Same Gender Program

Applications can be completed by clicking here to go to the Middle Schools Specialty Programs Site.

About the Program

Woodbridge Middle School caters to the needs of our individual learners by offering an opt-in Same Gender Program. Students in this program are enrolled on same gender teams, which have gender specific classes for their core academics. The same gender teachers differentiate the delivery of their instruction and utilize a variety of gender-specific learning strategies based on researched brain differences between the genders. The WMS staff is passionate about Same Gender education. Boys and girls are equally capable of learning in all subject areas, but for some students, the best environment is one in which gender differences can be addressed. Every student learns differently, and the Same Gender model allows us to maximize current educational best practices and differentiate instruction.

The school has received local, state, national, and international attention regarding the implementation of this outstanding instructional option. We have received front-page coverage in the Old Bridge Observer, Potomac News, and Washington Post. In addition, our program was written about in the Bethesda Magazine and USA Today. New Channel 4 did a feature on our program and we were recently featured on CNN (see below). Upcoming broadcast is scheduled for Alhurra, and Arabic-language American satellite TV channel based in Springfield, Virginia, financed by the United States government and "beamed across the Arab world" and "aimed at viewers in the Middle East".

Teachers of the Same Gender classes have undergone extensive training and continue to further their research and understanding by participating in Same Gender focus groups. Some strategies in the male classes include purposeful movement, individual and group competitions, and using surnames to address the student. Some strategies used in an all female class include color coding notes to establish patterns in learning and note taking and making a personal connection with instructional material by providing time for group discussions and celebrations. Teachers design their lessons based on topics that are engaging for each gender/student which allows students to address issues and solve problems that are relevant to their lives and of interest to them. This practice makes them even more excited about education. In order to provide our staff with the essential support to successfully implement the Same Gender Program, the staff has had numerous professional development opportunities, including but not limited to, attending the International Conference for the National Association for Same Sex Public Education in Memphis, Tennessee, Atlanta, Georgia, and Orlando, Florida.

Nationally known professionals have also presented at Woodbridge Middle School, including Abigail James, Dave Chadwell, and Dr. Leonard Sax.

Learn More

The following books will also provide a wealth of information on this topic:

  • Why Gender Matters - Leonard Sax
  • Boys Adrift - Leonard Sax
  • Same Different Equal - Rosemary Salomone
  • Boys and Girls Learn Differently - Michael Gurian
  • Raising Cain - Michael Thompson
  • Odd Girl Out - Rachel Simmons
  • Queen Bees and Wanna Bees - Rosalind Wiseman


Please contact Justina Santiago at 703-494-3181 or [email protected] for more information.