Principal Pam Hightower of Bond Elementary School created an all-male class last year with second grade students and as a result its success, Hightower is implementing the program again.
The purpose was to teach male students good character, morals and the importance of receiving an education and this year, Hightower expanded the all-male class to the third and fourth grade students as well.
“I did research for a couple of years and visited schools up North and they were very successful in their academics,” Hightower said.
Hightower was inspired by the results she found during her visits to the different schools. She saw an increase in the male students’ academics, test scores, behavior and self-esteem.
“We have seen a decrease in the students who have behavior problems,” Hightower said.
Males enrolled in the program are randomly selected.
“There is a mixture of students on all different learning levels in the classrooms,” Hightower said.
The male students must adhere to the same curriculum and testing requirements as other students in the school.
Each Wednesday is Dress for Success day. The all-male classes are required to wear a dress shirt and tie, which were donated by Jacob Chapel Free Will Baptist Church.
Male role models come to the classes to give speeches and members of the Jacob Chapel Free Will Baptist church are also mentors to some of the students.
Hightower said the boys continue to dress up in a shirt and tie throughout the week.
Tammeala Carter, a fourth-grade teacher who teaches an all-male class, said she found there were some challenges with getting the males acquainted with her teaching style at the beginning of the school year, but the class has improved in a short period of time.
Carter also said she was very consistent in the way she taught from day one. After each question Carter makes sure the students understand what was asked and what is expected.
“I am trying really hard to instill qualities and life skills into the boys to help develop them into respectful men,” Carter said.
Fourth-grader David White said, “I like that I have a strict teacher.”
The boys all have different job duties in and outside of class such as a door holder, key person, line monitor and a person to answer the telephone.
Students who show exemplary behavior during the day are often rewarded with Bond Bucks. The bucks are fake money that can be spent on Fridays at the school store.
Carter said by rewarding the male students for good behavior, it keeps them motivated, eager to learn and careful about decision-making.
“This is my first class with all boys and I like my teacher,” said fourth-grader Jamari Tucker.
Bond is planning on implementing an all-female class and an all-male class for the fifth-grade level next year.
Bond is accepting donations, such as belts, ties, and shirts to help grow and continue the success of the all-male program.