First Graduation For Girl-Focused Charter School

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Laura Jeffrey Academy, called LJA by its students, is a girl-focused school in St. Paul. While they would likely accept a boy who applied, right not this fifth-through-eighth grade charter school is all girls since it opened in 2008.

LJA held its first eighth grade graduation Wednesday afternoon at the Weyerhauser Chapel on the Macalester College campus. A total of 36 girls are leaving LJA for 15 different high schools in the Twin Cities area.

Some of the graduates and a teacher shared their reasons why LJA is a special place.

Eighth Grader Shawn Pope: I really enjoyed the art classes and the music classes. Definitely ‘smath’ is actually really fun, I’m not that good at science and math, but the teachers made it super-awesome.

Teacher Kelly Armstrong: I think it’s a choice for parents to send their daughter here. It’s not right for everybody, but I think it’s right for a lot of girls, especially in middle school when there is so much changing about who you are and your body. And they really feel comfortable here and they feel confident here. And that dynamic may be different if we weren’t just focused on girls’ education.

Eighth Grader Taylor Spreeman: They can be a distraction. I definitely learned more I think with girls than with boys.

Eighth Grader Emma Taylor: Definitely ‘smath’ or science and math. It improved my scores this year on the MWAs. I feel that you have to enjoy a subject most to be able to understand it more.

Eighth Grader Georgia Meyer on favorite subjects: Math ….and … art and music, and everything else. I love everything.

When was the last time you heard of a kid who loved everything about school? Laura Jeffrey Academy has more than 200 students now. It is a public school, but it also accepts donations.


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