Families need to know seven things about the School Options Lottery

​The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools online School Options Lottery is open and has been extended to 10 p.m. Jan. 27, 2016. Here are a few tips for families to keep in mind as they prepare to make their selections.  For a snapshot of school which have magnet programs, please click here.

  1.    Know the deadline

Families can submit applications from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily through Jan. 27. Key dates for the 2016-2017 school year are available here.

  2.   Know where to find the online application

Link to the application: http://www.cms.k12.nc.us/application/Pages/Login.aspx

The application is available online. A Spanish version will be available soon. CMS will provide free computer access at all CMS Learning Community offices, CMS schools and the Smith Family Center (1600 Tyvola Road) through Jan. 27​. Computers at these locations will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Families can contact Student Placement for assistance from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 980-343-5335. Spanish-speaking representatives are available at the Smith Family Center. Families may also access computers at all Charlotte Mecklenburg Library locations.

    3.   Make sure your child is enrolled as a current or future student

Students new to CMS in the 2016-2017 school year must have enrolled in the system by Jan. 11 to be eligible for the first school options lottery. Students who enrolled after Jan. 11 will be eligible for the second school options lottery, which runs from March 7 to June 6, 2016.

    4.   Have your student identification and PIN numbers readily available

CMS will send individual assignment notifications home with all current students beginning the second week in December. This mailing will include each student's identification and PIN numbers, as well as directions for online application to the school options lottery. Students who are new to CMS will receive the information in the mail.

    5.   Attend School Options Fair

The annual School Options Fair will be held from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 9 at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology (1430 Alleghany St.).

    6.   Know your options

When you enter your student's information, the application will automatically populate with the schools to which your student is eligible to apply. CMS will offer 53 school options at 53 schools for the 2016-2017 school year. School options are Cooperative Innovative High Schools, Career and Technical Education programs and magnet themes including International Baccalaureate; Military and Global Leadership; Leadership and Global Studies; Montessori; Learning Immersion/Talent Development; Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM); Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM); Traditional; Early College High School; Middle College High School; Visual and Performing Arts, and World Languages. All CMS students are taught the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Magnet programs are theme-based to promote students' interests, abilities and talents.

    7.   Lottery notifications

Lottery assignment notifications letters will be sent to families in late-February. The letters tell families of assignments won through the lottery process.

For more information on the options lottery, call 980-343-5030, email magnets@cms.k12.nc.us or visit www.cms.k12.nc.us/magnets.