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All-boys’ High School Completes First Year; Boasts Wait List For Fall

One of D.C.’s newest schools, Ron Brown College Preparatory High School is also its only single-sex public high school. Named after the first African-American U.S. Commerce Secretary, the school is part of D.C. Public Schools’ “Empowering Males of Color” initiative.

The effort seeks to help the city’s young African-American and Hispanic men, a group that has struggled for years: In the 2014-15 school year, just 57% of black males in D.C. and 60% of Hispanic males graduated on time, compared with 87% of their white peers, according to district statistics.

Nearly a year into the effort — students and staff bristle at the word “experiment” — Ron Brown is ready for more.

The school year ended last month with about 90% of its entering freshman class still enrolled and has opened up waiting lists for both the incoming freshman and returning sophomore classes. The school will add new classes each fall and is expected to graduate its first seniors in 2020.