GRAND PRAIRIE - Dozens of North Texas parents camped out overnight Thursday in Grand Prairie, armed with tents, blankets and folding chairs.
By Friday morning, they wrapped around the Grand Prairie Independent School District's Education Center on South Belt Line Road. Their goal was to hold their place in line for the school district’s open enrollment.
For parents who are looking for specific schools and programs for their children, staking a place in line puts them higher on the priority list. This is the second year Grand Prairie ISD has held its open enrollment, also dubbed “Schools of Choice.”
Because it’s an open enrollment district, students don’t have to live in Grand Prairie to choose to attend a school there. News 8 talked with one parent, Brian Hendryx, who said that pulling an all-nighter waiting in line is worth it to make sure his 5-year-old gets in the school they think would be best for his education.
"The arts have always been important to my wife and I," he said. "I'm an architect and she is an interior designer. Just exposure to the arts is important, and P.E. every day is also a pretty big selling point to us."
Tents, chairs and coffee cups could be seen early in the morning lining the school district building.
Because it's an open enrollment district, students don't have to live in Grand Prairie to choose to attend a school there.
"We live in Arlington," said one parent. "The school in our area is not really a good quality school, and then I got information we could transfer to Grand Prairie, so here we are."
Michelle, who did not give her last name, was huddled under a blanket, along with other parents, as early as 1 a.m.
"We are crazy, but it's good crazy," she said.
Applications will be accepted at the district's Education Center on South Belt Line Road from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m.
Schools of Choice include Dubiski Career High School, Garner Fine Arts Academy, Bonham Early Education Center, Crockett 5th Grade Center and Crosswinds High School.
Programs of Choice include The Center for Law and Public Safety at Grand Prairie High School and tuition-based Pre-K. Programs coming soon include The Fine Arts Academy at Reagan Middle School, The Fine Arts Academy at Grand Prairie High School, and The South Grand Prairie High School Center for Sports Medicine.
Preferred Programs of Choice in the District include Culinary Arts, Engineering, Automotive and Cosmetology.