Parents camp out for MCS optional school spots - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Parents camp out for MCS optional school spots

As Memphis and Shelby County schools look to reinvent education in the Mid-South some parents camped out and waited in line all weekend for their kids in hopes of landing a spot in one of the district's 44 optional schools. As Memphis and Shelby County schools look to reinvent education in the Mid-South some parents camped out and waited in line all weekend for their kids in hopes of landing a spot in one of the district's 44 optional schools.

(WMC-TV) - As Memphis and Shelby County schools look to reinvent education in the Mid-South some parents camped out and waited in line all weekend for their kids in hopes of landing a spot in one of the district's 44 optional schools.

For many, good parenting meant camping out on a cold January weekend in an attempt to secure a spot for their child to get in one of the Memphis City Schools' Optional Programs.

Open enrollment was held Monday morning at 6:30 at the city board of education, but many parents pitched their tents as early as Friday morning.

"Open enrollment is an opportunity for us to get our child or children into a school that's perhaps out of our district or zone area that's, you know, great TCAP scores, great opportunities, great education," said parent Lena Brown.

In addition to great TCAP scores and opportunities for students to get a great education, the MCS website claims optional schools give "parents choices in education... allow parents to tailor their child's education to best suit their needs, whether focusing on fine arts, college preparatory programs, or one of our four new theme-based programs."

Spots at those few schools are limited and they're given out on a first come, first served basis. That leaves many parents wondering why there isn't a better system for parents trying to better their child's lives through education than pitching a tent.

"I would say ‘Yes,'" said Brown. "But unfortunately right now, this is what we have to do."

MCS leaders say the optional program has expanded by nearly one dozen schools in the past four years and they did so with as much parent feedback as possible.

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