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Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn (TYWLS)

Grades: 6-12
Noteworthy
325 Bushwick Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11206
Phone: 718-387-5641
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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 2017-18 NYC School Survey

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
52%
75% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
83%
84% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
49%
44% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
61%
79% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
71%
83% Citywide Average

From 2015-16 NY State Report Card

How many students were suspended?
5%
3% Citywide Average

From this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Are teachers effective?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
83%
74% Citywide Average
Years of principal experience at this school
1.8

How do students perform academically?

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
24%
35% Citywide Average
How many middle school students scored 3-4 on the state reading exam?
47%
46% Citywide Average

From 2018 Middle School Directory

What high schools do most graduates attend?
Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many 8th-graders earn high school credit?
0%
46% Citywide Average
How many students graduate in 4 years?
97%
86% Citywide Average
How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
66%
58% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
24%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduates stay enrolled in college for at least 3 semesters?
100%
76% Citywide Average

From 2017 NY State Graduation Outcomes

How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
17%
16% Citywide Average

Who does this school serve?

From 2017-18 Demographic Snapshot

Enrollment
406
Asian
3%
Black
49%
Hispanic
40%
White
5%
Other
3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
77%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
8%

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

Average daily attendance
88%
89% Citywide Average
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
37%
31% Citywide Average

From 2018 School Directories

Uniforms required?
Yes

How does this school serve special populations?

From 2017-18 School Quality Guide

How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
92%
73% Citywide Average

From 2018 State ELA+Math Results Summary

How many English language learners scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
20%
9% Citywide Average


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

Programs & Admissions

The Young Women's Leadership School of Brooklyn
Admissions Method: Screened
Requirements:
  • Attendance
  • Punctuality
  • Course Grades: Average (66-100)
  • Standardized Test Scores: Average (1.8-4.5)

Academics

Language Courses

Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Indoor Track, Soccer

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Fencing, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball

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

Contact & Location

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

Contact

Principal
Catherine Mitchell
Parent Coordinator
MARTHA REYES

Other Details

Shared campus?
Yes
This school shares the building with PS 147
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No

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