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Seven CMS schools among first to be nationally certified

Seven Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools magnet schools have been certified as meeting the highest standards of excellence by Magnet Schools of America (MSA), a national nonprofit association representing magnet and theme-based schools. The seven CMS schools are among only 55 nationally to receive the certification.

Barringer Academic Center, Legette Blythe Elementary, Chantilly Montessori, Cotswold Elementary, Idlewild Elementary and Randolph Middle have been designated Nationally Certified Magnet Schools. A seventh, Piedmont Middle, was named a Nationally Certified-Demonstration Magnet School – one of only 10 schools so designated. All 55 schools earning the designation underwent a nine-month evaluation by MSA.

"We are so proud to have our schools among the first in the nation to demonstrate meeting the MSA's rigorous standards of excellence," said Natasha F. Thompson, director of magnet programs for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. "We are also very excited that Piedmont Middle will be one of only 10 schools that will be MSA learning laboratories for school innovation and improvement."

The national certification process is based on the Magnet School Standards of Excellence and the five pillars of magnet schools: diversity; innovative curriculum and professional development; academic excellence; high quality instructional systems, and family and community partnerships. These pillars and standards define the essential elements and characteristics of high-quality magnet programs. To earn the demonstration designation, schools had to exceed the standards of excellence and be recognized as models to be studied and replicated.

 "In an increasingly complex school choice environment, parents, families, students and local communities can be confident that each nationally certified magnet school is held to the same high standards," said MSA Executive Director Todd Mann. "The certification process is groundbreaking and the first of its kind. It was created to recognize our most exemplary magnet programs."

More information about the certification program can be found at

P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
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