CMS Magnet lottery opens this week

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools magnet student-assignment lottery application will open, Friday, Jan. 7. CMS families can go online to apply for magnet programs. The online lottery will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day through Feb. 6. On Feb. 7, the last day of the lottery-application period, the application will close at 10 p.m.

CMS has been sending personalized instruction sheets home with all current students this week. Some students may receive their packets early next week. Students who will be new to CMS, and students who are assigned to Title I Choice schools, received the information in the mail. The sheets include student identification and PIN numbers, as well as directions to apply online. The sheets also list a student’s current assignment for the 2011-2012 school year.

Only families who wish to apply for a magnet program need to participate in the online process. Families who are happy with their listed placement do not have to apply.

CMS will provide free computer access at the Family Application Center (700 Marsh Rd.) and at all zone offices. Computers at these locations will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Families can contact student placement with any questions. Representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. The phone number is 980-343-5335. Spanish-speaking representatives are also available.

CMS will offer 10 magnet programs at 37 schools for the 2011-2012 school year. Programs include visual and performing arts, language immersion, International Baccalaureate, and Montessori. All CMS students are taught the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, but magnet programs also promote students’ special abilities or talents.

Any student may apply to a magnet program. Students must meet eligibility requirements, if any, before an application can be accepted. Click here for more information about magnet programs.

CMS is also hosting a series of magnet-school fairs, beginning with the district wide event on Saturday, Jan. 8, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Phillip O. Berry Academy of Technology (1430 Alleghany Street). Representatives from all the magnet programs will be available, as well as staff from the English as a second language (ESL) department, career and technical education, study abroad programs, Parent University and student assignment. School health workers can also answer questions about required physical examinations and immunizations. Computers will be available, so families can complete the online student-assignment forms if they would like to participate in the lottery.

CMS will also host regional magnet mini-fairs in three locations across the district:
· North region: Jan. 25, Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave.
· Central region: Jan. 27, First Ward Elementary School, 715 North Caldwell Street
· South region: Feb. 1, South Mecklenburg High media center, 8900 Park Road
Each fair will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 8 p.m. and schools within each area with magnet programs will be present.

Important Student-Assignment Dates:
· All current and newly enrolled CMS students will receive instruction sheets, student identification and PIN numbers the first or second week in January. Families will use this information to apply for a magnet program online. Families without computer access can visit any CMS Zone office or the Family Application Center (700 Marsh Road).
· The first magnet-lottery application period is from Jan. 7 – Feb. 7. Student-assignment letters will be sent to families the first week in March. The letters inform parents of the school their child was placed in through the lottery process and how to ask for reassignment.
· Students new to CMS in the 2011-2012 school year must have enrolled in the system by Dec. 10 to be eligible for the first magnet lottery. Students who enroll after the deadline will be eligible for the second magnet lottery, which runs from March 14 to June 3.