Open enrollment for the 2014-2015 school year at South Dakota's Public Schools began Monday, with parents lining up as early as 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
This year, more than 4000 students open enrolled in the Sioux Falls School District; 938 of those students enrolled from surrounding communities like Tea, Brandon and Harrisburg.
Other parents have different reasons for seeking schools outside the school district's set boundaries.
Due to recent school boundary changes, some expected to see more parents seeking open enrollment to avoid changing schools; however, most parents waiting in line Monday morning said they were open enrolling for convenience, trying to have their children go to a school that is closer to their home, work or daycare. Other parents are trying to get their children into a specific school for specialized programs or services.
"I think every school has their own personality so to speak," District official Sue Simons said. "We have an A+ art school -- that's Eugene field -- and so we might have a family that wants to go that direction. In elementary school of course we have the Spanish immersion program, we also have the global studies program at Rosa Parks, Lowell is our Math Science Technology School so we have some specialized schools and see people open enrollment for that purpose."
These specialized programs or convenience issues are enough to send many parents waiting in line in the cold for hours before open enrollment begins, just to ensure they get the first available spot.
"We literally have a time and date stamp to the minute as to how applications are received, so if you have a high school student, we take them and we put them in line, once we have them all put together, if a class closes in size, then we do look at that time and date stamp, so some folks want to be here to be that first stamp," Simons said.
Public schools across the state will continue to accept open enrollment forms throughout the school year.
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