CMS School Choice lottery opens Nov. 13

Parents or guardians of children who wish to participate in the School Choice program at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools must enroll them in the lottery, which opens Monday, Nov. 13. Children new to CMS must be enrolled by Dec. 1 to participate in the lottery. 

CMS will offer additional magnet options and seats in the 2018-2019 school year, along with reconfigured transportation zones to create access for more families across the community. Home-school, sibling and continuation guarantees remain in place. Students currently enrolled in a magnet program are automatically assigned to the next school level within the magnet program. School Choice provides more students access to opportunities that match their unique interests, talents and potential. Here are a few tips for families to keep in mind as they prepare to make their selections:

1.    Enroll children new to CMS by Dec. 1

Families new to CMS who wish to participate in Round I of the 2018-2019 lottery must enroll their children with the CMS Student Placement Office by Dec. 1.

2.    Research School Choice options
Learn about the many offerings and focus areas. Discuss these options with your family to find the best match.

3.    Visit School Choice open houses
Find out more by visiting schools and attending open houses and information sessions.

4.    Select your top three preferences
Select up to three schools that best match your child's interests and talents. Have your student identification and PIN numbers readily available. CMS sent individual assignment notifications home with all current students in late October. The mailing included each student's identification and PIN numbers, as well as directions for online application to the lottery. Students who are new to CMS will receive the information in the mail. When you enter your student's information, the application will automatically populate with the schools to which your student is eligible to receive transportation. You will have an opportunity to follow a link to see a list of more schools.

5.    Submit lottery application
Choose up to three preferences. Families can submit applications between Nov. 13 and Dec. 18 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The application is available online in English and Spanish. Families can contact Student Placement for assistance from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 980-343-5335. Spanish-speaking representatives are available. Key dates for the 2018-2019 school year are available here.

Lottery assignment notification letters will be sent to families in early January 2018. The letters tell families of assignments won through the lottery process.

More information on new themes, schools, options and the application can be accessed by going to