Tuesday, November 14, 2000

Magnet sign-up goes smoothly


'Super Saturday' veterans like the new procedure

By Cindy Kranz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A new decentralized system made school shopping a lot easier Monday, parents signing up for Cincinnati Public Schools' magnet programs said.

        Parents could sign up children at the school of their choice for the 2001-02 school year. Times, set by the schools, ranged from a 5 a.m. start to evening hours.

        It replaces the old “Super Saturday” in February when parents didn't learn the locations of sign-up sites until they were announced that morning, or they cruised neighborhoods to find them.

        It was just a little more than a two-hour wait Monday for Cavoya Edwards of Bond Hill.

        She was No. 1 in line at Hughes Center, where she signed up her daughter. She arrived at 2 p.m. with a lawn chair and a T.D. Jakes book to pass the time until afternoon sign-up began at 4:30 p.m.

        “This is much better,” she said of the new system. “I'm just glad we didn't have to sit out in the cold like we did before.”

        A year ago, she hit the streets at 4 a.m. to register at a magnet school.

        Mary Ann Thompson of Westwood held place No. 6, also waiting to register her daughter. She arrived at 3:15 p.m. “This seems a little bit more organized — less wearing,” she said.

        Meanwhile, at Sands Montessori, about 30 families were in line at 6 a.m. After that, there was a steady flow all day.

        “I think it's a lot smoother this way, coming to the individual schools,” said Jenny French, Sands community affairs coordinator.

        Under the old system, there was one sign-up site for the magnet schools in each quadrant. Parents often stood in long lines with others seeking different schools. In some cases, they might sign up for five schools hoping to get accepted to at least one.

        “It seems, with this system, people have done their homework,” said Lisa Rollison, Sands school secretary. “They're making the trip here. They want Sands Montessori.”

        Applications will continue to be accepted at each school until slots are filled. Parents should call the school of their choice for more information.

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