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High School Prep Academy Sees Boys, Boys, Boys

By Julie Tam
|  Monday, Sep 13, 2010  |  Updated 12:42 PM CDT
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High School Prep Academy Sees Boys, Boys, Boys

A student raises his hand at Covenant Prep School in Hartford, which is structured similarly to the Lancaster program.

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High School Prep Academy Sees Boys, Boys, Boys

Lancaster High School is starting a new program with high goals -- and no girls.
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When school starts Monday, one group of students will have a different experience at a North Texas public school. Lancaster High School is starting a college preparatory academy -- just for boys.

Among the 1700 students that will walk the halls of Lancaster High School, 15 boys will stand out. They'll all be wearing uniforms -- white shirt, orange tie, black vest and jacket, and khaki pants.

"When you dress the part, then you act the part," Roosevelt Nivens, principal, said.

Nivens is starting the Lancaster Preparatory Academy this school year. He's modeling it after a similar program in Chicago to help boys focus on their studies in a classroom with no girls.

"They're looking at young ladies. They're starting to understand, that girl is cute," Nivens said. "Males are severely underperforming female."

The principal has some high goals. He wants all the prep academy students to pass the TAKS and more trophies to fill the cases in the hallway -- not just for athletics, but for academics, too. Nivens also wants every prep academy student to attend a 4-year college on a full scholarship.

The prep academy students will attend the same classes together. During the last period of the day, they'll go to either P.E. or band.

Freshman Genarvis Sears thanks his mom for signing him up and even likes the uniform.

"It inspires me to be a better man when I grow up. And it teaches you life skills," he said. "It shows who you are so you don't look like everybody else around the school."

His mother, Jessica, agrees.

"He looks very grown up, very preppy. I guess he's the 'prep' in 'preparatory,'" she said. "He'll be able to grow up. Young men tend to be silly and nonchalant about some things."

Nivens hopes the small group of boys will give each other positive peer pressure from 9th through 12th grade.

"Any student can be academically successful when you remove distractions and disruptions," he said.

If the program is successful and more students are interested, Nivens will expand the prep academy to include more boys -- or, possibly, girls.

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