Parents battle cold, long lines to ensure spot in choice school

Nowadays parents will do anything to ensure that their children get into a top-rated school, even if it means camping out for hours to attend registration. This was true in states across the country this past week as parents fought cold temperatures, long lines and long waits for a chance at their choice school.

Parents arrived days ahead of registration at Shelby County Schools in Tennessee. School officials handed out placeholders a few days early to keep parents from waiting outside in frigid temperatures.

Parents are relieved not to have to wait in line in the cold, but say even if they had to, it would be worth it to ensure that they got into the optional school program.

In Pennsylvania parents camped out in their cars in front of the School Lane Charter School in anticipation of registration for the 2014-2015 school year. The charter school opened in 1998 and was the first charter school in Bucks County and the first k-8 charter school in the state. Jennifer Enoch arrived at the school 6 hours before registration.

"We are cold and I'm trying not to use too much gas and I'm trying not to use too much battery. Occasionally we turn the car on and then we'll just turn it off and bundle up here."

Even though the temperatures are frigid, she says she does not regret the decision.

In Chandler, Arizona, around 70 parents camped out all weekend hoping for a chance to enroll their children in Chandler Traditional Academy-Independence Campus. Families brought chairs, sleeping bags, tents, and in one case a motor home to help make the weekend more bearable. Peter Lee was one of parents who camped out; he got in line Friday afternoon.

"Chandler has great schools, but CTA brings not only the great teachers, but a great principal and great parents. What I like about it is having multiple, diverse people."

Enrollment in the school is first come, first served and space is limited, and the district office also had a line of parents waiting to enroll. The school has a "10" rating on the website, and one parent review on the site reads:

"This is an A+ school with advanced curriculum, high standards and structured learning. The children are not only taught at an accelerated level, they are also taught respect and discipline. Awesome teachers, staff, great principal, volunteers make CTA-Independence the greatest learning environment. "

Why would parents wait for hours, or in some cases days, just for a school registration? David Lee from Chandler was asked that question and his answer was simple: "Because you love your kids," he smiles. "You want the best for your kids."

02 2, 2014
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