CMS School Choice Lottery Dates

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Courtesy Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

The application period for round one of Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Choice Lottery for the 2020-21 school year begins Nov. 4., and runs through Dec. 13. School Choice provides students access to opportunities that match unique interests, talents and potential. CMS is hosting its CMS School Choice Fair Saturday, Oct. 19 at Wells Fargo Atrium uptown. Representatives will be on hand to discuss 97 magnet programs available throughout the district.

CMS will offer additional magnet options and seats in the 2020-2021 school year. Home-school, sibling and continuation guarantees remain in place. Students currently enrolled in a magnet program are automatically assigned to the next school level within the magnet program.  Here are step-by-step guidelines from the CMS on entering the lottery:

1. Enroll children new to CMS from Oct. 7 to Nov. 25. Families new to CMS who wish to participate in found one of the 2020-21 lottery must enroll their children with the CMS Student Placement Office beginning Oct. 7 and no later than Nov. 25.

2. Research School Choice options. Learn about the many offerings and focus areas by visiting CMS Choice. Discuss these options with your family to find the best match.

3. Visit School Choice open houses. Find out more by visiting schools and attending open houses and information sessions.

4. Select your top three preferences. Select up to three schools that best match your child’s interests and talents. Have your student identification and PIN numbers readily available. Individual assignment notifications were sent home with current students in early October (check with your school if you didn't receive the notification). The mailing included each student’s identification and PIN numbers, as well as directions for online application to the lottery. Students who are new to CMS receive the information in the mail. When entering your student’s information, the application automatically populates with the schools to which your student is eligible to receive transportation. There also is an opportunity to follow a link to see a list of more schools.

5. Submit lottery application. Choose up to three preferences. Families can submit applications between Nov. 4 and Dec. 13 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The application is available online in English and Spanish. Families can contact Student Placement for assistance from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 980-343-5335. Spanish-speaking representatives are available. Key dates for the 2020-2021 school year are available here.

Lottery assignment notification letters will be sent to families in late December. The letters tell families of assignments awarded through the lottery process. Students who enroll after Nov. 25 can apply in the second round of the school choice lottery that begins in January 2020. The lottery is free and open to all CMS families.