TOPEKA (KSNT) — For the past several weeks, a local mother has been scrambling to get her children ready for their first day of school.

However, Jennifer Tibbs recently found out her second grader was moved to a different elementary school that’s farther away from her home. The only problem is, Tibbs says she was notified of the change just two says before her daughter’s first day of school.

Tibbs reached out to 27 News to express her frustration. Topeka Public Schools is working to provide 27 News with an explanation.

Tibbs has enrolled her children at William Science and Fine Arts Magnet Elementary School in downtown Topeka for the past five years. She said she’s loved her experience at the school so far, so a situation like this was unexpected.

Tibbs told 27 News the district moved her second grade daughter from to a different elementary school due to a teacher shortage, even though her third grade son is still enrolled at Williams. Since she was informed about the switch, Tibbs has been trying to figure out how to juggle having her children in different locations.

“I had to rip and run to three different schools this morning,” Tibbs said. “Which made one of the kids late to school and I picked up one late from school. It’s so inconvenient for them to do this to me. I’ve never been treated like this with Topeka Public Schools.”

The day her child started at different school, Tibbs said the school reached out to her with information that the staffing situation at Williams had been resolved. Her daughter can now return to Williams this school year, but Tibbs is upset this wasn’t resolved before the first day of classes.

According to Topeka 501’s website, enrollment took place on July 21. Tibbs said she enrolled her children on July 19. Tibbs does not believe she enrolled her kids late. Topeka 501 released the following statement regarding the situation:

Thank you for the inquiry last night about enrollment. It is unfortunate when a parent misses the enrollment period and enrolls late. Enrolling during the enrollment period helps ensure parents can select the school they desire most. It is wonderful that so many parents choose Topeka Public Schools, requiring a waiting list at times to be in place, which is the case at Williams Fine Arts Magnet School. When parents enroll late,  we commit to enrollment in a school in the district that has space during that late enrollment period, and we place them on a waiting list at their first choice school as well. We work to honor the selection of all families in the best possible way, and again, we are thrilled so many schools have become top choices in Topeka. We are not aware of any additional issues with the parent you inquired about after the first and second days of school as they followed the process outlined above. 

Dan Garrett, senior communications specialist with Topeka Public Schools