Frequently Asked Questions
  • Where is the Horizons program?

Horizons for Kindergarten through 5th grade is housed at Barringer Academic Center while sixth through eighth grade is housed at Randolph IB Middle School. Students in grades 9-12 are guaranteed a seat in the IB Programme at East Mecklenburg High School. 
  • How many students are in Horizons?

The numbers fluctuate each year based on the applicant pool. For the school year 2019 - 2020, we have approximately 25 students in the elementary program, 23 students in the middle school program and 6 students at East Mecklenburg High School in the IB Programme, for a total of 54 students K-12.
  • Will my child receive transportation if accepted into the Horizons program?

Yes. Students will have access to bus transportation. Please keep in mind that, depending on where you live, the bus ride can be lengthy to get to and from the school where the Horizons program is housed. Students in the middle school program will have shuttle bus stops. Please contact CMS Transportation (980-343-6715) for more information about your particular situation. Please note, you must reside in the CMS school district to attend Horizons.
  • How do I know if Horizons is right for my child?

The Horizons program was designed to meet the needs of highly gifted students whose academic needs cannot be met in the regular gifted Talent Development (TD) program for Reading and Math. Please contact your school's Talent Development teacher or Academic Facilitator for guidance.

  • What tests are required for entrance? Can you substitute other tests? 

We require the Stanford-Binet-V or CogAT (aptitude test) and the Kaufman Test of Educational Achievement 3 (KTEA-3) (achievement test). Based on the current process, other tests cannot be substituted for these tests. Tests should be less than 24 months old for the scores to be valid. Please note that no single test may be taken more than once within a 12 month period. 

  • Do I have to pay for testing?

No, there is no cost to apply for the program.

  • How are classes designed?

Students in the Horizons program in elementary and middle school are in self-contained classes. This means that the students are taught the core subject areas (language arts, math, writing, social studies, and science) by the Horizons teachers in a class with only other Horizons students. Students will attend special area classes and recess (elementary), electives (middle school) and lunch (elementary & middle) with same-age peers. Should the student decide to continue to East Mecklenburg High School in the IB Programme, there will be opportunities to take advanced courses. High school students will attend their electives and core classes with all other same-age peers. Ability to take advanced coursework is available at all high schools. This is coordinated through the assigned High School counselor. 

  • How do I apply?

The first step is to speak to the TD teacher at your child’s current school or Academic Facilitator if your child is in middle school. Ask them if they notice that your child is exceptionally higher than other gifted students they serve. TD teachers know what characteristics to look for in highly and exceptionally gifted students, as they are certified in gifted education. Then, if you both agree that your child may be a candidate for Horizons, complete the Horizons application form found online and submit it to the TD teacher or Academic Facilitator at your school.

  • What happens after you submit the application to the TD teacher?

Information regarding the Horizons Application Process can be found here (opens in a new tab).

  • If my child does not make it into the program the first time we apply, can I reapply?

Yes, but only after 24 months have passed from the committee’s decision or the screening dates. The child will have to be re-tested upon the new application, as their previous test scores will have expired at that time. Please note that a student cannot re-apply after 8th grade, no exceptions. 

  • What are the application deadlines?

The Horizons application process is currently closed and will reopen in January 2021. The final day to submit applications for the 2021-2022 school year will be Friday, February 26, 2021. 

  • My child is a rising kindergartener. Can my child still apply? 

Yes. You will submit the application via google form.

  • I am applying to a magnet school in CMS. Can I also apply to Horizons?

Yes. Horizons is not part of the magnet school programs. It operates as its own separate, distinct program. Students are admitted to Horizons based on their qualifications, not through a lottery system. Application to Horizons will not impact your application to a magnet school and vice versa. 

  • Can I withdraw my application once I begin the process?

Yes, however you must withdraw your application before any testing (KTEA-3 and/or SB-V) has begun, or the 24 month wait-period for reapplying stands.  

  • What if I need more information about the Horizons application process?

Please contact Kaitlin Brick, Advanced Studies Specialist, at (980) 343-2702 or kaitlin.brick@cms.k12.nc.us.
  • What if I need more information about the Horizons program?

Please contact the CMS Secondary TD Specialist, Benna Haas at (980) 343-2644. Documents can be faxed to (980) 343-3390

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