Parents camp out overnight for transitional kindergarten enrollment

Local News
Data pix.

CARMICHAEL, Calif. (KTXL) -- A group of parents camped out overnight, some for nearly 24 hours, to enroll their children in transitional kindergarten.

The San Juan Unified School District's transitional kindergarten, or TK, allows kids to start a public preschool program if they turn 5 between September and December.

"We got here at 8 p.m. thinking we were going to be early, and I think we got number 21, 22 in line," parent Kris Schwartz said.

The first person arrived at noon Monday for enrollment at 8 a.m. Tuesday. Schwartz was one of those parents in a tent. Others spent the night in reclining chairs.

They were all trying to get the first shot at TK slots at one of 14 schools in the district.

"I got here at 6 last night to help my sister but she needs to hurry up because I’m freezing and ready to go home," Rodney Trishell, holding a spot for his sister Kemisha Davis, told FOX40.

Temperatures in Carmichael dipped into the mid-30s overnight into Tuesday morning.

Some parents told us their main goal was getting a school close to home, or getting into a program where their other children already go to school. Davis wanted to get into one of the few schools with an all-day class schedule.

"There's only 26 spots in each of the three schools," Davis said. "So, to get them in a full-day, you have to get here super early."

The parents camped outside of the district office are the ones who were able to find childcare and fit the wait into their work schedules. District Superintendent Kent Kern told the crowd they hope to improve TK enrollment, ideally cutting down the need for a first come first served, in-person signup process that can put families without the resources to show up hours early at a disadvantage.

The district says that while certain schools fill up for TK, there is typically enough space at other campuses to accommodate all students.

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