Educational Services — DYS Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, the Division of Youth Services provides accredited education services. All teachers are fully certified by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Youth attend school full-time, twelve months per year in classrooms with relatively small student:teacher ratios. Students receive instruction in the core subject areas of math, science, social studies and communication arts. Students may also receive credit in physical education, health, fine arts, personal finance and career/vocational education, and a wide variety of electives. The curriculum is based upon the Instructional Standards developed by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Each youth is thoroughly evaluated to determine individual education needs. Individual Education Plans (IEP) are developed for each youth. Youth eligible for special education services receive direct instruction from certified special education teachers.
Some youth committed to the Division of Youth Services are prohibited from returning to regular public school due to the Safe School Act. As a result, the division has increased its capacity to provide alternative education services to youth living in their home communities and has also increased its efforts to assist youth obtain a HiSET. Service coordinators have identified alternative education including the STAR DYS online learning program, training and employment options for some youth who are unable to return to public school.
Youth earn credits needed for graduation based upon performance and attendance. The Division of Youth Services may issue high school diplomas to students who meet the Missouri requirements for graduation. In addition, students transferring from the Division of Youth Services to another high school in Missouri, accredited by the State Board of Education, should have their grade placement and credits accepted as stated on the transcript. DYS students may elect to study for and take the HiSET as a high school equivalency secondary completion.
The Division of Youth Services continues to address the need for enhanced vocational education. At present, all youth in custody receiving educational services from the division must be enrolled, at the very least, in a career education class. In addition, youth may be employed and receive minimum wage compensation while learning important job skills. DYS youth receive instruction in vocational skills and career awareness. DYS youth may also achieve WorkKeys certificates for potential job placement.
In FY 2014 approximately 92% of youth in the Division of Youth Services who took the HiSET examination passed.