Staff Report March 2, 2019NewsComments Off on Young Women’s Leadership Academy develop future scientists during STEAM E-Day
Students at Young Women’s Leadership Academy enjoyed an eventful day, full of learning, teamwork, and cooperation during a STEAM E-Day.
The 6th – 9th grade students participated in campus-wide enrichment activities as they rotated among a variety of projects that included robotics, science experiments, and hands-on activities. This enabled them to engage in activities, extending their knowledge of scientific concepts.
The activities included chromatography, designing their own race car using recyclables, and a homopolar motor, to name a few.
In the chromatography activity, the students used coffee filters with colored markers dipped in water to explore the rate at which different colors separate.
In the race car activity, students were given recyclable materials such as water bottles, rubber bands, balloons, and skewers to design a functional, self-powered race car. Lastly, for the homopolar motor, they were given magnets, an AA battery, and copper wire.
The objective was to bend the copper wire in order to create a rotating conductor around a fixed axis.
STEAM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math.
Staff Report September 7, 2018NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD Expands “Supper Program” To 8 Schools Starting Monday
As part of its continuing efforts to support the wellness, health, and development of students, the Ysleta Independent School District (YISD) will expand its after-school “supper program” to eight campuses in the 2018-19 school year, beginning Monday, September 10.
Via a news release, YISD officials say, “Given the numerous high-school students who stay on campus after school for sports, theater, band, or other clubs, the supper program gives students access to a nutritional meal in the cafeteria before rehearsal or practice.”
The supper program, which provides free and nutritious meals to active students who remain on campus after school for extracurricular activities, will be offered at the following campuses:
Bel Air High School
Del Valle High School
Hanks High School
Parkland High School
Riverside High School
Ysleta High School
Eastwood Middle School
Young Women’s Leadership Academy
The supper meals are being offered at various times depending on the campus, but generally begin about 4 p.m. The meals are free of charge to children 18 years and younger, and are available for purchase by adults.
The supper program was first piloted in January 2017 at Ysleta High School, and expanded to include four schools by September 2017.
This program is part of YISD’s overall efforts to increase student access to healthy meals – this includes free breakfast for all students at all YISD campuses throughout the year.
The supper program is funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Child and Adult Care Food Program.
Ysleta Independent School District officials announced on Monday that twelve schools have been named to the 2017-2018 Texas Honor Roll, the most of any school district in the El Paso region.
The program, sponsored by the Institute for Productivity in Education, is part of a national effort to identify higher-performing schools and districts that are improving student outcomes. A total of 729 public schools in Texas were recognized.
The Honor Roll campuses include: Alicia R. Chacon International School, Eastwood Heights Elementary School, Eastwood Knolls International School, Edgemere Elementary School, Mesa Vista Elementary School, North Star Elementary School, Ramona Elementary School, Scotsdale Elementary School, Valle Verde Early College High School, Vista Hills Elementary School, Young Women’s Leadership Academy, and Ysleta Elementary School.
Educational Results Partnership (ERP), a nonprofit organization that applies data science to help improve student outcomes and career readiness, developed the 2017-2018 Honor Roll. ERP maintains the nation’s largest database on student achievement and utilizes this data to identify higher-performing schools and districts.
Schools that receive the ERP Honor Roll distinction have demonstrated consistent high levels of student academic achievement, improvement in achievement levels over time, and a reduction in achievement gaps among student populations. For high schools, the ERP Honor Roll recognition also includes measures of college readiness.
In Texas, the ERP Honor Roll program is supported by numerous businesses and organizations, including the Texas Business Leadership Council, American Automobile Association (AAA) Texas, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, Chevron Corporation, and Enterprise Holdings Foundation.
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy will host a week-long summer camp for more than 300 incoming sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students that’s designed to unite and prepare them for the 2017-18 school year.
The interactive camp includes energetic team-building exercises, introductions to the students’ upcoming academic classes, and group activities such as painting river rocks, creating friendship bracelets, exploring the Google Suite of apps, and conducting a fashion show of “dos and don’ts” for the school uniform.
Students will also be able to bring in school supplies for the year to their classrooms and receive school uniforms.
A Field Day of outdoor activities wraps up the camp on Friday.
What: Young Women’s Leadership Academy (YWLA) summer camp When: Monday, July 31 through Friday, Aug. 4 Who: YWLA students in grades 6-8, teachers, administrators Where: YWLA campus, 7615 Yuma Drive
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy in the Ysleta Independent School District continues to celebrate an array of successes in its inaugural year, including winning a new $10,000 STEM grant and the successful recruitment of a new sixth-grade class that will begin attending the school in Fall 2017.
YWLA was the first single-gender college-preparatory public school in El Paso when it opened its doors in Fall 2016 to 240 sixth- and seventh-grade girls.
YWLA is a member of the Young Women’s Preparatory Network (YWPN), which played an integral part in planning and establishing YWLA by providing private enhancements based on college readiness, leadership and wellness life skills, so that graduates achieve academic success and are prepared for college and life.
“What we found out through this year’s admission process is that our school recruits very high-caliber students who are strongly motivated and interested in our STEAM work,” said YWLA Principal Malinda Villalobos, referring to the school’s emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math. “We are so excited about the possibilities of what we are going to be able to do.”
YWLA acceptance letters were mailed out this month to 133 girls, about half of whom hail from neighboring school districts and private schools, or are being homeschooled. Exact numbers for this new class of incoming sixth-graders are broken down below:
Throughout April, the newly admitted YWLA students will register for classes and order uniforms at the campus. All YWLA students – new and returning – are required to attend a weeklong summer camp at the school from July 31-Aug. 4.
In addition, YWLA teacher Ivan Ortega has been awarded a $10,000 grant from Lockheed-Martin to purchase drones, which will allow students to add an aerial aspect to their ongoing projects in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). Ortega applied for the grant in cooperation with YWPN.
“Our girls just finished a robotics piece in their class, where they built and programmed robots. But even after the project ended, they felt like they really didn’t want to take the robots apart,” Villalobos said. “Now with this grant, they finally feel like they can take their robots apart – because now they’ll be building drones!”
At YWLA, students benefit from advanced coursework and a biliteracy component, as well as three “core value” classes in Responsible Leadership, College & Career Readiness, and Wellness Life Skills. They may also choose to participate in a variety of elective classes and extracurricular activities, as well as language classes in Spanish, Chinese, American Sign Language, and Latin.
The deadline for students to submit applications to the Young Women’s Leadership Academy and the early college high schools in the Ysleta Independent School District is Friday, Jan. 20.
Applications are free and open to students who reside in El Paso County.
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy is recruiting current fifth-grade girls to begin sixth grade in the 2017-2018 school year. Applications and supplemental materials may be submitted at the YWLA campus, located at 7615 Yuma Drive. Parents are encouraged to contact the school at 915-434- 1300 for more information.
Applications to Valle Verde Early College High School, as well as Parkland Early College High School and Ysleta High School Early College Academy (pending official designation from the Texas Education Agency) are open to current eight-grade students to begin ninth grade in the 2017-2018 school year.
Students attending YISD schools may submit applications to their middle school counselor. Students who attend schools in other school districts may submit applications at any of the three early college high school programs. Applications and information are available Here.
Staff Report November 28, 2016Local NewsComments Off on Young Women’s Leadership Academy holds Parent Meeting Tuesday
Ysleta ISD’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy will hold four mandatory information sessions beginning Nov. 29 for parents interested in enrolling their daughters for the 2017-2018 school year.
YWLA Principal Malinda Villalobos will speak in detail about the school, its core values, programs, and course offerings, as well as logistical information including transportation. Parents will have the opportunity to speak with YWLA administrators before receiving an application packet.
The information sessions are free and open to any current fifth-grade girl and their families. All students interested in enrolling in YWLA must be in good academic and behavioral standing at their current school, live in El Paso County, and complete an application packet to be considered for enrollment.
Information sessions will also be held at the YISD Central Office Theater at:
9 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 8
9 a.m. Monday, Dec. 19
6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2017
To RSVP for an upcoming information session, or for more information, parents should call the YWLA office at 915-434- 1300.
What: YWLA parent information sessions
When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29
Who: Young Women Leadership Academy administrators, prospective students and parents
Where: YISD Central Office Theater, 9600 Sims Drive
Staff Report December 8, 2015Local NewsComments Off on Ysleta ISD’s new Young Women’s Leadership Academy Receives $30k Grant
The Ysleta Independent School District has received a $30,000 grant from the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation in support of the new Young Women’s Leadership Academy.
This new school will open for the 2016-2017 school year with the first class of 125 sixth and 125 seventh grades. Each year, another grade level will be added until the Academy accommodates approximately 800 students from grades 6-12.
Young Women’s Leadership Academy is the eighth school to be added to the Young Women’s Preparatory Network, a Dallas-based nonprofit organization that partners with public school districts across the state of Texas to operate the largest network of all-girls, public, college preparatory schools in the nation with incredible academic achievements.
The grant will support improvements and equipment for the Academy’s Innovation Space Laboratory. The space will include innovate technologies and workspaces for students to learn and engage, and will be housed in the schools eventual permanent campus at the present site of Hillcrest Middle School.
“This grant supports the mission and vision of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy to provide our students with a unique academic experience that prepares them for college, career, and life,” said Principal Malinda Villalobos. “The support of the Freeport-McMoRan Foundation will help our young ladies learn in a state-of-the-art space that can accommodate so many subjects as part of our focus on science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics.”
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy is currently accepting applications from fifth and sixth grade girls from across El Paso. Students and parents who are interested in applying for the school are encouraged to attend one of the information sessions listed below.
Monday, Dec. 14, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 17, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Thursday, Jan. 7, 2016, 9:00-10:30 a.m. and 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Wednesday, Jan 27, 2016, 1:30-3:00 p.m.
All meetings will be held at the YISD Central Office Theater, located at 9600 Sims Drive.
Ysleta ISD, a two-time national Broad Prize finalist, serves 42,000 students in pre-K through 12th grade in 63 campuses, including three international schools and one early college high school.
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy, the first all girls’ public preparatory school in El Paso, which will open its doors in the Fall of 2016 under the umbrella of the Ysleta Independent School District has begun accepting applications.
The academy, a Dallas-based preparatory network, will be housed at Ranchland Hills Middle School (7615 Yuma Drive) for the 2016-17 school year.
“For acceptance into the academy we are looking at our young ladies discipline, attendance records, their STAAR exam from their former school year,” said Malinda Villalobos, principal of the Young Women’s Leadership Academy. “And they will also be doing a math and grade reading assessment. We will also have a student interviews.”
Villalobos said that interested girls must also submit a letter of interest. During the district’s first community meeting to discuss the school’s opening, held on Nov. 17, superintendent Xavier De La Torre said he was excited to introduce this academy to the district.
About 200 parents attended the first information session in November. “We’ve had an opportunity to visit these programs and we’ve grown close with the Young Women’s Leadership network. I think this is something that is extraordinary and unique,” De La Torre said. “With the goal of getting 100 percent of the young ladies that attend our program into the college or university of their dreams.”
The Young Women’s Leadership Academy’s focus will be on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics (STEAM) programs.
Advanced Placement courses will also be offered.
Villalobos, the former principal of Eastwood Middle School, said that one of the hesitations some students may have in applying to a STEAM-based school might be the lack of extra curricular activities or sports. This will not be an issue at the all girls academy, Villalobos said, because several sports are being considered, but student participation is key to insuring these sports are offered.
“We are hoping to offer cross country, volleyball, basketball, tennis, golf, swimming, wrestling, soccer, track and field, cheerleading and softball,” she said. “In addition to the athletic activities w will also be participation in the UIL and academic competitions.”
Instruction at the academy will also focus on bi-literacy, and several languages including Spanish, Chinese, American Sign Language and Latin, Villalobos said.
Throughout the presentation in November, Alekssandra Tonge-Gonzalez, a fifth grader at Alicia Chacon Middle School, urged her mother, Erica Yagel, to write down the dates of the academy’s deadline and questions she had about the academy.
Gonzalez was mainly concerned about the language requirements.
“She gets taught a third language (at Alicia Chacon) and she was asking what language she would have to take because they don’t have Japanese,” Yagel said. “She was asking about American Sign language because she has always been interested in taking that.”
Aurelio Arias and his wife, Rebecca Arias, brought along their daughter Anabella Arias to the November session. Aurelio Arias said they were looking into the academy because it could present a better financial option for the family, while also preparing Anabella for college.
Anabella, sixth grader, currently attends Our Lady of the Valley and her older brother Nicholas Arias, 18, is currently attending New Mexico State University.
“We have traditionally had to pay for our children’s tuition since they were young, but now that our son is in college it’s getting difficult to fund both,” Aurelio Arias said. “So this is a very good opportunity.”
Aurelio Arias added that the academy may be the perfect fit.
“We are looking at a program that would have AP (Advanced Placement) classes and dual credit tat would help her reach her goal of getting into a college and getting her credits transferred” he said.
The Arias family also hopes that if Anabella is accepted into the academy, it will ease the transition for her from a private school to a public high school in the future. “I’m excited but a little nervous,” Anabella said.
Aside from the student’s transition to the new school, there are some physical transitions in store for the academy
During this first phase of the transition, into the district the Young Women’s Leadership Academy will be housed at Ranchland Hills Middle
School. District officials said during this first phase, students from Hillcrest and Ranchland Middle School will be housed together in preparation of the New Bel Air Middle School, Villalobos said.
The new Bel Air Middle School, which will be funded by 2015 Ysleta ISD bond monies, will be located at 7909 Ranchland Drive.
Voters approved the 2015 Ysleta ISD $430.5 million bond on Nov.4, and about $31.5 million of bond monies will go toward building the new Bel Air Middle School.
The bond will not finance the Young Women’s Leadership Academy, officials said. However, the Dallas based academy solidified their partnership with the Ysleta district earlier this year through a $1 million donation. The $1 million donation will go toward funding innovative programs such as summer camps and college visits, district officials said.
Once the New Bel Air Middle School opens its doors, district officials said the Young Women’s Leadership Academy will begin its second phase and move into Hillcrest Middle School at 8040 Yermoland Drive.
The expected date of the permanent move at Hillcrest Middle School is the Fall of 2018. Because the Ysleta district is an open district, and some families may live outside of the district boundaries.
Villalobos said the district would offer parents and students transportation to transport the students to and from school.
“Our district will be providing transportation for all of our young ladies from every one of our learning communities,” Villalobos said.
A preliminary district boundary map was shown during the presentation on Thursday that indicated the pick up and drop-off points which included YISD’s Central Office, Ranchland Hills Middle School and Hillcrest Middle School. But these drop-off points are very preliminary and may change, Villalobos said.
“At this point it would be very premature to say that these are the exact stops and this is exactly where they are going to be because we are going to see where the need is the greatest and where our girls will be coming from,” she said. “But we’ve already met with transportation and had the blessing from Dr. De La Torre to insure that regardless of where you are coming from – if you can get to one of our sites in one our four learning communities, or here at central office, we will take you to the school location.”
Parents are also given the option to drop off and pick up their children at the school site as well, Villalobos added.
Once the academy opens in the Fall of 2016, it will be the eighth in the state of Texas. The preparatory network has schools in Dallas, Forth Worth, Austin, Lubbock, Houston, San Antonio and the Grand Prairie.
Applications for the all girls academy are being accepted through Feb. 5, 2016. Students accepted into the academy have to accept their position by March 18, 2016.
Only 125 6th grade and 125 7th grade girls, will be accepted for this upcoming 2016-17 school year, district officials said. As the girls continue their education, the academy will add grade levels 8 through 12.
Interested parents are encouraged to attend community meetings relating to the new academy, which will be held from:
* 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., on Dec. 14, Dec. 17, and Jan. 7.
* 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Jan. 7
* 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Jan. 27.
The sessions will take place on Ysleta ISD’s Central Office Theater, at 9600 Sims Drive.
For more information contact the Ysleta ISD’s Central Office at 915-434-1300.