(credit: Chuck Schechner/KRLD NewsRadio 1080)

(credit: Chuck Schechner/KRLD NewsRadio 1080)

ARLINGTON (CBSDFW.COM) – Parents wanting to transfer their kids to a different school in the Arlington Independent School District began camping out at school headquarters today.

Officially, transfer requests won’t be accepted until Saturday, but parents like Alton Thompson showed up before dawn to be the first in line. “I worked it out with my employer and they’re good, and I have plenty of PTO, Paid Time Off,” he said.

This year the Arlington ISD opened up the campus transfer process and are allowing students to transfer from inside and outside district boundaries, but everyone requesting a transfer must live within the Arlington city limits.

Parents already lined up were there for a variety of reasons. Speaking of his kindergarten-aged son Thompson said he wanted the transfer because, “We’re trying to keep the same group of friends that he has from pre-school and from church.” University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) student Abby Dansilla is camping out for her younger sister. “Actually two of them,” she said, “One’s in kindergarten and the other one is in 4th grade. We want to switch them to Butler, it’s just closer to our house.”

When father Alex Seal decided it would be better if his junior high school-aged daughter went to a different campus not everyone was enthusiastic about the process. “I told her, ‘we have to camp.” And she thought she had to camp and she started crying. And I said, ‘no, I’m going to do that,” he said laughing.

Preferential treatment will be given to students who actually live within the AISD, meaning students residing in areas not zoned to attend Arlington schools will only be considered after in-district requests have been granted.

While some parents erected tents, the approaching cold weather isn’t a concern for Alton Thompson, who came in a camper trailer. “We got a generator so we’ll have heat for this,” he said.

Space for campers has been marked off in the east parking lot of the AISD Administration Building and each person must pay a $50 fee to be issued a camping permit.

Transfer requests made from individuals living within the AISD will be processed from March 2 to March 28. Parents making requests from outside AISD zoned areas will be notified in August.

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