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Human Services touts Eldora Training School improvements -Says action was also taken at Toledo Juvenile Home / Training School

June 25, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Educational improvements have already been made and more are underway for the State Training School for Boys at Eldora. The Iowa Department of Human Services, which oversees the operation, said in a news release issued on June 16.

Outlined are a number of steps which have been taken or are planned to improve special educational services. A detailed plan has been filed with the Iowa Department of Education for the Eldora facility.

The news release says, in part, "Following a special education review of the Iowa Juvenile Home (IJH) in Toledo last fall, Eldora's special education program immediately identified areas of improvement and began implementing changes to its special education services."

Article Photos

The now-closed Iowa Juvenile Home - State Training School for Girls in Toledo.
Chronicle file photo

The Chronicle asked the DHS which also was in charge here, "Were any of these improvements also implemented at the Iowa Juvenile Home / State Training School for Girls in Toledo?"

In an email response from Amy Lorentzen-McCoy, DHS public information officer, it was learned: "The department immediately began working with the Area Education Agency 267 to make the recommended changes to the special education program at the Iowa Juvenile Home. This included training for special education and general education teachers, reviewing IEPs and examining transitional services."

Evidently these steps were not enough as the Juvenile Home/ Girls Training School was shut down on orders of Gov. Terry Branstad and DHS Director Charles Palmer on Jan. 15.

Fact Box

online Poll


What use should be made of the

Iowa Juvenile Home campus in Toledo?

1) Return to previous operations 45%

2) Find alternative -33%

3) Tear down- 13%

4) Uncertain- 9%

The online Poll is not conducted by scientific polling methods, but affords one way to gauge public opinion.

The Toledo institution came under fire from Disability Rights Iowa following an investigation in which it claimed some students at Toledo were not receiving proper educational opportunities in violation of education laws. It was also contended some students were being kept in quiet rooms in violation of their rights.

The Governor and DHS has contended the Juvenile Home / State Training School was shuttered for the well-being of the students.

More than 90 employees lost their jobs leaving Toledo without it's largest employer.

Attempts by The Chronicle to discover what plans state officials have for the 27-acre campus have been met only with a statement that the outcome "will be for the best interests of Toledo."

Meanwhile a Polk County District Court order for the Toledo facility to be reopened awaits a decision by the Iowa Supreme court on appeal by the Governor and DHS.

Ongoing at the campus is removal of the physical contents of the buildings and the presence of the Iowa State Patrol.



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