Frequently Asked Questions
Future Enrollment Questions
Where can I submit my enrollment forms?
You should submit enrollment forms to your home school. During the New Student Enrollment period (see key dates) forms can also be submitted to Student Placement at the Smith Family Center.
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.
When there are more students applying to a magnet program than there are seats available, the lottery runs on the following magnet program priorities:
- Student who live within 1/3 mile of a full magnet school, up to 20% of seats available at that school.
- 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.
- All students who live in the magnet feeder area will be admitted in order of lottery number.
- 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:
- Request to attend the student’s home school - placement is guaranteed
- Child of CMS staff - placement is not guaranteed
- Medical and/or Health Condition of the student – requires completed CMS Medical Packet
- Extreme Hardship – requires written explanation and supporting documentation
- 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.