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Storms Scatter Magnet School Signup Campers
CINCINNATI (Joe Webb) -- Sunday's storms scattered the parents camping out for Cincinnati Public Schools' magnet school signup day.
But they were back in their tents Monday.
"Luckily we had a couple of options between the mosque and the school to seek refuge. Now were back at it and well be camping tonight," said Brian Stephens who is camping outside Fairview-Clifton German School in hopes of landing a kindergarten spot for his daughter Cora.
Stephens is one of about 50 families camping out for 35 spots opening next fall at the school. Stephens and many others have been camping out for 12 days.
Signups start at midnight Wednesday morning.
Cincinnati Public Schools doesn't encourage the camp outs, but accepts them as a fact of life. The district was monitoring Sundays weather closely.
"So we did decide we could bring the parents inside at a couple of locations and open the auditorium," said Schools spokesperson, Janet Walsh.
At one location, they ultimately went into a nearby church.
That was at Sands Montessori where a couple dozen families have also pitched tents. They were also back in place Monday morning.
Cincinnati is one of the last places where signups for popular schools are first-come/first-served. School administration recommended a lottery for all magnet school placements but the school board rejected the idea two years ago. They crafted a compromise where 30% of the spots in popular magnet schools are filled by students slated to attend the districts lowest-performing schools. Those spots are filled by a lottery.
Sundays weather scare put a spotlight on a downside to the camping tradition. But its not likely to stop it.
"I don't think the administrations preference has changed since the last time we weighed in for the lottery," said Walsh. "But on the other hand, bear in mind our parents are the biggest advocates for the current system. So those voices would also need to be heard."
Monday, Kaine Magdalen, who is camping for a spot at Sands Montessori, shared his thoughts on the annual school encampment.
"If it was just a lottery people would say its unfair. If it was all first-come/first-served, people would say that's unfair. I don't think there's any system that's going to be fair for everyone."
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