Parents in Chula Vista prepare to camp for kindergarten

Overnight lines have become annual tradition

CHULA VISTA, Calif. - Hundreds of Chula Vista parents are packing their camping gear all in the name of getting their children into kindergarten.

Camping out has become an annual tradition at several schools in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. Dozens of parents brave the elements overnight to guarantee their children attend the kindergarten class of their choice.

Monica Romo will join this year's line a little later Wednesday morning to get her daughter into Veterans Elementary School.

"I'm going to show up at 5:30, six o'clock in the morning," said Romo. "No, no not crazy camp out."

The popularity of Chula Vista Elementary School District kindergarten programs have grown the past few years, mostly the for their Spanish dual-immersion classes.

Space is limited, and so is the space in some schools located in the newer, growing neighborhoods of eastern Chula Vista. In the past, there was never a guarantee a kindergartener would be able to attend the school right across the street unless mom or dad camped out.

"Oh, I think that's a little too intense, but I guess they have their reasons," said Romo.

Two things will change this year, with one being the opening of a new school, Camarena Elementary School in Otay Ranch.

Chula Vista Elementary School District spokesman Anthony Millican said it would immediately relieve overcrowding.

Some of the 16 schools offering dual-immersion will also offer a lottery.

"So it doesn't matter if you're first in line to register or number 51 in line," said Millican.

However, not all of Chula Vista's schools will have that lottery, which means some parents will still have to camp out.

It's something Romo is reconsidering after 10News showed her how many people do brave the elements for kindergarten.

"Anything for my daughter to make sure that she gets what she needs," said Romo.

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