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St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls to open boys’ school

    The entire St. Andrew's Priory student body greeted the King Tuheitia and performed an oli.

The St. Andrew’s Priory School for Girls’ board has approved plans to open an elementary school next fall tailored to the educational needs of young boys, the school announced tonight.

The St. Andrew’s Preparatory School for Boys will be the only elementary school for boys in the state, and will share the downtown Honolulu campus of the girls’ school founded by Queen Emma in 1867.

School officials say the move comes amid a growing body of research showing that girls and boys learn differently and develop skills at different ages.

"By launching St. Andrew’s Prep, we are responding to families looking for a tailored education for their boys that will help them achieve," Sandra Theunick, head of school, said in a statement. "The research is clear that single-gender learning provides both girls and boys an enhanced learning environment specific to their learning styles."

The school will renovate an existing building, where the boys’ school will start off with kindergarten and first grade classes before eventually adding grades up to the fifth grade. Core academic instruction will be separate, while girls and boys will share common areas, including dining and athletic facilities.

Paul Burgess, who’s been a teacher and coach at the Priory since 2009, has been tapped to serve as director of the boys’ school.

Tuition has not been set for the 2014-15 school year, but it will be the same as attending the Priory’s lower school, where tuition is $15,600 this school year.

With the expansion, the school system, which is affiliated with the Episcopal Church, will be rebranded as The St. Andrew’s Schools, including Queen Emma Preschool in Nuuanu.

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