Newark parents line up overnight to register kids for kindgergarten

April 17, 2012 1:40:02 PM PDT
More than a hundred parents lined up outside a school in Newark have been there since 4:30 yesterday morning, All with one hope, to get their kids signed up for kindergarten.

Parents had to wait on line outside the Ann Street School for more than 24 hours to get one of those coveted spots.

This is one of the top public elementary schools in Newark, and parents tell us they'll do whatever it takes to get their children in.

"I'm tired, the chair broke my back, but I have a space for my son," said Zlina Kornsban.

Zlina and other parents emerging from the Ann Street School Tuesday morning were holding coveted manilla envelopes, proof that their children would go to school there in the fall.

"It's not easy, two days of work you're out and my kids are with my mom," said Luana Carvalho.

Parents described the sacrifices they made to stay in line. Missed work, paying babysitters to stay overnight, and the discomfort of sleeping outside overnight in a chair with no bathrooms nearby.

More than 3,000 children in Newark will go to kindergarten in the fall, but there's only room for about 150 at Ann Street, which is a national Blue Ribbon School.

Third grade standardized test results show 11 percent of Ann Street students are advanced in language arts, compared to under 2 percent overall in Newark. In math, 61 percent of Ann Street students are advanced, compared to 20 percent in all of Newark.

"My son is in kindergarten here and I see they are working hard with him, he's reading and doing math," said Christian Guzman.

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