Dozens of LRSD parents in the dark about where kids will attend school Monday

Parents walk through the doors to the Little Rock School District registration office on Sherman Street on Friday, hoping to get their child's school assignment for the upcoming school year. (Photo: KATV)

Several parents left the Little Rock School District registration office on Friday with more questions than answers.

"Just got told that their computer system had been down and now they don't know when my son can start school," vented Ashley Emerson, waiting for an assignment for her son who's transferring into the district from North Little Rock.

Emerson said parents have been sharing their frustrations with each other waiting in line.

"They've said a lot - a few words you can't say on television," joked Emerson. "Everybody's very frustrated with Little Rock this year. I'm not saying it's their fault, but I'm saying that if it happened throughout the summer I feel like it should have been already fixed."

The computer system Emerson is talking about is the district's Gateway software which now requires all parents to register their students through an online portal. The software, which is run by the state, was shutdown for upgrades over the summer and now the shutdown is catching up to the district. LRSD officials say computer issues compounded by parents who waited until the last minute to register their students are behind the delays.

"We are prepared to receive all of our students at an assigned zone school or a specialty assigned-school on Monday," said Marvin Burton, deputy superintendent for LRSD.

Burton said the district has staff working overtime throughout the weekend to make sure all student information is updated, with the district's transportation provider working a phone-line over the weekend to communicate bus and bus stop assignments.

"So all hands on deck, all systems are trying to work as productively as we possibly can to equip parents with the information they need to know for Monday morning," said Burton.

District-wide callouts have attempted to keep parents informed of what's going on with registration and school assignments, but at this point parents like Alicia Monks said all they can do is wait and be as ready as they can be.

"All you can do is prep and prepare and hopefully get a call soon," said Monks, still waiting on three school assignments. "Just modify your day according to when they call, which is frustrating but it just takes patience."

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