The Coed Advantage

St. Louis offers a unique Catholic Education Market unlike most other major cities in the United States in that there are so many wonderful options for students. With over 25 Catholic high schools in the metro region, making the right decision for your student can be a difficult one. You’ve already hurdled the decision to give your student the blessing of a Catholic Education, but therein lies another dilemma – do you send them to a coed or a single-sex private school? This consideration is an important one, and we agree you should make a thorough decision when choosing a school that’s best for your child. At Bishop DuBourg, we offer a coeducational community for our students and we’d like to tell you how that works to our advantage, and how it could work to your student’s advantage, too!


Many researchers have studied the pros and cons of coed vs. single-sex education to determine if one is truly better than the other. But did you know that there is actually no empirical evidence to support that theory one way or the other? No scientific study has proven students learn better in single sex schools. It really comes down to what works best for the individual student and what will enable them to be the most successful in high school. Let’s discuss how we at Bishop DuBourg feel a coeducational school environment can support students on that journey!

At Bishop DuBourg, students will gain real life experiences that will prepare them for their futures beyond high school, including college and the workplace where they’ll interact with both genders. Having these experiences in high school will empower them to interact appropriately in mixed gender settings within their communities. Students who are able to interact with, communicate with, and share experiences with as many different kinds of people as possible are going to be better suited for life after high school. Most students are coming from a coeducational grade school, and the majority will likely rejoin a coeducational college or workplace when they leave high school. We believe the best possible path for them to follow is to continue with a coeducational high school environment, so that their transitions are easier, and their ability to learn and grow alongside one another is greater.
Coed schools offer a comforting opportunity for families with multiple children. Siblings can attend the same school and be awarded the same learning experiences as their brothers and sisters. There are fewer conflicts because parents don’t have to juggle two different school philosophies or varying schedules. They can feel confident that their children are learning and growing in the same environment and from the same faculty and staff, granting some peace of mind. We also encourage sibling interaction so that our students are allowing themselves to have a strong family connection when they leave school, too. This extra support system can be influential to a student’s experience. We pride ourselves on the family atmosphere of our school. Many of our students’ parents, grandparents, and other extended family members have also attended Bishop DuBourg, and have entrusted the educational success of their future generations to their alma mater.
Another advantage we offer families with multiple children who may have varying levels of academic abilities, is our different programs of study. Bishop DuBourg welcomes students of all capabilities to learn here because we have the resources to help each of them succeed here. Our Learning Consultant and our dedicated staff will develop individualized learning plans based on each student’s needs, ensuring their absolute success. Bishop DuBourg also offers the Academy of Advanced Studies, which is an accelerated learning program for students to take on a more rigorous and challenging course load with enriched classes and earn college credit. Siblings of different academic, athletic, and social abilities can have their needs met because of our comprehensive setting for learning and socializing. For students with learning differences, students with enhanced learning capabilities, and every student in between, Bishop DuBourg can truly give them what they need to succeed.
We take tremendous pride in our ability to give every student equal access to our excellent education by being able to accommodate each student’s aptitude. We also recognize how important this is to our families whose children are different from one another, but who have the opportunity to be in high school together. (Did you know Bishop DuBourg also offers Family Scholarships in our tuition? Learn more here!)
Having both genders intermingled in a classroom allow students to learn from each other with respect to their differences, but also their similarities. This diversity will help students adjust to a coed work atmosphere later in life. They will learn how to handle conflict, how their strengths complement each other, how they can learn from each other’s skills, accomplishments, and differences, and how they can encourage each other to strive for excellence. A coed curriculum deemphasizes gender-linked stereotypes, which enables students to explore much broader ranges of learning opportunities. Most importantly, boys and girls learn to respect one another and cooperate as equals.
A coeducational school environment also works to eliminate the contemporary society’s stereotypical version of what a “high school boy” or a “high school girl” is supposed to be. At Bishop DuBourg, all of our students are encouraged to be themselves and breakout of those molded reputations. We welcome our students to feel comfortable and confident in their abilities, their strengths, and their differences, regardless of any predisposition associated with their gender. Many of our girls are strong and athletic. Many of our boys are sensitive and smart. This is natural and true to real-life. Students are better equipped to behave appropriately with respect to the opposite gender in their post-high school lives if they learn these natural truths and tendencies early on. Separating boys and girls into different learning establishments creates a divide, and allows for these stereotypes to take the place of real, natural experiences, hindering the students learning and understanding what the other is really like. A first-hand knowledge of their counterparts is going to benefit the students emotionally, versus a biased, calculated and generalized interpretation. Even recognizing their differences are going to position them to be stronger, more respectful, more understanding and more compassionate people.
The development of students’ social and interpersonal skills are a vital piece of growing up. Just as the fundamental learning skills like reading and writing develop at a young age, a student’s social capacity truly blossoms in high school. It’s important to give students the perspectives of the opposite gender in social settings. In a single-sex school environment, this development and maturity happens more slowly, or perhaps not much at all. These skills again prepare students for the real-world experiences in their future - in college, the workplace, adult relationships and beyond. At Bishop DuBourg, our students enjoy many opportunities for group-based learning and often work in teams to complete assignments and projects together. These experiences enable them to think critically together and achieve common goals, which will translate in a workplace environment later in their lives. They will benefit from working with both genders in these situations. They will learn respect, compassion, patience, understanding, teamwork, and other vital social characteristics that are going to naturally teach them how to interact with anyone the meet in their futures. These skills become very natural and comfortable, so that when they move forward in their lives, they already know how to behave and interact with the opposite gender, versus having to transition again as adults and relearn the appropriate conduct.
By deemphasizing gender-linked learning biases, a coed curriculum allows teachers to attend to students’ individual learning needs, rather than teaching under the assumption that all boys or all girls learn the same way, or that they are interested in the same subjects. For example, at Bishop DuBourg, girls are encouraged to excel in Math and Sciences (typically male concentrated), whereas boys are encouraged to take Drama or Foods and Nutrition (typically female concentrated). We believe boys and girls alike benefit from a balanced, but mixed, schedule of studies.
Students have the exciting opportunity to join teams and clubs with their coed peers in a coeducational school. They can bond over similar interests, compete together, and form long-lasting friendships along the way. Coed groups like Theatre, Music, Robotics, or Pro-Life, or coed team sports like Bowling or Track and Field encourage students to share a camaraderie together. Clubs that may fail at a single-sex school because of lack of interest or not enough participants are revitalized in a coed school setting.

We think your students can be incredibly successful at Bishop DuBourg High School! We believe a coeducational environment will push them to become their greatest selves, and in turn grant them a wonderfully enjoyable high school career!


Sources: American Psychological Association, Noodle, University Language, Washington Parent.
Additional feedback also gathered from Academic Deans and Parent Ambassador focus groups.