Parents roughing it to enroll their kids in magnet school - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Parents camp out in cold to enroll kids in magnet school


A group of parents have set up camp on the lawn of the Fairview-Clifton German Language school so they can be among the first to get on the enrollment list.

The school has only 28 open enrollment slots and enrollment isn't until Nov. 14.

Since last Friday, several parents and even some of their children have been lining up, much like people waiting for the latest iPhone or tickets to see the President.

The parents are sacrificing their time and comfort for a greater cause.

The lawn of the school may look like a tailgate party, but the folks camped out at the Fairview-Clifton German Language school are all business about their children's education.

John Sherrard says a good education is a priority. "It's extremely important. This school is one of the best schools in the city."

The latest state report card proves it. The Fairfield Clifton German Language school boasts a 103.4 performance index while 3rd grade math and reading scores were above the state average and far above the district. Its an impressive record. That's why Sherrard says he doesn't mind roughing it for awhile. 

"I always thought it was kind of silly to stand in line to get your kids in school....until I became a parent," he said.

Arden Steffen is the parent of four year-old twins. One won a spot through the enrollment lottery, but the other twin didn't so Steffen says she's willing to wait in line to see both girls get in.

"We just really feel like this is the best school in Cincinnati public schools and we really do like the language component too," she said.

Rodrigo Coronel of the West End says he didn't think twice about it. "Once you have a kid you are no longer yourself, your life becomes your kid's so you have do this kind of sacrifices in order for him or her to be better in life."

Coronel and his wife say they're glad to make the sacrifice, but keeping a place in line 24 hours a day takes some planning. "My wife is going to take some time off, I'm going to take some time off. She comes and picks me up in the morning, I drop her in the afternoon and then I stay over at night."

Ronida Price of Colerain says the waiting is easier when there's good people to keep you company. "To me people like really shows me that this is what I want my children to be around."

"We're able to meet the parents that our kids will be going to school with and this school is a community and they expect a lot from the parents and that's what makes this school so good," said Sherrard. 

The first come, first serve system has come under fire from those who say its unfair, especially by parents who can't afford to leave their other responsibilities to wait in line.

The school won't allow the camping during school hours so the tents have to be down by 9AM Monday. The parents or their designates must wait on the sidewalk during the school day to keep their places in line. After 5pm the camping can resume.

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