Why All Girls?

Empowering Young Women

Many parents ask what the Academy can offer their daughter that a coeducational school cannot. This is an important question. One of the primary goals of the Academy is to prepare young women for higher education while aiding their whole development—physical, mental and spiritual.

Many parents ask, "Doesn't my daughter need to go to school with boys in order to grow up into a normal, well-balanced young woman?" Our answer, based on scientific research and on our own experience since 1881, is that she does not need boys in the classroom to become a balanced young woman.

In a coeducational setting, boys often dominate. Studies have shown that in coed schools, girls speak three times less often in class than boys. In a single-sex setting, girls are more spontaneous, gain greater self-confidence and explore a growing sense of self-awareness.

At the Academy, all of our girls are the captains, the leaders and have the starring roles. They are free to be smart and to be themselves. At the Academy, our experience speaks for itself—our students matriculate to some of the finest colleges and universities in the country.

Tips for Parents Raising Confident, Competent Daughters

Being a good parent is one of the most difficult (and rewarding) jobs anyone may ever have. In light of recent research and classroom observations, raising a confident, competent daughter presents a particular set of challenges to parents and educators alike.

It's useful to evaluate your child's classroom experience. You and your daughter should be satisfied with the answers to the following questions:

  • Are girls actively involved, called on and encouraged to participate equally?
  • Do teachers understand and respond to the way girls learn?
  • Are girls on the front lines of leadership?
  • Are there women role models? Women in leadership positions on the faculty? In the administration?
  • Are girls' sports as valued and supported as those for boys?
  • Do girls persist and excel in higher level math and science classes?
  • How well does the school listen to parents and encourage meaningful partnerships?
  • What do other parents of girls say about the school?

With all of the private school options available in the Tampa Bay area, deciding which school your daughter will attend is among the most important decisions you will face as a family. Every girl is unique, as is every school. The task of parents is to find the right match. We hope the Academy of the Holy Names is that match for you.

The National Coalition of Girls' Schools provides the following information as the result of several recent surveys:

  • Nearly 100% of girls' school graduates go on to college.
  • Almost one-half of 700 graduating seniors at girls' schools planned to pursue math, science, business or engineering degrees in college.
  • Seven out of 10 graduates cite academic quality and career preparation as the major benefits of a girls'-school education.
  • Girls at single-gender schools are more academically oriented than their coeducational counterparts.
  • Juniors and seniors have significantly higher self-esteem than their counterparts in coeducational schools.
  • Girls in girls' schools have a more active orientation toward life, leadership and relationships.

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