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“While They Were Away”: Demystifying Education in DYS Alternative Education Conference October 20, 2008 Presented by the Comprehensive Education Partnership on behalf of the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS). Overview. I. Unique Challenges of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Education

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Presentation Transcript

“While They Were Away”:

Demystifying Education in DYS

Alternative Education Conference

October 20, 2008

Presented by the Comprehensive Education Partnership on behalf of

the Massachusetts Department of Youth Services (DYS)


I. Unique Challenges of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Education

II. Overview of Teacher Support

  • Professional Development

  • Instructional Coaching Support

  • DYS Instructional Guides

  • Additional Resources and Instructional Tools

    III. Student Reentry

Workshop objectives
Workshop Objectives

  • Know…

    • The basic components of education in MA DYS juvenile justice programs as it relates to education youth receive while in the care of DYS

      • Professional development (PD)

      • Instructional Tools

      • What to Expect for Students Transitioning back to their home school and community

Workshop objectives cont
Workshop Objectives (Cont.)

  • Understand…

    • How the system of PD supports quality standards-based instruction for a diverse student population

    • That many of these instructional tools and supports can be applied in your own educational settings

Dys educational programs
DYS Educational Programs

  • 54 programs statewide – broken into 5 DYS regions

  • Managed by DYS (vendor contracts for services)

  • Generally 2-4 person teaching teams

  • Some programs follow traditional academic years; others are year-round

Dys educational programs cont
DYS Educational Programs (Cont.)

  • Program Types Based on Length of Stay:

    • Detention** (1day- 2 weeks +)

    • Assessment(30-40 days)

    • Short term treatment (3-6 months)

    • Long term treatment (5 months – 2 years)

    • Revocation (2 weeks to 3 months +)

Unique challenges of juvenile justice jj education
Unique Challenges of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Education

  • Historically, most teachers not licensed or trained as educators

  • No continuity in curriculum across the system and different programs

  • Lack of instructional materials

  • No support for professional development and instructional support

Unique challenges of juvenile justice jj education cont
Unique Challenges of Juvenile Justice (JJ) Education (Cont.)

  • In addition, the DYS student population is…

    • demographically diverse by race, ethnicity, language, culture, age, and economics

    • educationally diverse with respect to students’ background knowledge, interests, aspirations, learning styles, multiple intelligences, social-emotional strengths and challenges, and personal histories.

Dys milestones
DYS Milestones

  • Mandatory participation in PD by DYS

  • Minimum Education Standards established for all programs

  • Individual Professional Development Plan (IPDP) process developed

  • Establishment of a Universal Transcript for students

  • Infusion of instructional materials and resources better suited to juvenile justice programs including development of DYS Instructional Guides

Overview of professional development
Overview of Professional Development

  • PD Framework: Focus on 3 goals –

    • Standards-based Curriculum,

    • Differentiated Instruction, and

    • Infusion of Literacy and Numeracy

  • PD Learning Communities based on teacher content areas and program type

Overview of professional development cont
Overview of Professional Development (Cont.)

  • Workshop presenters familiar with juvenile justice education

  • 5 strand days (based on content area and by program type)

    • 2 menu days (teacher choice in variety of additional topic areas)

  • Professional development points (PDPs/ CEUs) provided for final product completion

    PD graphic /7 elements

Dys instructional coaches
DYS Instructional Coaches

  • Currently 5 Instructional Coaches

  • Provide more individualized and continued support to DYS teachers outside of PD

    • Aligned with professional development

    • In compliance with safety and security needs of DYS programs

Dys instructional coaches cont
DYS Instructional Coaches (Cont.)

  • Instructional coaches encourage continued professional growth through:

    • Observations: Coaches are not evaluators, instead they help teachers to self-evaluate;

    • Being a resource: Coaches provide suggestions for additional appropriate resources and instructional tools

    • Goal-setting: Coaches help teachers set goals for improving practice (both short- and long-term)

Dys instructional guides
DYS Instructional Guides

  • Why were they developed?

    • To help teachers respond to multiple challenges of planning and delivering effective curriculum in JJ setting

    • To promote high academic expectations and provide consistency across program sites for those students who are transferred from one program to another

Dys instructional guides cont
DYS Instructional Guides (Cont.)

  • Since 2005, 4 Guides developed: ELA, Math, Science, and Social Studies

    • Aligned with MA Curriculum Frameworks and national standards for each content area

    • Cross-referenced with GED and MCAS

  • Provide exemplar lesson plans and ways to further differentiate instruction

Dys instructional guides cont1
DYS Instructional Guides (Cont.)

  • Also include:

    • “Emphasized Standards”

    • Culturally responsive teaching chapter

    • More hands-on, student- centered activity ideas

Dys instructional guides cont2
DYS Instructional Guides (Cont.)

  • Provides additional resources and standards-based instructional tools such as the “KUD” Grid – Know, Understand, and DO

Additional resources and instructional tools
Additional Resources and Instructional Tools

  • Resources and texts are provided to DYS programs based on a number of influential considerations.

  • Additional resources available in DYS are also available on CD-ROM.

    • Teachers can borrow many of these resources from “lending libraries” located across the state.

Resources and instructional tools cont
Resources and Instructional Tools (Cont.)


  • Edge – Level B Reading, Writing, and Language

  • Writing Our Stories (The Alabama Writers’ Forum, 2002)

Resources and instructional tools cont1
Resources and Instructional Tools (Cont.)

Social Studies

  • History Alive! The United States

  • United States History: Survey Edition

Resources and instructional tools cont2
Resources and Instructional Tools (Cont.)


  • Discovering Algebra

  • Discovering Geometry

  • EmPower Mathematics

Resources and instructional tools cont3
Resources and Instructional Tools (Cont.)


  • Biology: Cycles of Life

  • Success in Science: Biology

Student reentry their transition home
Student Reentry: Their Transition Home

  • The transition process begins weeks before a student returns to their home school and community (90, 60, 30 days).

  • A number of resources and opportunities are available to help support their reentry.

Documents and records
Documents and Records

  • DYS Educational Assessment Packet

  • Individual Learning Plan (ILP) –

    • A goal-setting tool that helps tailor a student’s academic, employment/career, and social/emotional instruction

    • Captures student’s progress towards attainment of these goals while in DYS.

  • Universal Transcript –

    • Provides record of academic credit received while in DYS

Liaisons and support
Liaisons and Support

  • Education Liaisons –

    • Provide support to students returning from DYS educational programs to their home school or LEA

  • Evaluation Team Liaison (ETL’s) –

    • Are the conduit between DESE’s Special Education in Institutional Settings (SEIS) work and the home school or LEA

Additional resources opportunities
Additional Resources & Opportunities

  • Bridging the Opportunity Gap (BOG) Job Readiness and Employability Program

    • State funded initiative linking CBOs/FBOs, career centers and workforce development boards with DYS youth transitioning back to home communities.

  • The DYS Community Resource Guide

    • Provides resources for education, employability, and “wrap-around” and social services

For more information
For More Information…

  • Shirley Gilfether, DYS Professional Development and Curriculum Coordinator

  • Kathy Rho, Program Manger, DYS Initiative