The Department of Youth Services (DYS) operates a system-wide delivery of educational services for youth who are residing within DYS facilities. These services are designed to prepare youth to successfully reintegrate into the community and to make a successful transition to public school, alternative education, GED preparation, post-secondary education, job skills training and/or entry-level employment.
Each day, DYS provides educational services to 1500 youth who reside in one of 64 residential facilities operated by or under contract with the Department. Educational programming within each residential facility operates on a 12-month school year basis, with a minimum school schedule of 27.5 hours of instructional services per week. DYS requires programs to meet all its education policies and procedures and, in accordance with Chapter 76, section 1 of the Massachusetts General Laws, to receive certification from their local education authority (LEA). DYS programs must meet State requirements for time and learning and for educator certification. Educators working in DYS school components are required to hold a valid Massachusetts educator's certificate. Approximately 235 educators are currently working in the DYS education system. This system of services includes the following major areas:
- Educational services, GED preparation, vocational education, life skills programming and/or post-secondary education services are provided through DYS purchased services (vendor contracts through non-profit providers or educational collaborative)
- Special education services are provided through the Massachusetts Department of Education's Educational Services in Institutional Settings (ESIS).
- Title I supplemental services are provided through federal entitlement funds.
- Educational liaison services are provided through DYS purchased services. These liaisons are each Area's link with local school districts.
- Vocational/work programs including extended day, job training and employment are provided through established partnerships with community Regional Vocational Technical High Schools and Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Boards.
This information is provided by the Department of Youth Services.