School Choice Announcements Blow Up Internet

internet blows upWithin the last week, most Stapleton residents who had a first-time kindergartner found out what school their kindergartner had gotten into. For some, it was the news they had hoped for and expected. For others, it was a nightmare. “We did not get into our first choice,” says parent Krista Mitchell. “We applied for Swigert which is the closest school to us, but ended up getting into High Tech Elementary. What are we going to do now? I am already writing emails, letters, and contacting everyone I know to get this changed.”

Mitchell isn’t alone. “I immediately called the school, and have left several messages without hearing back,” says Scott Clark. “We applied for Isabella Bird based on their advanced teaching techniques. But, we are now at Bill Roberts. Seriously? Bill Roberts? So, we are going to fight this until the end.” Thousands of other parents posted their joy or sorrow on personal Facebook pages, as well as community sites such as Big Tent, Stapleton Swap, Next Door, and anywhere else they could gloat or complain. In fact, Century Link says that Internet usage in Stapleton went up almost 400% in the three days after most people received their announcements. “We had never seen a spike like that before,” said Century Link representative Blake Johnson. “Even during major crisis such as wars or weather alerts, nothing like that. It was really incredible. Slowed our systems down quite a bit.”

Some parents are obviously taking the news pretty hard. In fact, many parents are canceling playdates with parents who got into the schools they were trying to get into but didn’t. Amy Miller is one example. “Our daughter is good friends with another girl, but now that they will be going to different schools, I don’t see any reason they need to try to continue their friendship,” says Miller. Some other parents have taken a lighter approach, creating tee-shirts poking fun of the situation. “We are selling shirts that read, ‘My kid got into Swigert and yours didn’t,’” says humorist Keith McDermott. “Some people are actually getting mad. Can you believe that? Dude, they’re all good schools. Relax.”

There is still some shaking up that can happen, so DPS is urging Stapleton residents to not call DPS quite yet. “We want people to at least hold up until the wait list is all sorted out,” says DPS spokesperson Kelly Geary. “Also, please remember that these are all good schools your kids are going to, and after September next year, you will be telling everyone how lucky you are because surely the school your child is in is the best. Sit back, have a cocktail, and look at the big picture.”

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