The best AP Calculus student at Alverno Heights Academy is a young woman. The lead in the fall play and the President of the Alverno Student Union are young women. Government, the Solar Energy Activity Lab (SEAL) team with Caltech, and KATV are all driven by talented young women who see no limits when it comes to education and personal accomplishment.During high school, the self-conscious teenager can create barriers that keep her from taking healthy risks and exploring new opportunities without fear. But imagine if that young woman saw over and over again-- in classrooms, on playing fields, in science labs, and on stage-- that young women can do anything. Barriers vanish and suddenly the sky is the limit. Research verifies-- and our experience affirms-- that young women in a single-sex environment succeed well above their counterparts across the nation. The statistics here and on the Alverno website are from Dr. Linda J. Sax's report, "Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in Their Characteristics and The Transition to College" (2009). - Women who attended single-sex schools tended to outperform their coeducational counterparts: mean SAT composite scores (verbal plus math) were 43 points higher for female single-sex graduates in the independent school sector and 28 points higher for single-sex alumnae in the Catholic school sector. - Graduates of single-sex schools also enter college with greater confidence in their mathematical abilities. The gap in math confidence is most pronounced in the independent school sector, where 48% of female graduates of single-sex independent schools rate their math ability "above average" or in the "highest 10 percent," compared with 37% of independent coeducational female graduates. - Confidence in computer skills is also higher among female graduates of single-sex independent schools, with 36% rating themselves in the highest categories, compared with 26% of female graduates of coeducational independent schools. - In an indication of greater, though still low, interest in the field of engineering, alumnae of single-sex independent schools are three times more likely than those from coeducational independent schools to report that they intend to pursue a career in engineering (4.4% vs. 1.4%).Political engagement also is notably higher among female graduates of single-sex independent schools, with 58% reporting that it is "very important" or "essential" for them to keep up to date with political affairs, compared with 48% of female graduates of coeducational independent schools. - Graduates of single-sex schools are also more likely than their coeducational counterparts to report that there is a "very good" chance they will participate in student clubs or groups while in college: 70% of single-sex independent school alumnae anticipate involvement in campus organizations, compared with 60% of coeducational alumnae. - Female graduates of single-sex independent schools also show more self-confidence in public speaking, with 45% rating their public speaking ability "above average" or in the "highest 10 percent," compared with 39% of female graduates of coeducational independent high schools.