Young Women's Leadership School of the Bronx (TYWLS)

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick
Marquee homepage

What’s Special

Teachers encourage girls to enter fields like technology and engineering

The Downside

Limited arts and sports, some concerns about neighborhood

Our Review

The Young Women's Leadership School of the Bronx is designed to give girls the self-confidence and skills they need to explore fields, such as computer programming and engineering, traditionally dominated by men. The school accepts girls with a range of abilities--including many with weak academic skills--and pushes them to succeed.

"It builds a sense of sisterhood," said a girl who gave us our tour. "Our teachers make us feel we are capable of so much."

High school students have unusual opportunities to spend the summer on campuses such as Smith College or New York University. One girl even won the chance to travel to Ireland for 3 weeks. Adult volunteers offer girls the chance to shadow them at jobs in science, technology, engineering and math. The non-profit organization Girls, Inc., organizes activities such as a field day in Central Park and a chance to row boats on the Bronx River during school vacations. Girls take classes in software engineering.

Opened with a 6th grade in 2012, TYWLS Bronx, as it is known, is part of the Young Women's Leadership network of schools. It will add a grade each year until it serves grades 6-12.

Housed on the top floors of IS 117, a clean but drab 1930s era building, Young Women's Leadership has a newly renovated gym and science lab. Class size is small--about 20 in the middle school and 25 in the high school. Some girls wear T-shirts emblazoned with the words "Girl Power." Others sport white shirts, gray pleated skirts or pants, and navy sweaters. There's a pleasant, relaxed vibe during class changes.

The style of instruction is fairly traditional. There's an emphasis on correct grammar and spelling. Writing exercises focus on a 5-paragraph structure. Girls learn to speak clearly and with proper diction. Many start 6th grade with reading and math skills that are below grade level--a function, teachers say, of poor instruction at too many elementary schools in the Bronx. Indeed, we saw a few 6th graders reading books from the Junie B. Jones series more typically read by much younger children. But, with small classes and double periods of "literacy" and math, many girls make huge gains. By 8th grade, some are ready to take high school level Regents exams in algebra, Living Environment, U.S. history and Spanish.

A full-time college counselor, part of the College Bound Initiative, works with girls as early as 10th grade to set their sights high. Nearly all are the first in their families to consider college and few are familiar with the application process.

Two experienced middle school educators, LeMarie Laureano and Devon Eisenberg, who both taught at Mott Hall V, work together as co-directors. Laureano, who grew up in the Bronx and attended all-girls Roman Catholic schools, is particularly focused on helping girls in single-parent households succeed.

The school has a sense of community, thanks to its small size, with between 80 and 90 girls in each grade. However, like most small schools, it has limited course offerings. There is a creative and resourceful music teacher, and girls may take art classes after school, but there are few electives and very limited sports.

Some girls responding to the annual school survey said they don't feel safe in the area outside the school. Laureano and Eisenberg said they stand outside at dismissal to ensure children get on buses and the subway safely. In addition, they help younger girls find older girls to travel with them and "organize girls by zip code" to travel together.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school offers team teaching classes with two teachers, one of whom is certified in special education. In addition, girls who need extra help may work in a small group with a teacher.

ADMISSIONS: Open to girls in the Bronx. Parents and students are strongly encouraged to attend an open house in the fall. Applicants' grades are reviewed, but good attendance is more important than good grades in admissions. Most girls begin in 6th grade; there are about 20 seats in 9th grade. Girls come from as far away as Co-Op City and Throgs Neck, 1 hours away on the bus. (Clara Hemphill, February 2017)

About the students

Enrollment
400
Asian
3.3%
Black
35.0%
Hispanic
59.3%
White
0.8%
Other
1.8%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
7%

About the school

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares a building with IS 117
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
80%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
94%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
14%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
100%
74% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
21%
22% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
81%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
42%
48% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.0
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
100%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
100%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
100%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
42%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
100%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
100%
83% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40%
30% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
37%
35% Citywide Average

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
76%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
56%
52% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
72%
68% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Spanish, Algebra I, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
94%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
90%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Young Women's Leadership School of the Bronx
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

Are students prepared for college?

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
7% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
Average math score for ICT students
1.85
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.06
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
1.9
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.16
2.2 Citywide Average
Average math score for SETSS students
2.23
2.2 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for SETSS students
2.59
2.3 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
69%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
89%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
85%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Young Womens Leadership School, Bronx
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

  • Give specific examples. Tell us why this school rocks (or doesn't).
  • Criticism is fine, but no profanity, racist or ethnic slurs, or personal attacks.
  • All users must comply with our Terms of Use.