Fornits

Treatment Abuse, Behavior Modification, Thought Reform => Troubled Teen Industry.com - Program Website Division => Research Banditos => Topic started by: psy on November 28, 2008, 06:51:49 AM

Title: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 28, 2008, 06:51:49 AM
Here is a blank website:

http://www.midwest-academy-exposed.com (http://www.midwest-academy-exposed.com)

It needs content.

What I need the research team to do is to find data on staff, data on the program (origins, practices), testimonials, advertising, leaked documents, etc...  Anything and everything that exposes Midwest Academy to be the abusive fraud of a treatment center it is.  Once this information is gathered, the writing team can start analyzing and using the information to build a website on Midwest.  Finally, either myself or Kevin will come along and polish the website so that it will appear high up in a Google search for Midwest Academy.

This is your opportunity to help keep kids out of program.  I have no doubt you'll do us all proud.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 07:10:39 AM
on a quick search i found that it is 4,500 (close to it) for 1 month.

see http://http://www.troubledteenprograms.org/troubled-teen-programs/treatment-center-utah.html
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 07:14:23 AM
also at http://http://www.midwestacademy.net

here is the staff bio. there are pics on the web site but i am computer not compatible. so if you want to see them go to the web site.

Mr. James Posz has a Bachelor of Psychology from Iowa Wesleyan College and a Master of Social Work from the University of Missouri . He holds a current license in Social Work- Independent level from the State of Iowa Board of Social Work Examiners. He has had 34 years of social work experience in the public sector prior to joining the Midwest Academy staff in November of 2006. Mr. Posz offers a group on anger management and is equipped to offer groups in adoption related issues as the need arises. He also provides individual counseling to students as well as assisting with staff assessment of students who are struggling in the program.

Mr. Gary LaChapelle is a Certified Reciprocal Alcohol and Drug Counselor currently employed by Midwest Academy . He has earned his education through Southeastern Community College , Jacksonville University , and Auburn University . Gary has had 21 years of experience working in the public sector prior to joining the staff at Midwest Academy in June of 2004. Mr. LaChapelle provides individual counseling in addition to hosting chemical dependency groups.

Ms. Julie Dorothy is the newest of our resident counselors at Midwest Academy arriving this year. She has a Bachelors of Social Work from Mount Mercy College and a Masters degree in Criminal Justice and Social Work from Western Illinois University . Julie holds a Masters level license in Social Work from the State of Iowa board of Social Workers. Julie has 23 years experience working with children ages 8-18 in residential treatment.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 28, 2008, 07:22:09 AM
check your email, firstresponder
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 07:24:46 AM
here is their myspace page.

http://http://www.myspace.com/midwest_academy
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 07:34:24 AM
also from the towns online newspaper



"Student wrote on Nov 25, 2008 7:06 AM:
" This school is abusive and the actions behind the walls are horrific. I went there a few years back and thank god they are closing (if true). Those poor students. I can only imagine how much worse it has gotten. Evil Evil place. ""


http://http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2008/11/04/news/02.txt
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 28, 2008, 08:17:00 AM
anybody know where I might find a good picture of the school?  Failing that, google maps would do
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 08:52:49 AM
http://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title=Midwest_Academy (http://wiki.fornits.com/index.php?title=Midwest_Academy)

google map and article link about school not closing^
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 08:57:05 AM
ok i was looking through their pics here http://http://www.mwacademy.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=76

anyone else notice no one is wearing shoes??

must be an upper level privilege.


also go to the midwest web site i posted above and go to their home page they have some good shots on their slide show.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 08:57:35 AM
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maia-szal ... 38435.html (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/maia-szalavitz/abuse-history-no-bar-to-f_b_38435.html)

Maia says some stuff. not sure what as her site is blocked in China.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 28, 2008, 09:02:46 AM
Quote from: "firstresponder"
ok i was looking through their pics here http://http://www.mwacademy.net/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=52&Itemid=76

Can you copy all the pictures and email em to me.  I can't access their site.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 09:08:44 AM
ok i sent an e-mail lets see if i have learned anything from kev on how to do this.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 09:11:15 AM
Quote
3 Full time staff members at Midwest Academy including Howard V. were placed on the State of Iowa Child Abuse Registry in February 2006 as a result of an Iowa Department of Human Services Investigation of their actions towards at least one student who is my son. I believe this facual circumstance could be representative of the short comings of the entire organization. Make your own judgements. Interesting that Midwest Academy is not a licensed or registered school in Iowa. It exists based upon the homestudy program of the local Keokuk High School. You have to wonder what the connection between the local High School and Midwest Academy actually is.... And why. Midwest Academy exists because it is an unregulated facility in Iowa with no external supervision or licensing. Just ask for proof and you will find out just as I did. Don't take their word for it.
Just ask who the credentialed teachers and administrators are, how many credentialed or simply college degree carrying teacher assistants there are for the total number of students and you will learn pretty fast for yourself what this place is... "a warehouse for kids" owned by an organization that markets to desperate parents" is my opinion.

This quote bears further investigation^


It came off this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=11024&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Midwest+Academy&start=30 (http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=11024&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Midwest+Academy&start=30)

Not quite sure how to proceed on this one.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Che Gookin on November 28, 2008, 09:13:23 AM
Get ahold of Buzzkill and see if she knows anything. Can't imagine she doesn't know anything.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 09:16:49 AM
is there an external link to this like a news article?


Quote from: "Che Gookin"
Quote
3 Full time staff members at Midwest Academy including Howard V. were placed on the State of Iowa Child Abuse Registry in February 2006 as a result of an Iowa Department of Human Services Investigation of their actions towards at least one student who is my son. I believe this facual circumstance could be representative of the short comings of the entire organization. Make your own judgements. Interesting that Midwest Academy is not a licensed or registered school in Iowa. It exists based upon the homestudy program of the local Keokuk High School. You have to wonder what the connection between the local High School and Midwest Academy actually is.... And why. Midwest Academy exists because it is an unregulated facility in Iowa with no external supervision or licensing. Just ask for proof and you will find out just as I did. Don't take their word for it.
Just ask who the credentialed teachers and administrators are, how many credentialed or simply college degree carrying teacher assistants there are for the total number of students and you will learn pretty fast for yourself what this place is... "a warehouse for kids" owned by an organization that markets to desperate parents" is my opinion.

This quote bears further investigation^


It came off this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=44&t=11024&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Midwest+Academy&start=30 (http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=11024&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Midwest+Academy&start=30)

Not quite sure how to proceed on this one.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 28, 2008, 09:21:13 AM
Quote from: "firstresponder"
ok i sent an e-mail lets see if i have learned anything from kev on how to do this.
It works, but i'm not sure I want to use those (too positive).  I found a good image anyway.  I wanted something for the header image other than the default.  The Google map image worked out perfectly.  check it out:
http://www.midwest-academy-exposed.com/ (http://www.midwest-academy-exposed.com/)
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 28, 2008, 09:25:09 AM
Can a wwasp Survivor please contact the person in this post:
http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php? ... 30#p247051 (http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=11024&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Midwest+Academy&start=30#p247051)

I'd really like more information on that.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on November 28, 2008, 09:28:46 AM
message sent.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 28, 2008, 09:45:10 AM
Quote from: "firstresponder"
message sent.
Thanks

This one sounds like she is a survivor as well.  Can you pm her please with as well:
http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php? ... 15#p186998 (http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=44&t=11024&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&hilit=Midwest+Academy&start=15#p186998)

Thanks
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on November 29, 2008, 09:37:10 AM
Midwest Survivor Story:

http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost ... ostcount=7 (http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5149&postcount=7)

Stuff to follow up on:
http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost ... ostcount=4 (http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5232&postcount=4)
http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost ... ostcount=6 (http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5255&postcount=6)
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: hurrikayne on November 29, 2008, 10:02:47 AM
Quote
This one sounds like she is a survivor as well. Can you pm her please with as well:
http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php (http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php)? ... 15#p186998

I pm'ed this person...
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: kev (antiWWASP.com) on November 30, 2008, 06:45:33 AM
http://www.mwacademy.net/ (http://www.mwacademy.net/) - I noticed ol' Ben Trane hired a design team or has someone in house doing their development work. I'm not too worried though, they don't even know how to update Joomla's default meta settings in config.php.. Amateurs...  :nods:

keep up the good work folks... headed back to my forums now to post a thread asking for help in research of this topic.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Ursus on November 30, 2008, 09:10:23 PM
Okay, I'm going start posting some stuff now... Please keep in mind that some of this material, perhaps even a goodly amount of it, will be rehash of stuff y'all already know. My background is not WWASPS, and this is an educational foray for myself as much as it is research for this project. Due to some time constraints, I won't always be able to go to extreme lengths to check whether it has already been posted, so please bear with me... Hopefully some of it will be of use to everyone.

First, some early articles from Keokuk's Daily Gate City... It's pretty obvious that the locals rabidly welcomed the economic boost brought on by Midwest Academy setting up shop there.

This first article isn't actually about Midwest Academy. It's about Keokuk Mayor David Gudgel seeking re-election in the fall of 2003. He mentions bringing Midwest Academy's financial largese to the town as one of his selling points.

Color emphasis mine.

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Gudgel to seek re-election this fall (http://http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2003/08/19/news/news1.txt)
By Cindy Iutzi/Gate City Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, August 19, 2003 7:53 PM CDT


Bringing more economic development to Keokuk, fostering job stabilization and growth, and following through with pending development projects are what Keokuk Mayor David Gudgel is planning for Keokuk over the next two years.

He has decided to seek re-election to a two-year term as the city's leader and top cheerleader.

Gudgel said that in recent days more than 100 citizens have come to him, asked him to stay the course and asked him to take out papers to run. His answer to them - he did and he is.

"I really love Keokuk," Gudgel said Monday, announcing his candidacy. "And I feel that I and this council have unfinished business to complete for this city, both in the economic and job development areas as well as continuing to instill pride in the community and generating vital volunteerism efforts from its citizens.

"Already, more and more people are willing to step up and take ownership of their city, our city. I have no doubt in my mind that in the last two years we all have laid the ground work for a successful Keokuk future."

Despite the fact that the economic downturn has weighed heavily on the finances of Keokuk residents, Gudgel believes the city is on the verge of explosive economic growth. It may not be coming as quickly as he and area residents would like, but the growth of local business and industry is on its way, he said.

"Over the past two years I have signed several confidentiality reports regarding the plans and visions of private entities here in Keokuk that we are working on to complete and fulfill," Gudgel said. "I've always been a person who wants to see results yesterday, and it truly upsets me that the wheels of progress, especially in government, move so slowly. But I have no doubt that this office had a significant role in making the Roquette cogeneration project come about and that there are more good things to come."

Gudgel said the cogeneration plant will add jobs to Keokuk in the long term, and in the short term, aid in the stabilization of jobs already held by the local workforce.

Making a city and area more appetizing to business and industry also has been high on Gudgel's priorities, especially with infrastructure. He cited the successful spotlighting of Keokuk in the presentation of utility rate concerns with the Iowa Utilities Board, gathering momentum for a massive outcry at the Grand Theatre. He and others raised more than $100,000 in private donations to intervene with the utility board on Keokuk's and Lee County's behalf.

"And it was a successful fight," Gudgel said. "Our retail and commercial businesses in town received a decrease in utility rates and our industries received a 1.7 percent decrease, while all of our neighbors to the north received a significant increase. It's still not equitable, there is still a gap and it still is being worked on."

Midwest Academy is another feather in Keokuk's cap, with the mayor's office instrumental in keeping the residential school in Lee County, he said. When renovation of the building is finished, Gudgel sees a potential of 100 jobs for area residents. Additionally, the school is spending "hundreds of thousands of dollars in Lee County," he added.

Looking back over the Main Street reconstruction project, and the bumps in the road encountered during its completion, Gudgel believes the way the city handled the project is a testimony to "how we intend to handle the future Phase II - with an eye to do what's best for those who live on or have businesses along the way, doing what's best for citizens and the merchants."

With money the key ingredient for infrastructure projects, Gudgel said that other than garnering federal and state grants, the way to find money is to increase the tax base with new businesses and industries and an influx of new residents, not to burden those already living in Keokuk.

"Keokuk's future is always on my mind," Gudgel said. "We need to take our destiny in our own hands and step out, not hunker down in our bunkers. Other towns are out there competing mightily, and we need to be in that number - not coming out after the downturn passes and being worse off than we were before. We can't collapse in the corner, we have to come out fighting."
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Ursus on November 30, 2008, 09:59:47 PM
Here is the second article... Are they really accredited?

This one includes what a "typical day in the life of a Midwest Academy student" purportedly entails.

Color emphasis mine.

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School for troubled teens off to a good start (http://http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2003/08/26/news/news2.txt)
by diane vance /gate city staff writer
Published: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 4:53 PM CDT


There's a quiet, studious atmosphere in the building now known as Midwest Academy. Students are relaxed and friendly with staff and teachers.

Ben Trane and Brian Vaifanua, co-owners of Midwest Academy, the new boarding school in the former Charleston Place near Summittville, are excited and energized about building a new school from the ground up.

Opened this summer, the private school has 14 students, ages 13 to 17.

Renovation of the building continues, and Vaifanua, school director, says there will be the capability to house up to 200 students in the two-story structure.

Trane, assistant school director, said Midwest Academy employs 26 people, many coming from the local community.

Students, mostly from the Midwest region, apply for school here and undergo a screening process.

"We have a marketing firm we contract with," said Trane. "But mostly, it's word of mouth. Some students are referred here by other schools."

"Where we differ from other schools is giving each individual student the opportunity to excel," said Vaifanua.

"We have students who for one reason or another aren't doing well at home or aren't doing well at school and need a different environment."

The students at Midwest Academy are not students who have been in trouble with the law, he said.

"We have two components to the program - the academics and the home living," said Trane. "Some students stay a year, others stay until they've earned a diploma. The goal is to get them ready to live at home again."

The average student stay is 12 to 14 months.

"Students work with a computer curriculum," said Trane. "It's interactive and hands-on. Students can learn with audio, visual and kinetic ways of learning."

Each student has an individualized education plan, working at their individual pace and grade level in the group.

Midwest Academy employs one accredited teacher and two tutors.

"We are accredited with the Northwest Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities and are in the process of being accredited with Iowa," said Vaifanua.

All students enter the program at a basic level and earn privileges as they go.

There is a male wing and female wing and students don't intermingle. Sleeping, eating and studying rooms are contained in the wing.

Basic level students bunk together in a large room, with beds for 12 people. An adjoining bathroom with three showers is shared between a similar dorm room with 12 bunks.

Students wear uniforms all day, every day: The boys white polo shirts and khaki shorts or pants and the girls white blouses and plaid skirts with dark vests or sweaters.

"The boys make up one team or family and the girls another. Most all of their activities are separate except we do have a co-ed student council and some co-ed activities when we go into the community," said Trane.

The students function as a family unit and refer to the staff as dorm parents.

"We also incorporate personal growth and character building into our program," said Vaifanua. "Students watch inspirational videos and hear speakers. We host seminars and workshops. They are encouraged to read scriptures and self growth books. Some meditate. There is a couple hours a week of devotionals."

Vaifanua said a community pastor/reverend is invited in once a week to conduct devotionals.

"We're non-denominational here," he said.

A typical day in the life of a Midwest Academy student is: 7 a.m. wake-up, with half an hour prep time. Students have assigned jobs, including cleaning their living areas for a half hour followed by inspection.

Breakfast is at 9 a.m., with the girls and boys eating separately.

School begins at 9:30 a.m. with an hour of academics, then an hour of physical education. Students watch a half-hour video, then go to lunch, followed by another fitness period.

There's another hour of academics, followed by the group meeting where students have a chance to discuss what's going on with them, Trane said.

Then there is an hour emotional growth type video to watch and the fourth hour of academics before dinner.

After dinner is the third fitness period of the day with one more hour of academic study.

An evening snack, a time to write "reflections" and prep time concludes the day, followed by bedtime.

"This is the schedule six days a week," said Vaifanua.

Trane showed the activity/rec room, which included weights, a ping pong table, game table and large exercise balls.

"Students also follow videos doing yoga and pilates," said Trane.

Outside is a "dipping" pool (taller than a wading pool), a basketball hoop and volleyball.

"We're building a gym in back," said Trane. "It will be a full-size high school gym. It should be ready before cold weather arrives."

Students also get involved in community service activities.

"We had them help run the games at Keokuk's Fourth of July," said Trane. "Right now, with remodeling and landscaping going on here at school, it's kept them busy to work here."

"We took students up to Nauvoo and they helped park cars and watched a performance of 'City of Joseph,'" said Vaifanua.

Students also do their own laundry, clean their rooms and help with serving meals and meal clean-up.

Not all of the students' activities in the community have been work related.

"We've gone to the park at Fort Madison, the Rams Camp in Macomb and fishing at Pollmiller Park," said Vaifanua.

Students use local medical and dental facilities and have gone bowling and to the movies in Keokuk.

Parents can visit the school anytime and students can earn privileges to visit home.

"We're here because Lowell Junkins, Dave Gudgel, Jane Babcock and Chief Dobson did their homework on us," said Vaifanua. "Mike Hickey was also helpful. There were a lot of places we could have gone to start a school, but these local people really helped us out. They are the reason we're here."

Vaifanua, from the Samoa Islands, has helped build a school in the South Pacific and was assistant director at a similar school in Utah.

"I'm thrilled to be here," he said.

Vaifanua, his wife Angie, and five children live on site in a new residence built in front of Midwest Academy.

Currently, Trane and his wife Layani, who is the school's academic coordinator, live in an apartment upstairs at the academy, but will eventually move off-site. He has also worked in similar schools in southern Utah and Ohio.

The property is owned by Litchfield Family Partnership, which operates boarding schools across the country that provide a regimented routine and discipline for troubled teens.

Litchfield bought the former Lee County home for $500,000 in March. Midwest Academy rents the facility.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Ursus on December 01, 2008, 12:09:16 AM
A third article, this one has gotten more airplay. I think it might even have a link on the fornits Wiki, if I am not mistaken?

Is it typical for WWASPS programs to have the Litchfield Family Partnership be the entity that actually buys the property, with the program in question only renting from them? I seem to remember reading something of this nature some time ago, though I never quite wrapped my brain around it at the time... Jeez, this man must rake in the dough! The whole WWASPS setup is more akin to a feudal system (http://http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feudalism) than it is to your standard capitalist corporation...

This article reveals that not all of the students present in Midwest Academy's earliest days were naive to "the process." I am sure that it was deliberate to seed the first ranks with a sprinkle (or more) of individuals already duly compliant (culled from Dundee Ranch and Tranquility Bay, most likely).

Color emphasis mine.

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New school: 'Miracle on the Mississippi' (http://http://www.dailygate.com/articles/2003/08/28/news/news5.txt)
by diane vance /gate city staff writer
Published: Thursday, August 28, 2003 11:25 AM CDT


Lee County economic leaders, elected officials and contractors came to an invitation-only open house at Midwest Academy Tuesday evening to say thanks to the private boarding school for choosing to call the former Charleston Place home.

"You are our gift, a great investment in our community," said Lowell Junkins, executive director of the Lee County Economic Development Group, addressing the assembled group of about 30 area residents, elected officials and 25 of the academy's staff and students.

Junkins told the story of Ben Trane (academy's assistant director) traveling through Keokuk and seeing the "For Sale" sign at the old middle school on Main Street.

"Ben met with Mayor Dave Gudgel over a year ago and had already had conversations with Superintendent Jane Babcock," he said. "Jane is a great ambassador of Keokuk. By the time I got in the picture, the Keokuk people were already courting this school, hoping to keep them from going north. When the middle school turned out to not be economically feasible, the Keokuk group looked for another site."

Junkins went on to name a number of other people in the room who had been influential in getting the Litchfield Family Partnership to buy the property - Jim Hankes, former president of the Keokuk Economic Development Corporation; Police Chief R.L. Dobson; and Mike Hickey, current president of Keokuk Economic Development.

"We're lucky to have you in our community," said Junkins to the directors, staff and students. "The facility is here today only because a mayor said, 'I want this in Lee County if I can't have it in my community.'

"We have two mayors who think in global terms, allowing successes to occur," said Junkins, referring to Fort Madison Mayor Joe Kowzan and Gudgel.

"You were our catalyst to do this exciting regional thing," said Gudgel. "It has been an intellectual discussion, regional economic development. We knew it was right, but we hadn't done it. Then Ben showed up. And his team followed. This is the Miracle on the Mississippi."

"If we pull together, good things happen," said Junkins. "We're growing in the right direction."

Gudgel said he, Katie O'Brien, executive director of Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce, and Dobson split the stacks of references the school provided and they contacted various communities.

"We compared notes - they all said what a fantastic organization it is," he said. "And it brings money to the community. We were expecting - not wanting, but expecting - some negatives. We never heard any.

"Mike Hickey and I traveled to Des Moines, met with the state director of education, the state human services people, and convinced them to give this school the green light," said Gudgel.

He added that the academy is economic development for Lee County and will help the county in the future.

With 15 students, approximately 26 staff members and plans to grow to 200 or more students, the academy draws parents for visits and employs some local people.

Trane said he had been looking for a community with wholesome, family standards.

"Thanks to all of you who helped make this happen," Trane said. "It was a cold winter to remodel, but the warmth came from the local contractors. There is a great work ethic here."

Brian Vaifanua, director of Midwest Academy, said in the first five to six months of remodeling the building, the school has spent $300,000 on top of the purchase price with local contractors.

"We've also had 20 parents already visit, staying at local motels, eating in restaurants and flying in and out of local airports," said Vaifanua.

"The best result is having your trust, forming relationships," he said. "So many of you have opened your hearts and talents to us."

He said the school is about results, finishing the race.

"Continue to accept us," he said. "Not just the economic aspect. I have a responsibility to work with the staff and students. I look forward to working with the community. Midwest Academy is a place for change."

A video presentation compared before and after pictures of the facility from the time it was purchased to the renovations made creating separate boys and girls wings for living and attending classes.

"Feel free to get to know the students," said Vaifanua. "The best way to hear about the school is not from all the directors, but to hear from the students. They are the key to our success."

A handful of girls in plaid skirts, white blouses and dark vests took the women on a tour of the female wing of the school, which includes a library, group meeting room, dorm rooms and bathroom, a classroom, staff office and staff sleeping rooms.

The 10 boys, in dark slacks, white shirts and neckties, escorted the men through their wing, similar, but on the other side of the common dining hall, seminar room and directors' offices.

Students, ages 13-18, are referred to the private boarding school and live a regimented life with six status levels that must be earned in progression.

Many of the students currently at Midwest Academy, picked for their leadership, transferred from similar schools to help start this school.

Eva, 14, and Tiffany, 17, came this summer, one from a school in Costa Rica, one in Jamaica.

Eva, from Colorado, said she had entered the Litchfield school program as a seventh grader and now is working at the high school level as a junior.

Tiffany of the Chicago area is also a high school junior.

Both girls said while living in an exotic location was interesting, they were glad to be back in the United States.

In their previous schools, their self-paced study was from books. In Keokuk, the students have a self-paced computer program.

Both students were chosen to come to Midwest Academy because of their earned higher status, based on academic and behavioral progress.

The students showed folders in which their academic and citizenship progress is tracked. Students accumulate points for their work.

All new students coming into the school start at level one and have to earn the next level up to a six, which on average takes a year.

Infractions cost points. Category 1 offenses - rudeness or category 2 offenses - disrespect or a student out of the area they should be in - are demerits.

"There are consequences for our behavior," said Tiffany. "The higher category offenses - such as running away, using tobacco, having inappropriate relationships - can cost many points and bring a student back down to level one."

There are no privileges at level one. Students have no personal property available to them, have an earlier bedtime, etc.

Eva and Tiffany enjoy a separate dorm room from those of lower levels of status. They have a few personal belongings, including music, radios and photo frames on the dresser and are entitled to change from six days of uniforms (required for everyone) to wearing personal clothing on Sundays, which can be jeans and a collared shirt.

A dinner followed the tours.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: firstresponder on December 01, 2008, 01:59:06 AM
not sure if anyone else is near iowa but around here no one likes it when people get to protesting let alone just showing up and handing out pamphlets. now if we can get this web page up and running i would recomend sending a letter as well as a link to the des moins (sorry cant spell) news media. they may eat this up and than the town would look bad for having so much controversy. i can really see this turning to our advantage.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: kev (antiWWASP.com) on December 01, 2008, 02:27:29 PM
found a real program staffer statement which Jens of SPFT responded to actually way back when... i traced the ip address (whatismyipaddress.com) to the area around midwest, i believe this was an actual staff member that made the statement that follows... If nothing else we use it against them?

post came from username: MidwestAcademySTAFF who last visited the site on 08-23-2008
post contents (permalink) can be found here: http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost ... stcount=15 (http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=9874&postcount=15)
email of staff member: http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9874 (http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showthread.php?p=9874)
http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost ... ostcount=7 (http://www.antiwwasp.com/forum/showpost.php?p=5149&postcount=7)

this is the better user posted material... i'm still going to try PM'ing the few people who've attended to press for more info..
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on December 01, 2008, 03:34:19 PM
Quote from: "kev (antiWWASP.com)"
i'm still going to try PM'ing the few people who've attended to press for more info..

Please do.  There isn't much information out there about Midwest at the moment so my feeling is that most of the information gathered will come from former students.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Rusty Goat on December 01, 2008, 05:25:37 PM
I've noticed that the sites for these "academies" have started to show signs of acknowledging the surge of bad press and calls for accountability throughout the industry. Here's a excerpt... while it's not gone altogether, at least for now, they know they are being scrutinized like never before... :

"Boarding School for Troubled Teen is a big topic in recent news. Society is demanding that boarding schools for troubled teens be more transparent. We couldn't agree more. We believe boarding schools for troubled teens need to be more open to gain trust from its clients and society as a whole. The bottom line is getting troubled teens the help they need.

We want to get right to the point with this web site: The purpose of this web site is to get your teen the help they need. We offer help for troubled teens in the form of powerful and dynamic emotional growth programs. Both us and the schools we work with want your TEEN TO BE THE BEST THEY CAN BE."


Maybe we could do something like: The point is that you as a parent, in a most vulnerable stage in your life, must not be convinced that these kinds of places can actually help your child. Well documented research and reporting on these kinds of facilities tell of untold numbers of torn families, broken souls and hordes of problems sometimes leading to premature deaths from gross negligence and suicide.

RG
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Che Gookin on December 04, 2008, 12:55:25 AM
update?
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on December 04, 2008, 01:08:40 AM
Quote from: "Che Gookin"
update?
Kevin has sent out PMs to Midwest survivors.  I expect to gain most of the information for the site by interviewing them.  I need to check up with Kev to see if he has had any responses.
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: kev (antiWWASP.com) on December 04, 2008, 06:52:45 AM
the problem with that is the "school" profile field that is required for registration now on my forums... hasn't always been required... so yeah.. there are a whole 4 people out of 700 with "midwest" filled in that field... i searched the user-end for a while trying to dig, no luck there. and nothing on the PM's from these 4 peeps.. midwest is illusive, i've never been able to compile a whole lot, and this school on average has way fewer survivors showing up to share their stories.. strange. but it's a newer school, so the brainwashing hasn't started to wear off yet.

maybe darrington was logically a better choice? considering the pics you have at your disposal now... ;)
Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: Ursus on December 04, 2008, 10:53:23 AM
Quote from: "kev (antiWWASP.com)"
...and this school on average has way fewer survivors showing up to share their stories.. strange. but it's a newer school, so the brainwashing hasn't started to wear off yet.

Yup. They also seeded the starting line (http://http://fornits.com/phpbb/viewtopic.php?f=73&t=26230&p=320012#p319966) with well-washed/duly indoctrinated to make sure things got off to a "good start." When the "positive peer culture" is solidly in place, it takes a while for the tales of damage to trickle to the internet. Also, very few students thus far have been exposed to this place (re. a critical mass needed for people to feel free to speak up).

From the New school: 'Miracle on the Mississippi' article (August 28, 2003), color emphasis mine:

Many of the students currently at Midwest Academy, picked for their leadership, transferred from similar schools to help start this school.

Eva, 14, and Tiffany, 17, came this summer, one from a school in Costa Rica, one in Jamaica.

Eva, from Colorado, said she had entered the Litchfield school program as a seventh grader and now is working at the high school level as a junior.
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Title: Re: Project 2: Midwest Academy Exposed.com [research phase]
Post by: psy on December 04, 2008, 02:08:47 PM
Quote from: "kev (antiWWASP.com)"
the problem with that is the "school" profile field that is required for registration now on my forums... hasn't always been required... so yeah.. there are a whole 4 people out of 700 with "midwest" filled in that field... i searched the user-end for a while trying to dig, no luck there. and nothing on the PM's from these 4 peeps.. midwest is illusive, i've never been able to compile a whole lot, and this school on average has way fewer survivors showing up to share their stories.. strange. but it's a newer school, so the brainwashing hasn't started to wear off yet.

maybe darrington was logically a better choice? considering the pics you have at your disposal now... ;)

You might have a point, and so does Ursus.  How common are Darrington survivors?