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2015 Follett Challenge High School Category Semifinalist: The Young Women's Leadership School Case Study

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| Case Study Intensives: Learning Without Walls When these educators dreamed up a unique way to immerse their students in learning, collaboration and critical thinking soared. The Young Women's Leadership School (TYWLS) of Astoria is a New York City public school that was established in 2006 with nearly 80 girls. As part of a network of five Young Women's Leadership Schools that promote high-quality student learning opportunities in and out of school for predominantly low-income students who will be the first in their families to attend college, TYWLS schools are dedicated to supporting the 'whole girl.' TYWLS had its first class graduate in 2013, and the school continues to grow. Administrators describe the school's approach as one that promotes learning in a dynamic, participatory fashion, encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning. This approach to participation and student-driven learning went a step further when the school introduced the Intensives program three years ago. The Intensives program caught the Follett Challenge judges' attention for the manner in which it immerses students in a real-world project and requires them to work as part of a team. Selected as the High School Category winner and a semifinalist in the 2014–2015 Follett Challenge, the Intensives program at TYWLS is a two-week course during which school leaders "break down the walls of the traditional school structure, providing the time and space for teachers and students to become critical thinkers of the 21st century." The program takes place each year in December, and students participate in one thing and one thing only—no regular classes or other ordinary school-day activities. THE YOUNG WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP SCHOOL, ASTORIA QUEENS | NEW YORK

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