Student-assignment lottery opens today

The student-assignment lottery opens today, January 9, and will run until 10 pm on February 9. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools families can go online to apply for magnet programs and for seats in non-magnet schools with space available.
CMS sent personalized instruction sheets home with all students this week. 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 2009-2010 school year.
“Only families who wish to apply for a magnet program, or a seat in one of the schools with space available, need to participate in the online process,” said Scott McCully, executive director of student placement. “Families who are happy with their listed placement do not have to do anything.”
This is the second year CMS has used an online application process. CMS will provide free computer access at the Family Application Center (700 Marsh Rd.) and at all learning-community offices. Computers at these locations will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. A student-assignment telephone line will also open Jan. 9 to assist parents. Customer-service representatives are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Feb. 9. The phone number is 980-343-6192. Spanish-speaking representatives are also available.
CMS will offer 11 magnet programs at 40 schools for the 2009-2010 school year. Programs include visual and performing arts, language immersion, International Baccalaureate, leadership and global economics, Montessori, Paideia and others. 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. Transportation is provided if the magnet school serves the student’s transportation zone or is a countywide program. Click here for more information about magnet programs.
CMS is also hosting a series of magnet-school fairs, beginning with the districtwide event on Saturday, Jan. 10 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 and Student Assignment. School health workers can also answer questions about required physical examinations and immunizations.
CMS will also host regional magnet mini-fairs in four locations across the district:
·                     Jan. 13, Cornelius Town Hall Community Room, 21445 Catawba Avenue
·                     Jan. 15, Central Learning Community Office, 324 N. McDowell Street
·                     Jan. 22, South Learning Community Office, 8500 Pineville-Matthews Road
·                     Jan. 27, East Learning Community Office, 9601 E. Independence Blvd.,    Matthews
Each fair will be held from 6:30 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 were sent instructions, student identification and PIN numbers the first week in January. Families will use this information to apply for a magnet program online. Families without computer access can visit any CMS learning community office or the Family Application Center, 700 Marsh Road, or may submit an application by telephone.
• The first magnet-lottery application period is from Jan. 9 – Feb. 9. Student-assignment letters will be mailed 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 2009-2010 school year must have enrolled in the system by Dec. 23 to be eligible for the first magnet lottery. Students who enroll after the deadline will be eligible for the second magnet lottery and open-seat lottery, which runs from March 16 to May 22.

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