Dozens of Elk Grove parents camp in the rain to register kids for kindergarten

Fall of 2018 seems far, far away as the New Year begins, but now is the time for parents of future kindergartners to get enrolled.

Rain or shine, there’s no stopping these parents.

Dozens of parents braved the rain to camp outside Zehnder Ranch Elementary School in Elk Grove Wednesday night into Thursday morning, as they waited to register their upcoming kindergartners in the 2018-2019 school year.

Kindergarten registration began at 7:30am Thursday, but the first parent in line showed up to the school on Wednesday at 4 p.m.

“I was the first and only one in line, but this is my third child and my last child, so I figured if you’re going to go, you might as well go big,” Jay Zulueta said.

Zulueta said he showed up at 4 a.m. last year to register his other kid, and by that time, there were more than 80 people in front of him. So this year, he wanted to guarantee a spot for his youngest son in the transitional kindergarten class.

“Growing up, my grandma always told me that your education is your future, there’s nothing bigger than that,” Zulueta said. “So, if you can go and wait in line for a TV on Black Friday, why not do it for your kids’ education.”

The transitional class is for kids who will turn five years old on or between Sept. 2 and Dec. 2, 2018.

Zehnder Ranch Elementary School Principal Mechale Murphy said there will be eight kindergarten classes in the upcoming school year, including one transitional kindergarten class, which only has 24 slots.

“I'm not surprised, but I am surprised because it's cold and it rained, Murphy said, adding she arrived at the school shortly after 6 a.m. to let parents inside.

Other parents who camped outside the school said they wanted to make sure their incoming kindergartner was placed on the same track as their older sibling(s).

"It is our primary effort when we opened this school that we did not have any siblings that were separated – so if you plan well – it's easy to make sure families are together,” Murphy said.

Parents who picked up a registration packet at their home school had it dated and time stamped by school staff, and have until the first Monday in February to complete and return it.

© 2018 KXTV-TV


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