Charisse Tuell is a single mom with two kids in the Lansing School District. Lila, 12, and Liam 8, attend a Chinese language-immersion program at the only school in the district to not return to any form of in-person learning. A lot of kids in the Lansing School District will have to wait a little longer to go back to the classroom. Some students with special needs were set to return to in-person learning this week. Then the district pushed their start date to March 29, and on Wednesday, pushed it back again to April
Lansing citizens donated 30 acres of land about a mile from the Capitol, which was supplemented by acres purchased by the state. Located in the area bordered approximately by Pennsylvania Avenue, Saginaw Street, Marshall Street and Jerome Street, the school took in troubled youth with criminal histories.
The first student was enrolled Sept.
Enrollment a year later totaled 54 boys and 8 girls. After the 8th girl, it was decided to exclude young women for "obvious reasons. Originally the boys did farm labor in addition to their class work.
Gradually the curriculum was changed to vocational guidance courses with classes in baking, hand weaving, shoe making, printing, carpentry, painting and other trades. The final name was the Boys Training School. Inthe school held nearly juvenile delinquent boys.
It also housed orphans in the latter part of the 19th century, when boys as young as age 10 were admitted. The Boys Training School erected a fieldhouse inwhich also hosted circuses and later had bowling alleys.
The circuses were major events with elephants, clowns, acrobats, horses, riders, bears, ponies and more. Until the late s, most staffers were "cottage parents," usually a man and his wife, who lived with and managed a group of youth.
The wife often served as a teacher, nurse and foster mother. Later, more social workers, teachers and other professionals were added to the staff. At one time, a piece band associated with the school became famous throughout the state, but was phased out during the Depression.
Bythe facility had a capacity of The county and the state each paid half, except in cases where parents were required to bear a portion of the cost.
In the decade before the school closed inthe Lansing State Journal reported, it's leaders had taken steps toward modern rehabilitation, including eliminating marching and compulsory military courtesies around Portions of the original plot were sold over the years, including the land that is home to Eastern High School, Lansing Catholic High School and the East Village subdivision. The school also initiated a community-based cottage where older boys were placed in a more home-like atmosphere.
They worked jobs in Lansing and were allowed to come and go almost at will. In June ofGov. William Milliken announced that the year-old state-operated Boys School would close by the end of Januarysaying it was inadequate to offer modern approaches to youth services.
Some of the young men were ased to the W. Shortly before 9 a. For the first time in years, the institution at N. Pennsylvania Ave. Most of the remaining buildings were demolished in The only building remaining is the Don Johnson Fieldhouse, built inand renovated in Contact Vickki Dozier at or vdozier lsj.
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From the Archives: Lansing's reform school for boys. Vickki Dozier Lansing State Journal.