The Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) has led a comprehensive reform of the education and workforce development system for all young people that are placed in DYS custody.

DYS has orchestrated this reform effort through a contract, referred to as the Comprehensive Education Partnership, with Commonwealth Corporation (CommCorp-the state’s quasi-public workforce agency) and the Collaborative for Educational Services (CES-a statewide education agency).  The goal of this partnership is to create a continuum of options and opportunities--high-quality education and training, vocational and employability programs, and other services--that will give DYS youth the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to build a better future.

Some of the key areas of services delivery of the Comprehensive Education Partnership include:

Effective Workforce Development Strategies for Youth

  • BRIDGING THE OPPORTUNITY GAP (BOG) INITIATIVE:  Implementation of vocational and employability programming that provide career readiness, work-based learning opportunities and connections to employment
  • EMPOWER YOUR FUTURE:  A life-skills, career development and employability curriculum guide developed for all phases of the DYS continuum.

Positive Youth Development Approach to Programming and Reform Framework

  • Promotion of research and “best practices” that support an asset-based approach to working with youth
  • Professional development, workshops and training on culturally responsive teaching and learning strategies
  • Collaboration with community partners who are motivated and engaged about working with youth from a range of cultural, ethnic, racial and socio-economic backgrounds   

Program Assessment and Improvement of DYS Programs and Infrastructure

  • Education Quality Assurance Initiative, to support an assessment and improvement process to ensure quality educational programming in DYS facilities

Quality Curriculum and Instruction for DYS Youth

  • Continuous improvement of an infrastructure to support the delivery of educational services to youth in care
  • Direct educational services (including Title 1) provided by quality teachers with Massachusetts teaching certifications
  • Standardized delivery of academic content in residential programs

Substantial increases of education resources in classrooms, including text books, materials, technology, and content manuals (English/Language Arts, Math, Social Studies and Science.)


This information is provided by the Department of Youth Services.