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Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn (TYWLS)

Grades: 6-12
325 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11206
Phone: 718-387-5641

Our Insights

What’s Special

Girls-only school with a high graduation rate

The Downside

Concerns by staff and students about discipline and order

Young Women’s Leadership School (TYWLS) of Brooklyn has an excellent high school graduation rate and empowers girls to take charge in many ways, from leading school tours to producing a literary magazine. During senior year, each girl delivers a talk in front of her peers based on her college admissions essay. The expectation is that all students will attend college. 

Class size is small and the tone is serious yet also playful—girls wear uniforms but they get to choose the color shirt they wear, and we saw a teacher in sparkly silver hi-top shoes, and another wearing a tie with flags on it to celebrate a unit on different types of government. 

At TYWLS, girls raised in strict, traditional religious homes learn alongside girls who identify as lesbian or transgender. No matter what their backgrounds parents seem pleased by the increase in confidence they see in their daughters, “that sense that girls can do anything they put their minds to,” a father said. 

Many girls travel on the L train and walk several blocks past trendy café’s and new housing to the big brick building TYWLS shares with PS 147, near Bushwick public houses. Teachers stand outside to greet the girls as they arrive. “This is not a safe neighborhood,” said the mother of a 6th grader who lives locally. “It’s still violence and gangs. To see the security guard and three teachers at the door—you feel safe.”

Teachers seek to build a strong academic foundation over seven years, rather than push “drill and kill” skills practice early; they do not offer high school-level (Regents) classes in middle school. Advanced Placement classes include AP computer science, AP calculus AB and AP English literature. 

The goal is to get all the girls ready to do college-level work by the time they leave TYWLS, said Catherine Mitchell, who became principal in 2016. According to the data on college-readiness, the school is getting closer to meeting its goal: 49 percent were college-ready in 2017, compared to 30 percent in 2016. 

Mitchell, a graduate of Brown University and former English teacher, says she is “very comfortable with math,” and she has put in place initiatives to boost TYWLS’s mediocre math test scores. Teachers work with coaches from Metamorphosis, a math think-tank that emphasizes kids talking about math, and learning by doing. Instruction is a combination of different math programs, including self-paced online lessons. 

The school offers lots of support, parents said. A 6th grader with anxiety issues meets in a three-person advisory group rather than in the larger group, said her mother. There are small classes for teens with special needs. A father said teachers email back quickly, and parents can check their child’s progress online. 

Students who can afford it may take advantage of yearly overseas trips to places such as to South Africa, Costa Rica or Paris. All teens take field trips closer to home, for example, to the Berkshires, where they enjoy an educational nighttime walk.

After school clubs include sewing, technology, dance and theater in the middle school, and acting, photography, track team and rock band in the high school. Spanish is the only foreign language. 

A downside: More than 50 percent of the girls think bullying is a problem at TYWLS, according to NYC School Surveys, and many teachers report problems with discipline and order. To address this, teachers have been trained to manage conflicts in the classroom, Mitchell said. We saw the dean and guidance counselor meeting with students privately on our visit and girls are referred for counseling as needed. “We’re working on it,” Mitchell said.

Graduates have gone on to attend Barnard University, Howard University, and a variety of City University of New York, and State University of New York schools.

ADMISSIONS: Screened for attendance, state exams, final 4th grade report card, punctuality, and a writing assignment and group interview at an open house. (Lydie Raschka, October 2017)



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School Stats

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

Is this school safe and well-run?

From 2019-20 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
71% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
44% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
78% Citywide Average

From 2019-20 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
76% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school

How do students perform academically?

From 2019 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
40% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
47% Citywide Average

From 2021 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn, The Williamsburg High School of Art and Technology, and James Madison High School
Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Algebra I,Living Environment

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
51% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
87% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
64% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
55% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
77% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

From 2019-20 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
93% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
20% Citywide Average

From 2020 School Directories

Uniforms required?

For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2021 High School Directory

The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description:

TYWLS offers an academically rigorous college prep program to all of our students.


Language Courses


Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Computer Science Principles, AP Calculus AB, AP Psychology, AP English Literature and Composition, AP English Language and Composition


Girls PSAL teams

Outdoor Track

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

Contact & Location


Williamsburg (District 14)
Trains: J Line, M Line to Flushing Ave; L Line to Montrose Ave
Buses: B15, B43, B46, B47, B48, B57, B60, Q54, Q59


Catherine Mitchell
Parent Coordinator
Erica Ramos

Other Details

Shared campus?
This school shares the building with PS 147
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?

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