Cavett Thorne

Cavett Thorne

Worth the Wait: How one IDEA Family Went from Waitlist to Accepted

Julie Sandoval is the proud mom of three IDEA Montopolis Academy scholars: M’kynzie, Kaedin, and Maesyn.  

Her oldest child, M’kynzie, is excelling in the third grade, but started her experience with IDEA being on the waitlist after not being selected during IDEA’s Lottery four years ago. Luckily, her journey with IDEA didn’t end there. 

Although she was on the waitlist, her mom never gave up hope. Read more about Mrs. Sandoval’s family experience and why she believes it was worth the wait. 

How did you hear about IDEA Public Schools? 

I first heard about IDEA because we had family who attends IDEA McAllen, and they loved it. So, I was really excited when construction began just a few blocks away from my house in Austin. I started seeing billboards everywhere, and the excitement really built up. As soon as my daughter was old enough, I sent in her application and waited for Lottery Day. 

Why did you keep your daughter on the waitlist after she wasn’t accepted on Lottery Day? 

Of course I was disappointed at first when she wasn’t selected. I really wanted her to go to IDEA, but I had hope that maybe she would still be picked. I believe in the values that IDEA has, and I knew their curriculum was the best around; so, we patiently waited. 

How did it feel when you were notified that your daughter was accepted to IDEA?  

I was over-the-moon ecstatic and thought, “Yay! This is finally happening!” I was super excited because I knew this is what I wanted for my daughter. We hurried up, got her uniform, and she started school four days later. 

How has your experience been at IDEA?  

It’s been great—truly. I love our campus. I love our principal. I love my children’s teachers. Everyone genuinely cares about my children—all of them. 

My son, who also attends IDEA now, struggled when he first started Kindergarten with identifying numbers and reading. But everyone at the school was invested in making sure he was able to learn those skills. Everyone would help him, from the principal to the teachers.  

Then at the end of the year, his reading teacher called me and told me, “He did it! He’s going to be in the first grade reading class next year.” I literally cried. I was so happy. It was a Team & Family effort. 

What advice would you share with families who have a child on the waitlist?  

Persevere and continue to have hope. It’s worth it. Know that you’ve made the best decision for your child because IDEA does so much to assist every child who walks through their doors to make sure they are successful to and through college. 

And remember that the lottery isn’t bad. It makes the process fair and diverse because kids with different backgrounds, races, and learning abilities are chosen because selection is random. This is what the real world is like, and I’m glad my kids are experiencing this diversity now.  

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