DYS Curricular Resources

The DYS curriculum supports students in pursuing their educational goals and providing access to resources designed to expose them to rigorous content. Lessons are aligned with the most current Massachusetts State Curriculum Frameworks.

DYS Curricula

We are committed to providing educators and youth with high quality curricular resources that support careful planning and engaging instruction. We are committed to selecting curriculum resources that support youth identity development, voice, and agency, and so that youth can see themselves, their race, culture, and lived experiences in the stories and topics they study. We fully embrace the critical need to personalize instruction for each youth. encourage reflection on planning and instruction and centering the histories, experiences, and perspectives of the communities and cultures of people that have been pushed to the margins of society. Decolonizing instruction involves focusing on the voices of those pushed to the margins so that all learners feel valued in who they are and what they can become. 

The high quality curricular resources used in the DYS Education Program have been carefully and intentionally selected for use in the DYS classroom with our students.

DYS Instructional Guides

The DYS Instructional Guides for ELA, Mathematics, Science and History and Social Sciences ground instruction in the DYS setting. These Instructional Guides provide Scopes and Sequences for each core content area and include model instructional plans designed to guide instruction in both short- and long-term settings. It is expected that teachers reference these Guides, specifically the Massachusetts standards’ aligned scopes and sequences when planning core content instruction for students in the DYS setting.

Click below to download the DYS Instructional Guides.

DYS Program of Studies

DYS maintains an official DYS Program of Studies that guides the selection and provision of classes available to students and ensures credit recovery or attainment for high school students returning to their home districts. The menu of study options offers opportunities for differentiated instruction, technology integration, and blended learning. Youth can access computer and web-based courses.

Keys to Literacy

Keys to Literacy strategies  are to be used in all content areas. We offer a multi-pronged approach to Professional Development on how to use Keys To Literacy strategies for planning and instruction. iAdolescent Literacy and The Key Comprehension Routine addresses critical thinking, main idea skills, text structure knowledge, top-down topic webs, two-column notes, summarizing, generating questions, I-we-you instruction, and cooperative learning.

BreakFree Education Initiatives 

BreakFree partners directly with juvenile justice agencies like ours across the country, providing the resources, training, and networks they need to make school relevant and meaningful. We have a robust partnership with BreakFree Education and we have seen our students engage in and be successful in participating in these relevant and fun learning activities. BreakFree initiatives are integrated and can be woven into the teaching of core content and Future Ready curricula. Teachers are expected to engage students in a minimum of two BreakFree Education Initiatives per year.

Blended Learning using a menu of Digital Curricular Resources

DYS teachers are expected to incorporate a blended learning approach so that all students have access to the general education curriculum. Teachers should reach out to their instructional Technology Coach who can support their use of Google Classroom, use of technology software, and a blended learning approach to teaching and learning. 

Empower your Future 

It is expected that the Empower your Future curriculum is implemented. This curriculum enables students to research education and career exploration opportunities, practice Future Ready skills necessary for the 21st century workplace, and hone the skills and mindsets necessary to develop their best possible selves. Using the evidence-based curriculum Empower Your Future, MassHire, and other Future Ready activities, students complete a series of personalized projects and presentations that support goal setting, effective communication, self-direction, accountability, resiliency, and self- advocacy.

English Language Arts

Core Literature selections are reflected in the ELA Scope and Sequence found in the ELA Instructional Guide and additional options are available upon request.  Annually, High Interest Texts are selected each year using a social justice and equity lens to ensure that youth are seeing themselves and the richness of their race, culture, social identities, interests, and lived experiences in the literature and informational texts they read. 


Aleks Math is used as part of the workshop model. Aleks Math is a digital software program designed to personalize instruction and support accelerated “just in time” learning for youth studying mathematics at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Aleks Math is available to youth in all program types.

History and Social Science 

Resources from the Choices Program are incorporated into all history content areas as they align with the DYS Instructional Guide History and Social Sciences scopes and sequences.  The Choices Curriculum challenges students to consider multiple perspectives and think critically about an issue. Digital Editions allow the seamless integration of readings, images, and videos, and are compatible with Microsoft Word and Google Classrooms.

Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) 

We offer a cadre of resources that support STEM instruction in DYS including learning activities in the Science and Mathematics Instructional Guides, digital resources such as Aleks Math, Breakoutedu, BrainPOP; BreakFree project based lessons, Tinkercad, and SAVAS Learning digital resources. Teachers are able to plan integrated STEM units using digital resources that engage youth in STEM activities.

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