There has never been an all-girls school in a public school district in El Paso, but that could all change in 2017. YISD is looking at turning Hillcrest Middle School at 8040 Yermoland in the Lower Valley, into the Young Women's Leadership Academy.

The Academy is outlined in the $451.5 million bond proposal that will go before voters on May 9th, but YISD Superintendent Xavier de la Torre said plans for the Academy will move forward with or without voter approval of the bond election.

The school would focus on STEM, or science, technology, engineering, and math curriculum, rather than general education courses. De la Torre said the point of the Academy would be to show girls who come from families who don't regularly attend college, what college culture is all about, and get them ready to further education past high school. YISD is shooting for the fall of 2017 to reopen Hillcrest as a sixth-12 grade girls school.

This is a great idea. There have been countless studies that show girls lag behind boys in middle and high school because they tend to concentrate more on the social aspect of school than the education aspect. Giving girls a chance to concentrate on school without the pressure of boys has always worked well for parochial schools in El Paso like Loretto and Radford. It's time public schools offer that same kind of atmosphere.