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DYS Programs - Education

Education Programs under Department of Youth Services

Beginning in 2003, the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS) undertook an unprecedented reform of its education programs. This continuous improvement process, referred to as the “Education Initiative”, has created access to high quality education and employment opportunities for youth in the care and custody of DYS. Find more information in the 2015 DYS Comprehensive Education Partnership Report.

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.)

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DYS Education Reports