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Parents camping overnight in front of Lincoln school

Only 100 spots available for kindergarten next year at Lincoln Crossing Elementary School
By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Sleeping bags and lawn chairs lined the sidewalk in front of Lincoln Crossing Elementary School Monday afternoon as parents sat waiting to get their children into kindergarten next year As of 6 p.m. Monday night, 30 parents were lined up in hopes of being the first 100 to turn their kindergarten registration packets in, and they were planning on spending the night. “Registration starts at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday morning, and there are only 100 spots,” Elizabeth Cheairs said. Her husband Ross was planning on camping out until morning, so their daughter could be enrolled at the school. “Everyone had the same plan to drive by at night, to see how the line was, but there were people here at 4 p.m.” Cheairs said her husband would be sleeping in front of the school Monday night because the family lives across the street from the school. “I want her to go to her neighborhood school, which is in walking distance,” she said. Ross Cheairs seemed optimistic about his overnight stay in front of the school, and came prepared for his evening with a sleeping bag, hat, a pillow and some water. “It’s just overnight, so not bad. It’s not supposed to be too cold,” Ross Cheairs said. “I’ll probably doze off and on.” Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman said in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon that there are 100 spots for incoming kindergartners because of “current staffing ratios.” “There are limited slots, so I think they (parents) are concerned about getting them,” Leaman said. “The best we can do is taking them (registration packets) on a certain day. Children that do not get a spot in kindergarten at Lincoln Crossing Elementary School will have to attend an alternate Lincoln elementary school. Many of the parents The News Messenger talked to had children that lived very close to the school. “I live right across the street, and we moved to this city because of an opportunity for our kids to have a good education,” said Kenny Watts, who has two sons he is trying to get into kindergarten at the school. “It seems ridiculous with all the planning that schools are a second thought.” Jessica Dallas has a son who will be going into kindergarten next year, and she and her husband will be taking turns waiting in line overnight. “We live at a place where we can see the school, so it’s annoying that we have to do this,” Dallas said. “I understand, but I wish they’d get the other elementary school started.”