Young Women's Leadership School, Queens (TYWLS)

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick
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Location

150-91 87 Road
Jamaica NY 11432
Jamaica (District 28)
Trains: E, J, Z to Jamaica Center - Parsons / Archer ; F to Parsons Blvd
Buses: Q1, Q110, Q111, Q112, Q114, Q17, Q2, Q20A, Q24, Q25, Q3, Q31, Q34, Q36, Q4, Q40, Q41, Q42, Q43, Q5, Q54, Q56, Q6, Q65, Q76, Q77, Q8, Q83, Q84, Q85, Q9, X68

Contact

What’s Special

Supportive atmosphere for girls

The Downside

Limited sports, clubs and art

Our Review

Across the street from one of the largest high schools in the borough, The Young Women's Leadership School for Girls (TYWLS), Queens offers a small, rigorous and supportive setting for 6th through 12th grade girls. Boasting a better-than-average high school graduation rate, the school is a draw for many working-class new immigrant families. "I'm here because of the graduation rate," said a 6th grade student.

The clean corridors at TYWLS, Queens, brim with ambition and hope. Housed in the former Jewish Community Center, the school opened in 2005 as the third in a network of Young Women's Leadership schools, designed, as stated in the school directory, "to replicate the best practices of private and independent girls' schools."

College is emphasized from the beginning. Starting in 6th grade, students take yearly trips to visit college campuses. The office of the full-time college counselor has a bank of computers for filling out college applications. In 2014, one senior went to the University of Notre Dame on a full scholarship; another was accepted at Wesleyan College. About one-quarter of students choose small New York State liberal arts schools; others opt for two- and four-year City University of New York (CUNY) schools; a few leave the state. "Out of 60 seniors, every girl was accepted to a college of her choice," said Principal Mala Panday. As a group, the 2014 graduating seniors were offered over $4 million in scholarships.

The girls and their parents want more; on school surveys they've asked for more advanced classes, more clubs, more sports and more art. The school now offers up to 15 clubs and has added Advanced Placement courses in environmental science, calculus AB, English literature and composition, Spanish literature, US history, and physics (as of 2015-2016).

The school has well-developed English language arts (ELA) classes. "We are number one in the district for ELA," said one of two middle school English teachers. She works closely with a colleague to prepare students for state exams. The girls do lots of writing, she said; one perk of a smaller school is that teachers often have more time to engage in the back and forth feedback that strengthens a student's writing.

Principal Panday is a former middle school science teacher who joined the TYWLS staff in 2013. Under her leadership the middle school has increased the number of hours of English and math instruction, and has added a rare two to three labs per semester to prepare middle school students for high school lab work. Field trips augment these studies.

As a small school, of course, TYWLS cannot be all things to all students. On school surveys some students and parents cite a lack of variety in programs, classes and activities. In response, the school has a budding partnership with neighboring Hillcrest High School designed to expand offerings in the arts.

The school has sought to "better understand the middle school mindset," Panday said. Students in 6th through 8th grades gather two or three times a week in small groups to role-play, talk and make journal entries on themes of importance at their age. The themes in their advisory program include: "trust your gut"; "get help"; "follow your passions"; and "have courage."

All girls receive Spanish or French, and about a dozen seniors take a trip to Paris. In addition to chorus and art during the day, a rock band meets before and after school. There are two after-school programs; one lasts until 6 pm and offers swimming lessons. TYWLS has a winning track and field team and several other sports teams.

Special education: There are team-taught classes at every grade level, in which students with special needs learn alongside their general education peers.

Admissions: The middle school is open to students living in districts 28 and 29 who do well on standardized tests. The high school is open citywide, with preference to continuing 8th graders and residents of Queens. Applicants must take a tour with families. TYWLS looks for a mix of students who are not just high achievers but those who are motivated to go to college. In 9th grade roughly 30 spots open up but the principal expects this number will decline as more students stay due to greater course offerings. Some girls leave for a co-ed setting or more sports and arts after 8th grade, she said. (Lydie Raschka, November 2014)

About the students

Enrollment
566
Asian
32.5%
Black
48.1%
Hispanic
11.5%
White
2.3%
Other
5.7%
Free or reduced priced lunch
100%
Students with disabilities
15%
English language learners
2%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
114%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
95%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
16%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
86%
74% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
16%
22% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
52%
48% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
3.0
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
95%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
97%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
77%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
66%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
95%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
95%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
95%
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?
57%
30% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
75%
35% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 2 dedicated spaces for Music and Visual arts
This school has 2 licensed arts teachers in Music and Theater

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
67%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
49%
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
Algebra I, Earth Science
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
32%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
100%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Young Women's Leadership School, Queens and Queens Gateway to Health Sciences Secondary School
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
97%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
15%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
3%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
39%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
28%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
78%
71% Citywide Average
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
2.11
1.9 Citywide Average
Average math score for self-contained students
2.56
2.1 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for ICT students
2.17
1.9 Citywide Average
Average ELA score for self-contained students
2.82
2.2 Citywide Average
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
71%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
74%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
85%
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
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
85%
67% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

The Young Women's Leadership School, Queens
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Arabic, French, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus, AP English, AP Environmental Science, AP US History

Sports

Girls PSAL teams

Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track

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

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