“Girl talk” and “more girl talk” for girls; college, career and finances for the boys — that’s the split curriculum for Grade 4 and 5 students that was emailed to hundreds of parents at Borchardt Elementary School in Texas earlier this month, reported local news outlet WFAA.
The segregated lesson-planning was featured in a newsletter sent out by the school counsellor.
“Andrea Erwin, our school counselor, will be structuring her guidance lessons slightly differently this year for our fourth and fifth grade students. Girls and boys in these grades will take part in guidance lessons separately, but both groups will cover the same topics. Lessons may be slightly staggered in the timing of their delivery, but all students will have the same exposure to the same guidance curriculum during the course of the year. College and career exploration will be a topic for both groups this fall.”
School district spokesperson Meghan Youker added that the snapshot should never have made it into the newsletter.
“It was the intention all along that the students would get the same lessons, and by the time the lessons started in the first week of September, it was already decided to teach the college and career lesson to both boys and girls in the same month due to [the school’s] ‘College Week’ being in September. The newsletter had not been adjusted accordingly.”
It’s still not clear why the sessions are being segregated if the plan all along was for both sexes to go through all the lessons. (The newsletter said it’s meant to make classes “smaller and more dynamic.”)
But at least the girls will get a lesson in what else it takes to make it in the “real world,” aside from confidence and friendship.