Fenger students consider transfer options

October 16, 2009 3:18:45 PM PDT
Chicago Public Schools will let students who are concerned about safety at Fenger High School transfer within the districtA letter going out to parents whose students attend Fenger explains that their children can now transfer to Carver Military Academy or three other CPS schools. Emergency transfers can occur within the CPS system, but this unique situation follows the beating death of Fenger student Derrion Albert.

"These are just options we're providing to those parents expressing concern," said Monique Bond, Chicago Public Schools spokesperson.

Bond said Fenger students will have the option of transferring to Carver Military Academy, Julian High School, Corliss or Morgan Park.

Carve is located next to Altgeld Gardens, where some of the Fenger students live. Some parents weren't interested in a mid-year transfer.

"He's not having any problems. He's getting straight A's and B's. He does not need to be transferred out," said Leatrice Jackson, Fenger High School parent.

"I don't think that's the answer. They got to find a way to keep all kids safe, not certain ones," said Maurice McConnell, Fenger High School parent.

Parents at Carver Academy said they want to make sure the transferring students would have to adhere to the strict codes of conduct and meet academic standards.

"If you set a standard...you allow the student to recognize there are some things you need to do then you have a better chance of having a better environment as far as the school is concerned and where learning is concerned," said Tonia Stigger, Carver Military Academy parent.

Carver students are accepted based on test scores, attendance and an interview. Bond said any transferring students will have to meet Carver's requirements and said circumstance will be considered during the interview in this case. She said a permanent solution to keep students near home will come next fall when a new charter school opens near Carver.

"That will exist. It's been talked about, it's been proposed, it's been discussed (at) many board meetings even before the tragedy, so there is a more permanent option that is Chicago Charter International School," said Bond.

It's too early to say how many students might be interested in transferring, according to Bond. She said Fenger is getting resources to help improve, so some might want to stay to see those through.

CPS recently added eight buses to the Altgeld Gardens to improve safety getting to and from school.


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