Academics » Intensives Program

Intensives Program

In order to challenge our students and encourage collaboration and critical thinking, we created our intensives Project Based Learning teaching and learning lab. Once a year, for two weeks, the student’s regularly scheduled courses pause, and partnerships of teachers dedicate ten full days, five hours a day, working with the same group of multi-grade learners. During these courses, students are able to dive deeply into a field they already love or are just learning about. Intensives range from fitness challenges and photography to set design and app design and are now a part of the culture of our school. Because of this innovative program, our students have been authentically challenged and exposed to potential careers.
Important to know:
  • Intensives are multi-grade (6-8, 9-12, or 6-12).
  • Intensives focus on 21st-century skills, literacy, and real-world experiences, including visits from experts in the area they are studying. Intensives also focus on field trips to meet experts in their workplace, or to see the field of study in action.
  • Courses are graded for both MS and HS using our outcomes grading system and
  • Transcripts will show Intensives, which count as a one-credit course for high school students.
  • Dressing for Success: Our student-leaders organize a fundraiser for students to purchase a wristband that allows them to come to school in clothing appropriate for their intensive. If students do not participate in the fundraiser, uniforms are an expectation during intensives.
  • Attendance is important so that students don’t miss out on any credits, coursework or experiences.
  • Intensive class lists will be announced in the first week of December!
  • There were 21 intensive courses last year and we anticipate a similar amount of course offerings for December 2020.
Important Dates or Timeline
  • Courses: To be announced mid-November 2020. You can see last year’s course offerings and student brochure here.
  • Intensives Sign-Up for 2020: Students will be sent a registration form where they rank their top 5 course choices at the end of November.
  • Intensives Expo: All are invited to a public sharing and celebration of our work on Expo Day! The date to be announced once the NYC DOE calendar has been released for the 2020-21 school year.

Student quote

“During Intensives the feeling is similar to the school year due to the collaboration aspects. However, the difference in intensives is really about exploration. With academics in ANY school, connection to real life is hard because of the short class periods— but during Intensives, there is a strong sense of real-life skill learning.” 11th grade Student 2018

Teacher quote
“Intensives have changed the way I think about teaching and learning and have changed the way I work with students for the better.” - Social Studies Teacher

Supporting documents or links or forms

Click here to see a sample student-facing course overview for an intensive!

Check out the TYWLSA Phoenix, an online newspaper created by students in the Extra! Extra! Intensive last year:

Explore last year’s brochure to get an idea for the kinds of courses offered during Intensives!

See our Expo Day Visitor Overview get a sense of the kinds of public products students to create for the exhibition!

Photos or videos