CPS gives Fenger students option to transfer

October 15, 2009 (CHICAGO) Chicago Public Schools says it will open enrollment at Carver Military Academy to accomodate students who want to leave Fenger.

It's a move that last week Mayor Daley said he was very opposed to.

With the national spotlight on Fenger High School since the beating death of Derrion Albert, C.P.S. and community leaders are open to ideas to calm the violence. And that means allowing kids who live closer to Carver High School but go to Fenger to apply to go back to Carver which is now a military academy.

"We will make some accommodations to allow for mid year transfers which is not normally done. But they will go through the same application, enrollment and interviewing process as students that currently go to Carver," said Robert Runcie, Carver's chief administrative officer.

C.P.S. has provided school buses for the student that is live in Altgeld Gardens since Albert's death. But many including Jesse Jackson that rode the bus say that's not good enough.

Alderman Carrie Austin has asked the board to allow the students back at Carver.

"For those kids' safety, if they're fearful of leaving their home to come down to Fenger, I can understand that," said Ald. Carrie Austin, 34th Ward.

Mayor Daley declined to comment on the subject on Thursday night but just last week hosted several meetings to look for solutions to the violence. At that time, he vowed that the board would not change school boundaries.

"The day when the city of Chicago decides to divide schools by gang territory, that's a day when we have given up the city," said Daley last week.

Parents and activists at a South Side anti-violence prayer service on Thursday night supported the move if it makes students safer.

The board will allow students to apply to Carver for the second semester beginning in January. They also plan to allow students another option next year when they expand a middle school near Carver to also include high school ages.

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