Parents of JCPS special-needs students concerned about relocatio - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Parents of JCPS special-needs students concerned about relocation

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Parents of more than two dozen special-needs students in the JCPS school district met Wednesday night regarding a letter some parents received while others did not.

The letter sent by Ken Moeller, the principal at the Phoenix School of Discovery, to parents of non-special needs students mentioned, “We will no longer have elementary students at the Phoenix.” 

Many parents of special-needs students became concerned they were not notified and wondered where their children would go to school.

A meeting was called Wednesday night, moderated by JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens, to address questions parents might have, including why they did not get the letter.

Hargens says it wasn’t sent to them because it was never a definite decision, and no announcement had been made, adding “We didn’t communicate well internally.”

Several parents raised concerns, including Christy Jenkins, who has an 8-year-old son with Downs Syndrome who attends Phoenix.

“They started talking about this back in September, and we just now found out about it in January," Jenkins said. "It's very disturbing."

The reason for the possible change is based on making room for the increasing number of English as a Second Language students.

Assistant Superintendent Katy Zeitz says even if the students were to be moved, there is no place for them to be placed.

“I can assure you, and I am going to say it again and again, I don’t even have schools you could if you wanted to potentially move to at this time,” Zeitz said.

Parents say that is part of the problem -- that the district should be adding instead of reducing.

Another concern many parents have is how their special needs students deal with change. Jenkins says her son needs to stick to a daily routine for him to be successful.

“Consistency and routine is key for these children, because that is just how they are able to function,” says Jenkins, adding her son loves attending Phoenix.

Hargens tells WDRB a decision whether the students will be moved will be made by the end of the week.

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