Manierre staff, parents rejoice after school spared from closure - FOX 10 News |

Manierre staff, parents rejoice after school spared from closure

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

After a long and heated board meeting, schools chief Barbara Bryd-Bennett told parents and teachers, they're shutting down 49 elementary schools. Five schools were saved and will remain open.

Parents at Manierre on the North Side are pleased that their school will remain open. They say it's not just about the learning that goes on in their school, it's more about safety. The welcoming school would have been on the other side of division and parents say that's where the learning would end and the fighting would begin.

"I think it's a good thing," says parent Dominique Stephenson. "I think was a great thing because now the kids don't have to travel out of the neighborhood to go to different schools, they can stay right in the neighborhood."

And at some CPS schools, parents and teachers spend as much time worried about their child's commute as they do reading, writing and doing arithmetic.

"We have a long way to go and we're going to move forward and we're going to do a good job," says parent volunteer Karolyn Harris.

When CPS first released its list of schools slated to be closed, there were 54. Manierre was on the list because its test scores are low and attendance at the North Side elementary school is down.

The proposed welcoming school was located on the other side of division. Parents say rival gang members have already warned others to be careful while walking your child to and from class.

"It's the kids. It's the families. It's the community. It's the network," says Manierre teacher May Dubois. "To throw that all away and pull us apart like that....that would have been horrible and ask these kids to cross Division and Claybourn?"

Marcus Garvey Elementary School, Mahalia Jackson and Ericson will also remain open. Parents say the rallies, marching and protesting worked. Now, they add, they all have to perform.

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