Division of Youth Services Education Mission

The Division of Youth Services addresses the academic, emotional, physical, and social needs of individuals by offering them a variety of programs and services that elicit the maximum potential of each student.

The curriculum provides a foundation of knowledge as it develops the skills necessary for students to think, reason, create, communicate and live in an ever-changing technological society. Our learning environment encourages accountability, responsibility, respect, self-esteem, commonly held traditions and human values.

The Division of Youth Services reaches out to guide and direct, to challenge and inspire, to reassure and encourage and instill a sense of self-confidence in an environment of genuine scholastic effort.

The Division of Youth Services (DYS) provides educational services approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Approximately 130 teachers are employed throughout the division’s 37 sites. Each youth receives educational services guided by a personalized education plan developed by the DYS education staff, the youth and his or her parents. Approximately 30% of DYS youth receive special education services provided by certificated, special needs instructors.

The following objectives for learning are emphasized for each youth in DYS care:

  • Remediate deficiencies in learning skills and academic knowledge
  • Connect learning to responsible citizenship and self-sufficiency
  • Recover academic standing and units of high school credit
  • Learn the value and importance of a good education
  • Increase self-confidence and self-esteem
  • Improve behavior and study skills
  • Strive to complete secondary education with a High School diploma or HiSET

Students are assigned a full-day schedule of classes. DYS follows a twelve month school calendar. Each site’s educational program includes classroom(s) suitable for interactive learning activities; literacy, career and research centers; up-to-date instructional materials; and technology necessary for learning.

The DYS program of learning includes instruction in language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, fine arts, career education, personal finance, health and physical education. In addition, students study U.S. and Missouri government to prepare for the required Missouri Constitution, U.S. Constitution, and Civics exams. The DYS instructional curriculum outlines the key concepts and course goals for these subjects and electives.

The division recognizes the importance of completing a challenging program of education. Every student is encouraged to complete their education by returning to public schools, graduating while in DYS, or obtaining a HiSET. While in DYS care, some students meet Missouri and DYS graduation requirements. The HiSET is a popular choice among students due to a number of factors, and preparatory instruction is available in all DYS sites. Traditionally, 80% of DYS youth who attempt the HiSET test pass the test. Annually, 87% of DYS youth improve their learning skills and make satisfactory academic progress toward graduation or completion.