M. Burch Tracy Ford

M. Burch Tracy Ford

Having attended single-sex schools from childhood through her early college years, M. Burch Tracy Ford became an advocate for letting girls flourish in an academic setting apart from boys during their formative years.

“Coed classrooms are the norm, but the norm does not serve girls well; it needs to be challenged and, ultimately, changed,” she wrote in a letter to the editor of The New York Times in 1994, a year after becoming head of school at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, Conn.

“Single-sex education is counterculture,” she added, “but it’s good for girls.”

Mrs. Ford, who previously was dean of students at Milton Academy and the residential counselor at the Groton School, was 78 when she died Wednesday of complications from Alzheimer’s disease.

Read M. Burch Tracy Ford’s obituary at bostonglobe.com.