Shelby County parents brave rain, cold weather for optional scho - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby County parents brave rain, cold weather for optional schools sign up

Parents have camped out since Wednesday. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) Parents have camped out since Wednesday. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

Rain or shine, hundreds of parents spent days camped out at SCS headquarters.

"I'm waiting in line to get my son into a great school," said parent Seth Agranove.

Agranove set up shop Wednesday, and he's had plenty of company.

"It's my kid's education," added Agranove. "I think any parent would be in the same spot."

Parents are hoping to get their kids into a Shelby County Optional School.

This year, there is a big preference for White Station Middle School and STEAM Academy.

"As long as there are not enough schools, not enough grade schools, we're going to stand in line," said Agranove. "Because nobody wants a lottery, we're not gonna gamble on our kids education and future."

By nightfall, the group holds an official roll call, going down the list of more than 170 parents.

Relavonna Jones was the first for Colonial Middle.

"Oh goodness, we really have to do this? But we're in it forever so we're going all the way," said Jones.

It's a question many parents are asking-- why all this effort?

Jeffrey Huntley started camping out Wednesday and says that's how it's always been.

"They've done it for 30 years this way," explained Huntley. "My father-in-law did it 25-26 years ago to get my wife into White Station Middle then."

Still, SCS says camping out isn't necessary.

Last year, 99 percent of qualified students made it into their optional school choice on day one.

But that just isn't enough assurance for these parents.

"We;re out here because we support public education. We're out here because we support Memphis," said Agranove. "We want our kids to have the best opportunities. If we thought that the county schools and these new municipalities were better we'd be out here, but we don't. We believe in what we're doing."

Click here to read more about SCS's Optional School program.

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