Prairie View parents camp out hoping for kindergarten spot

Prairie View parents camp out hoping for kindergarten spot

Camping out for kindergarten. That’s what parents are doing at Prairie View Elementary in the Mead School District.

Parents of next year’s kindergartners are waiting overnight in hopes of snagging a spot in class for their children.

There are only 80 spots available at Prairie View and parents say that’s why they’re willing to wait in the cold and rain for almost 24 hours to ensure their kid gets to go to school there.

On Tuesday evening, Kelly Moffatt was number 26 in line of parents waiting at Prairie View. She had a friend save her spot and came to the school directly from work, but she worried it still might not be enough to get her twin boys into the kindergarten class.

“I’m still a little antsy about it a little nervous, hopeful,” Moffatt said.

More than 50 parents camped out on Tuesday, with tents, sleeping bags, food, even games; some waiting for more than 24 hours.

“I’ve heard good things about the school and our neighbor actually told us about the camp-out when we moved up here last year, so we’ve been preparing,” Moffatt explained.

There are only 80 spots available for all incoming kindergartners. The Mead School District says that includes kindergartners with siblings already attending Prairie View. Those students will automatically get in, and for everyone else, it’s first come, first serve to get the remaining spots.

And the parents explained they feel camping is their only option.

“I don’t see how anything could be different,” explained parent Neil Michaud. “There’s a limited number of spaces, and there are more children than there are spaces, so as long as the competition is there, I think this situation will be here.”

But the parents said they are staying positive, hopeful their kids will get into their neighborhood school.

“I think it says a lot about the school and the program that parents are willing to do it and get them in for it,” Moffatt said.

The Mead School District says students who do not get into Prairie View on Wednesday morning will be bussed to other schools in the district, such as Farwell, and have the option of being put on a waiting list for Prairie View.