Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn (TYWLS)

Grades: 6-12
Noteworthy

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: Roughly 30 percent of the girls think bullying is a problem at TYWLS, according to NYC School Surveys. 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: All-girls school; Open to students and residents of Brooklyn and Queens. (Lydie Raschka, October 2017; updated 2022)

 

 

School Stats

Academics

School
Citywide
How many students graduate in 4 years?
 
96%
Average daily attendance
 
84%
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
 
50%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
 
100%
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
 
100%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey

Students

371
Number of students
631 Citywide Average

Race/Ethnicity


School
Citywide
Low-income students
 
82%
Students with disabilities
 
24%
Multilingual learners
 
8%
From the 2020-21 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

School
Citywide
How many students were suspended?
 
2%
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
 
81%
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
 
29%
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
 
8%
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

School
Citywide
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
 
62%
5.0
Years of principal experience at this school
8 Citywide Average
175
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
226 Citywide Average

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity


How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
 
52%
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2019-20 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 NY State Report Card, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more

Calculus

 
7%

Computer Science

 
7%

Physics

 
9%

Advanced Foreign Language

 
14%

AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science

 
28%

AP/IB Math or Science

 
24%

Music

 
47%
From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2019-20 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

School
Citywide
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
 
60%
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
 
98%
From the 2019-20 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
 
91%
From the 2020-21 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by
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.

Offerings

From the 2021 High School Directory

Language Courses

Spanish

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

Location

325 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11206

Trains: J Line, M Line to Flushing Ave; L Line to Montrose Ave

Buses: B15, B43, B46, B47, B48, B57, B60, Q54, Q59


Contact

Principal: Catherine Mitchell

Parent Coordinator: Erica Ramos

Website

Other Details

Shared campus? Yes

This school shares the building with PS 147

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? No

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