Almanac

Viewpoint - February 20, 2013

Letter: Writer opposes district's single-sex classes

In 2011, the Portola Valley School District first announced that it would respond to an anomalous 70-36 boy-girl distribution in third grade by setting up all-boys classes. This flew in the face of one of the primary missions of the public school system — to teach children how to function effectively in a diverse environment.

Parents who wish to segregate their children by sex, race, religion, economic status, or any other divisor can and do accomplish this by sending them to private schools. But as a long-ago graduate of an academically excellent all-boys public high school (thankfully long since turned coed) I can testify to the impediments a single-sex school placed on my own development and maturation.

I read now (Almanac, Feb. 13) that Ormondale principal Jennifer Warren, the main engineer of the all-boys classes, worked with the private San Francisco Town School For Boys in implementing the single-sex setup at Ormondale School. And that, moreover, she has parlayed that interaction into a new job for herself at that private school. This places a still more unfavorable light on a questionable action.

Last year I expressed my disapproval of this action by exercising, for the first time, my right to senior exemption from the Portola Valley school parcel tax, something I had not done before because I feel a strong commitment to the public school system. Now I will not only continue to do so but will oppose the forthcoming parcel tax extension/increase.

Lawrence S. Lerner Stadler Drive, Woodside

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