MEMPHIS, Tenn. - When optional school applications are due, some parents will do whatever it takes to ensure their child has a chance at getting placed in their first choice, even if that means literally camping out for hours outside the Shelby County Schools Administration Building.
Optional schools focus on specialized learning including college preparation and international studies.
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University of Memphis Professor Esra Ozdenerol camped out last year.
"It was one of the best experiences I had," Ozdenerol said.
"I met with other parents. We came together. We wanted the best for our child."
Erica Guyton considered doing the same.
"This will be my first year. I was going to camp it this year, but if they change the process I won't have to," Guyton said.
On Tuesday, the district held a parent input information session where parents had the chance to voice their opinions about the application process.
SCS is considering three new online strategies:
- An 80-percent first- come, first-served and a 20 percent random lottery systems
- A 100-percent of available seats filled by random selection of all applications
- A 100-percent of applications processed first-come, first-served based on approved priority.
Parents had the opportunity to discuss the strengths and weaknesses of the options.
Parents said they hope the district can come to a unifying decision.
"I think we should come together as a community and decide what is best for our children," Ozdenerol said.
The next meeting will be Thursday at 6 p.m. at White Station Middle School.
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