Parents Camp Out For Spot at Optional Schools

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(Memphis) Some parents took a vacation day Friday to build a camp for the next four days to get their kid into an optional school.

Chris McAfee came prepared for the long weekend, armed with a tent, a heater, and skateboard.

“We brought a lot of things we might need,” he said as he laughed.

McAfee is just one parent trying to get his kid into one of Memphis City Schools 45 optional schools, “We all want the best for our kids.”

For McAfee that means doing what it takes to get his son one of the coveted spots to White Station Middle School, “Everyone that we know that goes there raves about and I'm glad we have that option.”

An option, at this point, that requires you camp out like its Black Friday.

“There are a lot of people that can't be here that want the exact same thing we want, you know, they're single parents or they don't have the luxury of a Friday off and can take it,” McAfee said.

Many parents are here securing spots, not sure what the system will look like next year as Memphis and Shelby County schools merge, but McAfee is hopeful that things will get better.

“I'd like to see a proliferation that we don't have to line up for one school that there are 10 schools that are equally attractive, but for now, this is what we got,” he said.

Applications will be handed out to those waiting in line at 6:30 Tuesday morning.

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