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Many education meetings reported for former Iowa Juvenile Home / Girls Training School students

July 5, 2014
By John Speer - Editor ( , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

"Nearly 200 meetings" have been held to form a plan for providing compensatory education to former Iowa Juvenile Home / State Training School for Girls in Toledo The Waterloo Courier reported on Wednesday, June 25.

The actual number of meetings was indeed close to that. It was confirmed To The Chronicle a total of 185 had been held by Department of Human Services Public Information Officer Amy Lorentzen-McCoy.

Education shortfalls were alleged in an investigation by Disability Rights Iowa, a federally funded, non-profit attorney organization which conducted an investigation at IJH last year. To make up for the reported deficiencies in education, compensatory education is apparently to be provided.

Article Photos

Iowa Juvenile Home / State Training School for Girls campus in Toledo.

Chronicle/John Speer

The Juvenile Home / Training School were ordered closed on Jan. 15 by Gov. Terry Branstad and DHS Director Charles Palmer, based partly upon the education shortfalls

Lorentzen-McCoy explained what has been going on in an email response to Chronicle questions: "(The) DE (Department of Education) established the process to identify compensatory education needs. Each student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) while at Toledo was reviewed to determine whether there were categories where gaps may exist."

The meetings involved DHS staff, Area education staff, students, and parents, guardians and students. Disability Rights Iowa was represented at one of the 185 meetings at the request of the student / family, according to Lorentzen-McCoy.

Disability Rights Iowa conducted an investigation of IJH / Girls Training School at Toledo and its findings were a basis for closing the institution in January.

The Courier news story reports "about two dozen" students did not participate "for a variety of reasons."

Near the time of the closing there were about 20 students left on campus.

The facility was licensed for 54 and had less than 40 when hearings were held on the site in August of last year.

Lorentzen-McCoy said the meetings were held to address special education needs for 92 IJH students.

She said the Department of Education has determined the compensatory education for those youth whom are eligible must be delivered by Dec. 20.

In 2013, services at IJH included remedial, vocational, general, special, and post-secondary education. Youth could receive their GED, high school diploma and vocational training. 11 percent of staff were educational, and staff met the qualifications for their designated positions.



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