Families, educators celebrate LA's first all-girls public school

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Educators, parents and students were celebrating the first all-girls public school in Los Angeles on Friday.

The Girls Academic Leadership Academy, also known as GALA, will start off with grades 6th and 9th.

"It's really a dream come true," said Elizabeth Hicks, the school's principal. "It's something that I started as just an idea five years ago. LAUSD approved it a year ago and here we are."

School officials said the curriculum will focus on key subjects like science, technology, engineering and math. Parents said a single-gender school will give the students the focus they need.

"Girls and boys learn differently, and that's just a fact of life," said parent Mark Peel. "And I think this is going to be a great nurturing environment for young girls."

But not all parents think separating genders is a good idea.

"I like boys and girls being together because they learn how to socialize together, and they are going to go into the real world, and they're going to have male and female," said parent Linda Thomas.

According to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women make up 47 percent of the total workforce in the U.S., but they make up a much smaller percentage of engineers and scientists.

Just under 9 percent of all mechanical engineers are women. This school hopes to change that.

School was set to begin on Tuesday and many students said they were excited to begin their journey at GALA.

Officials said grades 7th and 10th will be added to the 2017-2018 semester. The school is located at 1067 West Blvd., and you can visit www.galacademy.org for more information.
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