Division of Youth Services education

DYS Education header

The Division of Youth Services provides educational services to adjudicated youth committed to the Department of Human Services in six state operated secure commitment youth centers. The educational programs in place meet the complex needs of a diverse student population and include both general and special education services. The programs are varied and comprehensive with a focus on leading a youth to achieve a diploma, obtain a G.E.D, or access career/technical education and training. The education program service delivery system includes State employed educational staff, contracts for services with local school districts, and contracts with private providers. 

Youth in secure State-operated youth detention centers are provided educational services through local school districts.

Q: Do youth receive an education while in detention?

A: Youth in detention are provided education by the local school district. While your son/daughter is in the program, they will receive educational credit. Should they qualify to participate, they may also be eligible to take part in the school's General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program.

Q: Do youth receive an education and can they earn a diploma?

A: Youth committed by the court and placed in a residential placement participate in school programming. An Education Assessment Report containing assessment results is written for all youth. If the youth receives special education and have a current Individual Education Plan (IEP), that IEP is transferred to DYS according to the special education process and Colorado Department of Education guidelines. Educational services may include special education, GED preparation for qualifying students, vocational skills training or pursuit of a high school diploma. Qualifying youth may also be offered post-secondary education (college). If your son/daughter is planning to return to public school, the youth center school will work with the home school district to help with a smooth transition and to determine appropriate placement.

 

DENVER (Oct. 7, 2020) — Today, the Colorado Department of Human Services (CDHS) and Colorado State University-Pueblo announced that youth involved in the Division of Youth Services (DYS) will be able to enroll in college courses while they are in DYS care. This partnership will allow youth to pursue higher education beyond vocational programming and into college coursework after attaining their high school diploma or GED.

In 2020, DYS awarded 264 high school diplomas and GEDs, and 336 career and technical education certifications. This collaboration with CSU-Pueblo will enable concurrent enrollment and college credit opportunities for youth. 

The first classes available include:

  • Psych 100 General Psychology
  • SOC 101 Intro to Sociology
  • MGMT 201 Principles of Management
  • ENG 101 English Composition
  • MATH 121 College Algebra
  • ECON 201 Principles of Macroeconomics

These college credits will be transferable when the youth leave, giving them a head start on completing a degree. They are also exclusively print-based — classes that are able to be completed completely offline so they meet security standards for the youth center. The syllabus, assignments, books, etc. are mailed to students, and exams are taken with a proctor located at the youth center. This provides a new level of flexibility and opportunities for youth. 

“It is so exciting to be part of the education partnership with the Division of Youth Services to provide a collegiate educational opportunity for students,” said Kristyn White Davis, CSU-Pueblo’s dean of Extended Studies. “It is a great demonstration of the commitment of our state leadership for providing this opportunity to these students and the commitment of CSU-Pueblo to being the people’s university. We are hopeful that upon release these students see CSU-Pueblo as a viable option to pursue a college degree.”

“This partnership is another step in treating and supporting the whole person,” said DYS Director Anders Jacobson. “We are committed to providing youth a range of educational and vocational opportunities that motivate and create excitement about the future. Not only is the division thrilled about this new partnership, the youth in our care are eager to jump into this opportunity to learn and further align themselves for success in the community.”

In the U.S., more than two-thirds of incarcerated youth do not return to school upon release. Educational services in youth services facilities could reverse this trend. Some studies show that youth who participate in remote college courses enroll in school after being discharged and show improvements in reading and math.

Select a youth center by name for education information specific to that location. 

*Due to COVID restrictions some educational services have included remote learning. Visit the COVID stakeholders guide for more information. 

Educational services are provided by on-site School District 27 JD teachers. Youth attend school year-round and earn school credits during their stay. Core classes taught are Language Arts, Science, Health, Social Studies, Math, and Physical Education. School hours are from 7:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Aspire YSC works in partnership with Teens, Inc., a private non-profit organization, to facilitate Lookout Mountain Academy at CALM. Lookout Mountain Academy provides high quality educational and vocational programming to all youth within the youth center. Beyond a high school diplomas or GED, Teens Inc. offers barbering/hair styling, culinary are, construction trades, and screen printing vocational programs, as well as several online certification programs and correspondence college courses. The Campus at Lookout Mountain offers a variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities, including softball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, a high ropes course, a weight room, a rock climbing wall, and a traditional gymnasium. 

 

Gilliam is a Denver Public School site. Monday-Friday students attend classes promoting progress in the academic areas of reading, writing, mathematics, social studies, computer technology and physical education. In addition to the academic progress that students will make while placed at Gilliam Youth Services Center, students will progress in their ability to handle a wide variety of social/emotional issues and situations in a healthy way. Qualifying students are able to participate in the school’s GED program.

Educational services for detained youth are provided through the Mesa County District 51 schools. Educators from the local school district are on site daily through the week to provide assessment to appropriate grade level and classroom instruction. In addition, youth receive daily recreation and structured leisure time.

Educational services are provided year-round and are provided by certified state teachers. Educational opportunities include core subjects, elective subjects and vocational instruction. While in school youth have the ability to work on grade-level appropriate work for transferable credit to high school graduation. Youth may work towards earning a GED while residing in the program. Youth receive physical education as well as vocational instruction in the areas of culinary, general construction trades and custodial services.

Golden Peak works in partnership with Teens, Inc., a private non-profit organization, to facilitate Lookout Mountain Academy at CALM. Lookout Mountain Academy provides high quality educational and vocational programming to all youth within the youth center. Beyond a high school diplomas or GED, Teens Inc. offers barbering/hair styling, culinary are, construction trades, and screen printing vocational programs, as well as several online certification programs and correspondence college courses. The Campus at Lookout Mountain offers a variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities, including softball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, a high ropes course, a weight room, a rock climbing wall, and a traditional gymnasium. 

Cherry Creek School District 5 provides licensed teaching staff for detained youth in the youth center. While at MWFYSC detained youth can earn credits necessary to receive a high-school diploma or obtain a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).

Educational services are available to all youth in residential placement with DYS. Jefferson County Public Schools provides an on-site education program that serves the detention population. DYS employs licensed teachers to educate committed youth. The school programs provide special education services to those who require individual educational plans. Jefferson County and DYS offer social studies, math, language arts, science, elective classes and recreation. Youth are able to work toward a high school diploma or obtain a GED. They may also be involved in a vocational program such as food service. Selected youth may participate in two work programs, food services and grounds crew.

The local school district, Weld County District 6, provides education for detained youth. The education for committed youth is provided by licensed teachers through the DYS State Education team. Youth can generate the credits necessary to receive a diploma, or receive a GED while at PVYSC. Some post secondary offerings through AIMS Community College are available if they can be subsidized.

Pueblo City Schools provides licensed teaching staff for the comprehensive school program. Youth can generate the credits necessary to receive a diploma or work toward a GED (General Equivalency Diploma) while at PYSC.  

SCYSC offers an on-site education program that includes classroom instruction, GED preparation, business management, vocational programs and transition activities. Post secondary education programs are an option for eligible students. Parent/teacher conferences are scheduled quarterly to ensure the academic success of the youth. Award ceremonies are held quarterly and graduation services occur twice per year.

Summit YSC works in partnership with Teens, Inc., a private non-profit organization, to facilitate Lookout Mountain Academy at CALM. Lookout Mountain Academy provides high quality educational and vocational programming to all youth within the youth center. Beyond a high school diplomas or GED, Teens Inc. offers barbering/hair styling, culinary are, construction trades, and screen printing vocational programs, as well as several online certification programs and correspondence college courses. The Campus at Lookout Mountain offers a variety of indoor and outdoor recreational activities, including softball, volleyball, soccer, flag football, a high ropes course, a weight room, a rock climbing wall, and a traditional gymnasium. 

Educational services at ZPYSC are provided by School District 12.  Educational opportunities include core subjects, elective subjects and vocational instruction. The education program fosters an environment in which at-risk youth can experience success by focusing on achievement in basic academic and pre-vocational skills.  While in school youth have the ability to work on grade-level appropriate work for credit transferable to high school graduation or a GED. In the education program, students discover and explore ideas in ways which encourage internalization and ownership of the learning process.

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