Parents camp out for weeks to get children enrolled - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Campers brave the elements at several CPS magnet schools

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CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) -

The weather has been putting a wrench into the campouts at several Cincinnati Public School magnet schools. Parents have been braving the elements for nearly two weeks, and for the most part, mother nature has cooperated.

Between Sunday's storms and last week's snow, the parents camping at the Fairview-Clifton German Language School have stuck it out through everything.

A campfire on the front lawn of the school has become the centerpiece of what's become a small village for these parents trying to get their kids enrolled.

"I had my car all packed up for weeks ahead of time, ready to go. We knew this was coming," said Lynn Warner, a Northside resident who has been camping.

Making the front lawn home for these two weeks is just what these parents say they have to do.  But, is this the best way to get your child into school?

"I don't know if you could say it's a good idea, but it's the best idea there is right now. I don't know that there is a better alternative," Warner added.

There are 21 magnet schools in the CPS school system. At the Fairview-Clifton German Language School, there are 35 open spots, with some going to a lottery. 

That's why people are camping out, despite the school actually discouraging the practice.  

One man who has been relieving his son from his camping duties from time to time says no matter what, this is worth it.

"I came into this pretty skeptical of the process, and whether that time was well-spent, but I think it really establishes a good beginning for that class," said Steve Hoekzema of Fairfield.

Because of that, these people wouldn't let snow or storms force them out either.

"We didn't have to leave. We had to get the tents up just because we didn't want them to blow away. We packed up all the wet tents, and luckily the principal was nice enough to call the superintendent to ask permission for us to stay in the cafeteria," said Bem Itiavkase of College Hill, who is also camping out.

For some, heading home to wait out the storm just wasn't in the cards, either.

"We had some shelter, so it's been, really, not that bad," Warner said.

FOX19 then asked her, "Never an option for you to pack it up and say I'll come back in the morning?"

Warner replied, "Never an option. No. Never."

Magnet schools will start taking applications this Wednesday, November 20.

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