Archbishop Riordan High School

SF's Last All-Boys School Considers Allowing Girls

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San Francisco’s last all-boys high school is considering going co-ed, a move that has been considered in the past and has community support.

Archbishop Riordan High School has announced that the move is under consideration because of the pending closure of the all-girls Mercy High School.

Riordan High, which has a yearly tuition of $21,000, has been an all-boys Catholic School since it opened in 1949, and it’s the last of its kind in San Francisco. Andrew Currier, the president of the school, wanted to make it clear that the consideration of allowing girls to attend does not have to do with money.

“There is zero chance of Archbishop Riordan High School closing its doors,” Currier said. “Riordan is in a position of spiritual, financial and academic strength.”

Some, however, don’t want the change.

Senior Elias Baugh has seen the advantages of single-gender education.

“Some of the guys here struggle in making friends with the other gender,” Baugh said. “So with brotherhood we can just get them in and be friendly.”

However, hundreds of girls will be in need of a new school after Mercy High saw dwindling enrollment and financial problems before announcing that it will close after this year – and Currier said Riordan is capable of accommodating them.

“I’m pretty sure it touched some of the faculty’s hearts because they have children of their own and we wouldn’t want that to happen to anybody,” he said.

The decision, though, is far from made. The school is moving cautiously, and when a decision is made it will be based on “supporting resources, financial data, construction costs, Riordan community input and our ability to provide an excellent level of services to any incoming students,” according to Currier.

The school said that even if it admits girls, there will still be single-gender core classes such as religion, history, English, science and math.

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