every position in the robotics club. In fact, every aspect of a girls’ school – from the classroom to the athletic field to the academic program – is designed for girls. By subtracting boys, an all-girls education adds opportunities for girls.

Whether a girl wants to be an astronaut, ambassador, author, or attorney, we really feel that girls need to know – not just think, but really know, deep down – that there’s nothing that can stand in their way. That’s the incredibly important message girls’ schools send to girls each and every day.

We believe that message, embedded in the nature of girls’ schools, provides powerful, relevant advantages and creates the best environments for girls to learn, grow, and develop.

At their heart, girls’ schools are places of leadership. Places where community and collaboration, agency and self-efficacy flourish. But most of all, girls’ schools are places of incredible innovation.

Whether it was a school that was founded 200 years ago or 2 years ago, inevitably, it’s a school that involves trailblazing, creating spaces where teachers can challenge limits, and inspiring girls to imagine and explore possibilities that perhaps they had never considered before.

Girls’ schools are impacting society’s lack of women going into STEM-related fields.

In addition to the arts and humanities, girls’ schools have a long history of engaging girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) subjects.

Girls’ schools are leading the way in STEM education for women in the world. Graduates of girls’ schools are six times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology and three times more likely to consider engineering compared to girls who attended coed schools.

Why does this happen?

Research tells us it’s for a variety of reasons, but most notably, it’s that students at girls’ schools have an unlimited number of STEM role models. Research findings note it’s beneficial and powerful for girls, in particular, “to see it in order to be it.” So when every student in advanced calculus and physics or in the computer club is a girl, then every other girl at the school gets the clear message they can excel in those areas.

This power of peer role modeling is a primary reason why girls’ schools are producing such disproportionately larger numbers of women in the sciences.

Girl’s schools prepare girls to become women who rise to the highest levels of leadership.

Girls’ schools help girls to find their voices and to learn how to use them at a young age.

At girls’ schools, students are encouraged – really, expected – to speak their minds, without interruption. A national survey found that nearly 87% of girls’ school students feel their voices – their opinions – are respected compared to 58% of girls at coed schools.

All-girls schools do not shelter their students from the real world. To the contrary, the greater sense of respect that girls feel at girls’ schools enables them to better find and use their voices, first in the classroom, and then beyond in boardrooms, on the political stage, or in any other arena.

Considering a Girls’ School?

We encourage families to ask questions of themselves and their daughter’s current school such as:

Are girls at my daughter’s school really on the front lines of leadership? Are they class president? Are they editors of the student newspaper?
Are girls at my daughter’s school actively called upon and encouraged to participate in class?
Are there fewer girls than boys in the upper level science and math classes?
Does my daughter’s school value girls’ athletic teams as much as the boys’ teams? Are budgets, staff and facilities equal?

These are just a few sample questions that are good for families to reflect on and think about as they are seeking the best school for their child.