KENNEWICK, Wash. - The first day of kindergarten is a big deal to kids and parents.
June said her son is excited, "Yesterday he was like, "Mommy, when do I get to go to big school?" He will have to wait.
There's no room for him at the closest elementary schools in their neighborhood. He's not the only kindergartner holding out for a spot, despite being registered over the summer.
June says she's confused.
She continued, "I was going to receive a phone call Friday, if not Monday, at the latest of when he was going to start school and what class he was going to have."
That was last week. She's still waiting. June didn't want to be identified. She asked me to talk to the district on behalf of her and other parents. KEPR asked what can be done to accommodate the kids still on the kindergarten waiting lists and not in the classrooms.
Lorraine Cooper, with Kennewick School District said, "Kindergarten is the trickiest thing for us to try to determine because we don't know the students are out there. Once they're in our system we know they're coming but if there are sibblings that haven't been registered or just new kindergarteners to the district then we kind of have to guess."
After Kennewick gets its official counts on actual enrollment, more spots could open up for students. If there are still no openings at their neighborhood school, a child would be bussed to the next closest school with an opening.
So what happens to kids like June's in the meantime? What challenges do they face by not starting the school year on time?
June is worried that her son will have a hard time adjusting after everyone else has already made friends.
"I mean, who wants to be that odd person out," she said.
This mom doesn't want her child to be cheated. "I want my son in school this week, not next week, not the week after," she said.
Until the schools have an accurate total on students he will need to stay home.
Overcrowding has been an issue in every district in the Tri-Cities. Kennewick has a ten-year plan to include building and expanding elementary schools. Also in the works, a new middle school.
You can read this plan for yourself here.