Student Placement
FAQs

Future Enrollment

Where can I submit my enrollment forms?
You should submit enrollment forms to your home school or to Student Placement at the Smith Family Center during the New Student Enrollment period.

When is the deadline to enroll for school?
CMS usually starts enrolling for the upcoming school year in October. Families can enroll throughout the year. There are enrollment deadlines for the school option lotteries.

Will my child be eligible to ride a bus?  Bus transportation will be provided to the following:

  • Students who attend their home school.  Each Mecklenburg County address has been assigned an elementary, middle and high school known as the home school. Students are automatically assigned to their home school upon enrollment.
  • Students who attend a magnet program that serves their transportation zone.  The county is divided into three transportation zones.  Magnet schools serve one or more transportation zones.  These assignments are made through the Student Assignment/Magnet Lottery.
  • Students who are impacted by the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.  For more information, contact your school liaison.

Who should I call for a child with special educational needs?
Exceptional Children Department at 980-343-6960

Who should I call about guardianship questions?
Student Placement at 980-343-5335

School Options Lottery

How does the lottery work?

The lottery is used to assign students to magnet/Career &Technical Education (CTE) or other school option programs.  Families apply using the online application during the established lottery periods.  The online application allows families to request up to three school options.  The lottery will consider all first choice options first, then all second choice options and lastly all third choice options.  Families should always select their most wanted school option as their first choice.  Sibling guarantees are considered first and then the lottery runs on the following priorities for magnet placement.  Please note that available seats are generally in the entry level grades only. 

Magnet Priorities

When there are more students applying to a magnet program than there are seats available, the lottery runs on the following magnet program priorities:

  1. Student who live within 1/3 mile of a full magnet school, up to 20% of seats available at that school.
  2. Students who live in a magnet feeder area will be admitted in order of lottery number with the following limits: The maximum number of students admitted under this priority from any one elementary home school area must be proportional to the total number of potential applicants in the magnet feeder area.
  3. All students who live in the magnet feeder area will be admitted in order of lottery number.
  4. All students who live outside the magnet feeder area will be admitted in order of lottery number. Transportation will not be provided to these students.

Do magnet programs have entrance requirements?

Some magnet programs have entrance requirements that must be met in order to be considered for placement.  These requirements are processed during the lottery. For more information visit magnet programs.

What is the wait pool?

When there are more students than seats in a particular program the lottery assigns students based on their random number and the priorities.  After all available seats are assigned the lottery will establish a wait pool for the remaining applicants.  Wait pools are accessed by the schools in July.  If a seat becomes available, the school will contact the next person in the wait pool and offer them a seat.  The student has an opportunity to accept or decline placement.  The school will continue to contact students until all available seats are filled.  Wait pools are dissolved after the 1st academic quarter of school. 

The wait pools are in order based on the student's randomly assigned lottery number.  There are no priorities operating for the wait pool. 

Students who are placed in a wait pool through the lottery and withdraw or are withdrawn from the district will lose their place in the wait pool.

 Why didn’t I get any of my options?

Placement through the lottery is not guaranteed; it’s possible that the final assignment was to none of the options selected. Some programs have far more applicants than seats available, reducing the chances of winning a seat. If not placed in the first option, placement in the wait pool of the first choice is automatic.

I didn’t get the school I wanted, should I request reassignment?

Request for reassignment may be submitted after the lottery notification.  Reassignment requests will be considered for one of the following reasons:

  1. Request to attend the student’s home school - placement is guaranteed
  2. Child of CMS staff - placement is not guaranteed
  3. Medical and/or Health Condition of the student – requires completed CMS Medical Packet
  4. Extreme Hardship – requires written explanation and supporting documentation
Considerations:
  • Reassignment request will not be accepted for schools on the Closed Schools for Reassignment list.  Request to closed schools will be processed as transfers.
  • Transportation is only provided to magnet schools that serve your transportation zone or to your home school.
  • A change in high school assignment may affect eligibility to participate in interscholastic athletics.  For more information, contact the CMS Athletic Department at 980-343-6980.
  • Students attending a school through reassignment must remain in good standing, adhering to the Code of Student Conduct to remain at the school.

I have been approved for a reassignment/transfer; does this remove me from my previous wait pool?

Approved requests for reassignment/transfer will cancel and void the student's lottery application, lottery assignment, and wait pool/wait list placements, unless submitted and approved after July 1.  You remain in the wait pool until you are pulled from the wait pool, participate in another lottery or until the wait pools are dissolved.

Why am I ineligible for some schools/programs?      

You could be ineligible for any of the following reasons:

  • Student does not meet program entrance requirements. (Example: LI/TD programs require that students entering grades 3 – 5 be Talent Development (TD) certified in order to apply).
  • Magnet program prohibits entry at desired grade level. (Example: Language Immersion only allows student in grade Kindergarten or 1 to apply for certain languages. IB, Phillip O. Berry, and Math, Science and Environmental Studies programs do not allow rising 11th or 12th graders to apply through the lottery). Students interested in these programs should apply through the Request for Reassignment/Transfer. For more information, visit www.cms.k12.nc.us/magnets.
  • School does not offer Exceptional Student service needed by student.

Why are only certain schools listed on my application?   

Only schools that serve your transportation zone are listed on your application.

How can I apply to a magnet school not listed on my application?  

Click the link below the schools list to access codes for magnet schools not listed. Enter the appropriate code into the option box. Transportation eligibility will be indicated after you register the option.

How do I know if I get bus transportation?     

After you enter the option code and register your option you will see YES or NO for transportation. You can cancel the option at that time if you wish.

Can I change my choices?       

Yes, any time before the application deadline. Each time you enter choices you should receive a new confirmation number.

How do I know my choices were registered?      

You will receive a confirmation number. If you do not receive a confirmation number, your choices were not registered. ​


Proof of Residency FAQ

What if I don’t have the required proofs of residency with me when I enroll?
Enrollment packets will not be accepted without the three required proofs of residency. If you are having difficulty obtaining all three proofs of residency, please gather all the residency documentation you have and visit the Student Placement Office to speak with a Student Placement Specialist about your individual situation.

What if I don’t have a lease and do not live with my landlord or a friend?
If you are a tenant at will (“month-to-month”) and do not have a written lease, ask your landlord to complete
and sign the residency affidavit, available at the student placement office or at any school. This will fulfill the proof of residency requirement for Column A. Your landlord does not have to be present when you enroll, but the affidavit does have to be notarized. If you are having difficulty obtaining all three proofs of residency, please gather all the residency documentation you have and visit the Student Placement Office to speak with a Student Placement Specialist about your individual situation.

What if I live with a friend or relative?
If you share housing with a friend or relative, you may use the residency affidavit (available at any school or
at the student placement office) to fulfill the proof of residency requirement in Column A. Ask your friend or
relative to complete and sign the affidavit to affirm your residence. You or your friend or relative will have to
provide proofs of residency from Columns B & C. Proofs from Columns B & C must be from the same person.

What if I own my home but do not have a copy of the deed?
Contact the financial institution that handles your mortgage or the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds
Office at 704-336-2442 or meckrod.manatron.com. (office located at 720 E. 4th Street, Room 103,
Charlotte, NC 28202)

What if I own a home but do not pay a mortgage (i.e., the home is paid for)?
If you no longer pay a mortgage on your home, you may submit a copy of the property deed or a copy of the discharge of mortgage. This will satisfy your proof of residency requirement for Column A.

What if utilities are included in my lease?
If any of the utilities are included in your lease, and if this is noted on your lease, then the lease will suffice for proofs of residency for Columns A and B.

What if none of the utilities are in my name?
If you are unable to provide a proof of residency from Column B, please gather all the residency documentation you have and visit the Student Placement Office to speak with a Student Placement Specialist about your individual situation.

Is a cell phone bill acceptable documentation to satisfy Column B?
Yes.

What if I have recently moved and have not yet received any utility bills?
To fulfill the requirements of Column B, you also may submit verification of service or a work order from any utility company stating that your service has been ordered or installed.

For verification of service you may contact:

Electric

Duke Energy

1-800-777-9898

Water 

Charlotte Mecklenburg Utilities

704-336-2211

Gas

Piedmont Natural Gas

704-525-3882

Cable

Time Warner

704-377-9600


Will you accept a print out of my online banking statement?
Yes.

What if my family is homeless?
The proof of residency policy does not apply to homeless students and families. Contact the McKinney-Vento Liaison at your local CMS school or call 980-343-6169.

What if I am an undocumented immigrant?
Any child whose parent or legal guardian lives in Mecklenburg County is guaranteed access to a free public education. No family will be denied access to school because of their immigration status. Undocumented immigrant families living with friends or relatives may be considered “homeless” (see above).

What if I live in temporary housing while I secure a home (corporate housing, extended stay facility or hotel) and will not have the required proofs of residency?
Please bring any proofs of residency including a copy of the lease, print out from facility showing dates of stay, etc. to the Student Placement Office for a residency appeal. We will accept a letter from your employer including the current address in lieu of a pay check stub for Column C.

Will documents that I submit to prove residency remain confidential?
Yes. All documents submitted to prove residency will be considered part of his or her confidential record. CMS will adhere to the standards of confidentiality set forth in state and federal laws in maintenance of these records. For more information about the confidentiality of student records, refer to FERPA at www.ed.gov.

How can I report a suspected violation of the residency policy?
Families, staff, students and others may report possible residency violations by contacting the student’s current CMS school.

What happens if CMS discovers that I don’t live in Mecklenburg County?
Any student who is discovered not to reside in Mecklenburg County may be withdrawn from CMS immediately.

What if I am a current CMS student who has moved and needs to update my address, do I need to provide three proofs of residency?
Yes.

If you have additional questions…
Call the Student Placement Department at 980-343-5335 or E-mail us at placement@cms.k12.nc.us.


P.O. Box 30035
Charlotte, NC 28230-0035
Phone: 980-343-3000
The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website (www.cms.k12.nc.us) is in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Any website accessibility concerns may be brought via the following, Email the Web Accessibility Team at WebAccessibility or Call: 980.343.0115. In compliance with Federal Law, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools administers all education programs, employment activities and admissions without discrimination against any person on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, or disability. Inquiries regarding compliance with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in education programs or activities, may be referred to the District's Title IX Coordinator at titleixcoordinator or to the Office for Civil Rights, United States Department of Education.