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FAQ on Youth Development Centers

There are YDCs in each grand region in Tennessee. Each of them has a full on-site school program in the facility.  This is where your student will attend school.  The schools are considered a special school district by the Tennessee State Department of Education.  Credits, therefore, will transfer to public schools.

First contact the DCS Family Service Worker (FSW) or YDC case manager.  He or she may be able to address your concern or may suggest a Child and Family Team meeting.  If not, the FSW in each YDC has access to an Education Specialist.  The primary responsibility of that person is to advocate for your child in any matter related to school.  That includes visiting schools, attending meetings, and helping solve difficult issues.

Yes, unless a judge has specifically revoked your rights to do so.  You may attend meetings with teachers, go to Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings, etc.  You should always let your DCS FSW or YDC case manager know when you are invited to a meeting.  Any visit to a YDC should be coordinated with your DCS FSW or YDC case manager.  There are set days for visitation.

Yes.  The YDC is to use the IEP from the previous school to provide comparable services until an IEP meeting is scheduled to see if any changes are necessary.

In Tennessee, the State Board of Education has established minimum requirements for graduation, which can be found at the Tennessee Education website.

These are the requirements for students attending YDCs on-site school programs.  The DCS education can issue diplomas for students who meet graduation requirements while in these programs.

However, be aware that each public school system may add additional requirements to the State’s minimum requirements.  If your student leaves a YDC and returns to a public school (or changes public schools), it is always best to go to the new school’s website or contact your DCS FSW or YDC case manager to ensure that you know the exact requirements.

Yes, there are specific state and DCS requirements to be eligible to prepare and test.  Contact your DCS FSW or YDC case manager.  The Child and Family Team will meet to discuss this option. If your student qualifies, high school equivalency test can be conducted at the YDC.

It could.  Because each school system may add additional requirements to the State’s minimum requirements, your child’s may need additional credits.  If your child is a senior and must change schools, immediately contact your DCS FSW or YDC case manager.  Schools are most often willing to work with our Educational Specialists to come to a solution.

The student should schedule a time to talk with the principal at the school.  You should also contact your DCS FSW or YDC case manager to discuss what options will be available to your student.