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The first deadline for the magnet lottery is Feb 14
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The CMS School Choice lottery – popularly known as “the magnet lottery” – closes Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017 at 10 p.m.

There are all kinds of options for students from Pre-K to high school, and this upcoming 2017-18 school year includes some promising additions to Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s magnet line up. As part of these changes, STEM schools in Charlotte are being significantly expanded.

Here are a few highlights:

1. Billingsville Elementary (K-5)

This is not the Billingsville you think you know. The school will be a full STEM magnet with a Health Science focus.

  • Facility conditions: The building will be a site of summer construction and plenty of upgrades!
  • What are my chances? Medium- and high-SES (socioeconomic status) students have a particularly good chance of landing a seat.
  • A great opportunity for: Families looking for early STEM exposure; families looking for a school community they can help shape

2. Hawthorne Academy (9-12)

Hawthorne Academy will be a 2-in-1 school—two themes under one roof. The global studies theme that has resided at Marie G. Davis moves to Hawthorne Academy in fall 2017, to be under the same roof as a Health Sciences STEM. The health sciences students are in luck, since the school is just a few blocks from the major hospital complexes for both CMC and Novant. Additionally, there’s been talk of a certifications partnership with CPCC for students at Hawthorne.

  • Facility conditions: New building, and room to grow!
  • What are my chances? Medium- and high-SES students have a particularly good chance of landing a seat.
  • A great opportunity for: Families looking for an uptown school with lots of business and community partnerships; students hoping to graduate high school with job experience or a professional certification already in hand

3. The school formerly known as Newell Elementary (K-5)

Newell Elementary (K-5) may not continue going by that name, but this University-area school is being replaced with a full coding magnet! And it’s starting from scratch, which means a full 550 seats are open in the lottery.

  • Facility conditions: There will be some renovation to the existing building, but most of the work being done on the school is new construction.
  • What are my chances? You have a great shot at getting in, regardless of your SES.
  • A great opportunity for: Literally anyone, especially those in the violet transportation zone. Coding – as the linchpin of a school’s curriculum and culture – has been around long enough to be reputable but is still in its early stages, making it a great way to give your kid an edge. The potential for this school has me really excited.

4. Coulwood Middle (6-8)

Coulwood has changed quite a bit since I used to play against them in soccer circa 1997. Now, Coulwood is home to a STEM program with low teacher turnover and space at every grade level. Between Project Lead the Way and lots of grants, Coulwood provides top-notch curriculum and STEM equipment.

  • Facility conditions: Don’t know about the building itself, but I do hear there’s been an innovative media center renovation
  • What are my chances? Good, regardless of SES or grade level
  • A great opportunity for: Families looking for a stable but growing STEM program

Apply for the CMS School Choice lottery at