Accountability, Privatization of Public Education, Vision: 2020

Dr. Hargens, Keep Your Promises! Keep Maupin a Public Waldorf School

To Dr. Hargens and others,

I came to the JCPS Board about the issues that we are dealing with at Maupin. I sat in front of them and I asked them, each of them, to fight with all their power for my daughter.  My daughter is a second grader at Maupin Elementary School. The school that was gifted or you may even say awarded the “School of Innovation” stamp just a little under 2 years ago. This year, we found out that gift that was so generously given to us, may be taken away.  You know Maupin, this school is in the West End of town.  This is also the same school, I as a neighborhood mom went to in grade school. I started there 3 years ago as a parent when the school had a traditional school feel, but then all of a sudden, JCPS came in and surprised us all by saying WE want Maupin to be our School of Innovation. And we are going to bring in this new and exciting program and everything will be grand.  This Pep Rally they pulled off was amazing, because guess what, the next year my daughter was there in attendance. The colorful walls and talk about teaching folklore and line dancing excited me a bit. Also, this Waldorf learning style and all these new teachers and staff members, made me, a resident of the west end proud of my daughter’s school.  We made it through the first year of transition and this year I thought this will be the breakout year, everything will be great!  And you would guess it, it was!  Kids seemed to be enjoying this new learning style and progressing through.  And then October 2016 hit, and my life has forever been changed.

Audit? What audit?! No one ever said the school would be audited! What do you mean 3rd-5th grade isn’t teaching Waldorf style?  What do you mean we are now a priority school, and what does that mean? Smoke and mirrors, no real answers, just wait on the audit results they all said. And then March 2017 happened, and again NO REAL ANSWERS!  Joe Leffert came in to help, but this problem isn’t his or Maria (the Principal at Maupin). It started well before they arrived on the scene and now we NEED your help.

Lately, I have attended your JCPS board meetings because like many in our community I was naïve to think that you would make sure my baby girl would be getting the education she deserves. She, along with her peers aren’t your experimental hamsters, they are kids who love coming to school.  They love Maupin Elementary, they love their teachers, and special area instructors, they are a family at Maupin.  They teach my kids day in and day out how to be a good citizen and how to show love and compassion for each other.  They have shown me how to be a better mom to my child and how to effectively teach my daughter so that her mind expands. OH and wait, they also teach my daughter academic things too, it’s not all tree hugging stuff.  Maupin is better because of the Catalpa School.  Maupin is better because of each and every one of those teachers and staff members who changed their lives to come into this community and teach these concepts.

It’s sad to hear that many of those teachers have already put in transfers to move to another school.  It’s even sadder for those kids who lives change many times a year.  Living in one house with family or without.  Losing family members to incarceration or by death.  Many come to Maupin with mental and emotional issues that make me cry just thinking about it.  And you feel that it is okay to shake up their worlds again.  To just give up and throw in the towel.  To say that this Waldorf style just doesn’t work and no need to press forward. How would you feel if every JCPS student did that said “It’s just too hard, I can’t do it”?  You’re quitting a program that has barely even gotten off the ground, has barely been even given a chance to grow.

Next year you want to spend $400,000 on a Deeper Learning Program.  Dr. Herring, add Maupin to your list of deeper learning schools.  Devote some of that money there to help them build this program up, like I was promised you would 2 years ago.  Instead of hiring more folks take that money and put it into making JCPS better.  Fix the issues, devote your dollars to keeping your word. We have JCPS senior classes setting up Gofundme pages to pay for senior prom, how about put some of that 400K there? I want to have a voice and choice for my daughter to attend the public school Waldorf program at Maupin Elementary.

I do believe that at this time, I don’t know who to trust with my daughter’s education.  Are you telling me that maybe I was wrong to call my state representatives and denounce Charter Schools? Because you have me feeling like maybe, just maybe, a Waldorf style Charter school is the way to go. Again I am asking you to HELP US!!!  We are neighborhood moms who love the teachings of compassion, self-value, and good citizenship.  How great would it be to have 400 little ambassadors walking around Louisville spreading the news of good citizenship and compassion?  Think about all the murders that happened last year, you have a program at a West End Elementary School that could curb that.  My little 7-year-old is praised often because she won’t stand for anyone in her class to be bullied.  She speaks up, and she is not alone.  Ask other parents at Maupin how this program has helped them with parenting their kids and helped with deal with trauma in their own lives.  TALK TO US, THE PARENTS AT MAUPIN!!! Most Importantly DO SOMETHING NOW!!!! Don’t let us down! Don’t let these kids down!!

Carla Robinson
Maupin Parent


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