Co-ed Panel discussion held

By Skylar Graham ’20
Panel Pictures_cmyk.jpg
Female students answer questions for the inquisitive parents of female applicants. Credit: Caitlin Chung ’20/SPECTRUM

The Admission Office hosted a coed admission panel on Jan. 19 to discuss the benefits of coeducation in the school’s community and why teaching boys and girls together creates a more successful environment. The event was led by the Associate Director of Admission Janine Jones.

“I think that it is important that boys and girls learn together. I think that it mirrors the real world very well and gives boys and girls an opportunity to lead with each other,” Jones said.

The guests were from applicant families of female students. The discussion was focused on how girls felt about a coed learning atmosphere. They listened to three current female students’ experiences at the school; Caitlin Chung ‘20, Skyler Calkins ‘20 and Haley Hicks ‘17, who shared their opinions on the counterparts of single-sex and coeducation. The guests asked questions throughout the panel about what they looked for in a coed environment, as well as their experience in a single-sex school. The purpose of the panel was to examine the important distinction in choosing between the two types of education.

According to Jones, this event opened the families’ eyes to the possibility of more leadership opportunities for girls and boys, in hope that they grow and learn together. The panelists agreed that they received honest responses from the families, specifically on how a coed environment affects girls self-confidence and focus.

”We talked about how coeducation [benefits a student’s] middle school and high school development. I talked about how I learn with boys in my classes and how their opinions can be different from girls,” Hicks said in an email.

According to members of the Admission Office, the motivation behind the panel was not to pressure the applicants into changing their opinions about choosing a single-sex school, but that coed education is great too.

The panelists said that the event was an informative exchange of views with the families of female applicants.

“I really enjoyed it because it was a fun and interesting way to share my honest opinions as a student with a very active audience. I think it is important to discuss coed and single sex education at Harvard-Westlake with prospective families because it is a big part of the community,” Calkins said.

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