Student-assignment lottery opens Friday, Jan. 8

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools student-assignment lottery application opened Friday, Jan. 8. CMS families can go online to apply for magnet programs and for seats in non-magnet schools with space available. The online lottery will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day through Feb. 7. On Feb. 8, the last day of the lottery-application period, the application will close at 10 p.m.

Click here to access the online student-assignment lottery.

CMS sent personalized instruction sheets home with all current students the first and second week of January. Students who will be new to CMS, and students who are assigned to Title I Choice schools, received the information in the mail. The sheets include student identification and PIN numbers, as well as directions to apply online. The sheets also list a student’s current assignment for the 2010-2011 school year.

“We are excited to be opening two new high schools for the 2010-11 school year,” said Scott McCully, executive director of student placement. “When new schools open, CMS has to re-draw boundary lines to assign students to the new schools. We need all of our families to look closely at their child’s assignment for next year, because many students will be moving to new schools.”

Only families who wish to apply for a magnet program, or a seat in one of the schools with space available, need to participate in the online process. Families who are happy with their listed placement do not have to do anything.

New this year, the online application form will be available in both Spanish and English. This is the third year CMS has used the online application process. CMS will provide free computer access at the Family Application Center (700 Marsh Rd.) and at all learning-community offices. Computers at these locations will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. A student-assignment telephone line will also open on Jan. 8 to assist parents. Customer-service representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Feb. 8. The phone number is 980-343-5335. Spanish-speaking representatives are also available.  

CMS will offer 11 magnet programs at 40 schools for the 2010-2011 school year. Programs include visual and performing arts, language immersion, International Baccalaureate, leadership and global economics and Montessori. All CMS students are taught the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, but magnet programs also promote students’ special abilities or talents.

Any student may apply to a magnet program. Students must meet eligibility requirements, if any, before an application can be accepted. Transportation is provided if the magnet school serves the student’s transportation zone or is a countywide program. Click here for more information about magnet programs.

CMS is also hosting a series of magnet-school fairs, beginning with the districtwide event on Saturday, Jan. 9, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology, 1430 Alleghany Street. Representatives from all the magnet programs will be available, as well as staff from the English as a Second Language (ESL) department, career and technical education, study abroad programs, Parent University and Student Assignment. School health workers can also answer questions about required physical examinations and immunizations. Computers will be available, so families can complete the online student-assignment forms if they would like to participate in the lottery.

CMS will also host regional magnet mini-fairs in three locations across the district:

  • North region: Jan. 12, Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Avenue
  • East, Central and West regions: Jan. 14, Oakhurst Elementary School cafeteria, 4511 Monroe Road
  • South region: Jan. 19, South Mecklenburg High media center, 8900 Park Road

Each fair will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. and schools within each area with magnet programs will be present.

Important Student-Assignment Dates:

  • All current and newly enrolled CMS students will receive instruction sheets, student identification and PIN numbers the first or second week in January. Families will use this information to apply for a magnet program online. Families without computer access can visit any CMS learning community office or the Family Application Center, 700 Marsh Road, or may submit an application by telephone.
  • The first magnet-lottery application period is from Jan. 8 – Feb. 8. Student-assignment letters will be mailed to families the first week in March. The letters inform parents of the school their child was placed in through the lottery process and how to ask for reassignment.
  • Students new to CMS in the 2009-2010 school year must have enrolled in the system by Dec. 14 to be eligible for the first magnet lottery. Students who enroll after the deadline will be eligible for the second magnet lottery and open-seat lottery, which runs from March 15 to June 4.