The mission of the DYS Education system is to provide, in a manner consistent with public education in the state of Arkansas as well as the nation, a system of high-quality education programs to address the needs of juveniles who come in contact with the juvenile justice system. To accomplish this mission, DYS will:
- Identify and serve each child with a disability in the DYS system.
- Improve the individual academic achievement of each child in the DYS system.
- Provide an opportunity for progress toward state and local graduation requirements for each high school age child in the DYS system.
- Provide an opportunity for post-secondary education preparation for each child that enters with or achieves graduate status while in the DYS system.
The vision for the DYS Education system is enhancement of the knowledge and skills of each child that will produce successful academic experiences and outcomes that will be transferred and continued in the community upon release.
The purpose of the DYS Education system is to insure significant academic progress for each child that we serve in our institutional programs.
Overview of Major Objectives
The DYS Education System is designed to establish continuity among each of it school sites. The development of curriculum and consistency of textbooks, instructional technology and materials brings uniformity to education programs at each site. The primary purpose is to ensure that our students do not experience an adverse effect on their schooling due to movement within the system necessary to address treatment needs.
Other items that are addressed in obtaining this goal are the sufficient consideration of education need in placement decision, school year calendar, teacher recruitment and retention and professional development.
The major compliance issues related to DYS education are found in the DOJ settlement agreement and ADE compliance monitoring report. The most challenging item listed in the DOJ settlement agreement was the granting of diplomas. However, HB 1932 of 2009 addressed that issue. Youths can request a diploma from the school system they were enrolled in prior to placement in DYS. If that system does not issue a diploma, DYS has the authority to provide one.
Teacher Recruitment and Retention
DYS requires that all teachers have a “highly qualified” status in order to offer youth the best possible educational experience while they are with us. In hopes of recruiting and retaining these teachers, DYS has adjusted its school schedule so that it replicates the schedule of a regular school system.
The goal of DYS education is to "mesh" not "match" with the public-school system in Arkansas. By offering courses in the core subject areas that meet state standards and graduation requirements we offer a consistent opportunity for all students to make adequate progress toward graduation. This is primary, due to the short length of stay for most students. Guidance services are in place to properly identify students for grade placement and to advise each student concerning progress toward graduation.