How do I enter a CMS school option or magnet school?

You apply for a seat by submitting an application online. If you are a new CMS family and have enrolled your student(s) before January 24, 2017, you will be mailed a letter with your student’s ID number and PIN. If your child is a current CMS student, you will receive a letter with your student’s ID number and PIN from your current school. Visit for more information.

How are seats in CMS School Choice allocated?

All available CMS School Choice seats (22,444 available in 2017-2018) will be allocated across three socioeconomic status (SES) categories, high, medium and low, to achieve the greatest socioeconomic diversity possible. Each student will have priority for one of these categories based on home address and data families will be asked to provide during the lottery application.

What documentation do I need in order to submit my application for the CMS School Choice lottery?

You must first enroll your student in CMS by January 24, 2017. Once enrolled, parents/legal guardians/ custodians will need the student’s ID Number and PIN to submit a lottery application. This ID number is located on the student’s report card or progress report or may be obtained at the student’s school. For information on enrolling your child in CMS, visit

Are there any Pre-kindergarten magnet schools?

Yes, elementary Montessori programs begin at Pre-K. There are 4 in CMS.

Does it cost anything to apply to the School Choice lottery?

No. The CMS School Choice lottery is free and open to all CMS families to apply.

If my child gets a CMS School Choice seat, do I have to reapply every year?

No. Once you are accepted and assigned to a school, you do not have to reapply. If a student is assigned to a CMS School Choice seat, the assignment is good for the duration of all grades at that school, as long as the student lives in Charlotte Mecklenburg and meets all continuation requirements.

What if my child moves or withdraws from a CMS School Choice program?

A student who withdraws from a program loses their seat at that school. The student would be re-assigned to their home school (if they reside in Mecklenburg County).

How many CMS School Choice programs can be selected on application submitted?

You may select up to three. Selections must be ranked by the applicant in order of which is desired most.

How will I know that my CMS School Choice application has been received?

Once you have submitted your student’s online application, you will receive an online confirmation indicating the application has been received.

If my child is not assigned to a CMS School Choice seat, will he or she have another chance?

Yes, all applicants who are not assigned during the lottery process will be “wait listed” for their first choice option. If students decide not to take their lottery seat, students on the wait list will be seated in the order they are listed.

Can I submit a second lottery application if I participated in the first lottery?

Yes, families may participate in the second lottery application process, even if they have previously participated in the first lottery, however, the first lottery application and wait list position will be automatically voided. Participation in the Second Lottery is best for families who are new to the district and/or who did not participate in the first lottery.

How will my child get to/from school if they are assigned to a CMS School Choice seat?

CMS offers common and shuttle bus stops. You can also transport your child to and from school. For a complete list of stops and to view the map, please visit

Do siblings get priority?

Yes. The CMS Sibling Guarantee ensures placement of a younger sibling into the same school or program as an older sibling. In instances where there is more than one program at a school, the sibling guarantee applies to the same campus, but does not require that the siblings enroll in the same program. For more information on the Sibling Guarantee Policy visit

If I complete and submit my lottery application at the beginning of the application period, will my child have a better chance of being assigned through the lottery process?

No. All applications submitted within the application window receive equal consideration for selection during the lottery process.

Can a student residing outside of Mecklenburg County apply for the CMS magnet lottery?

No. If your address falls outside Mecklenburg County, you cannot apply for a magnet school/program.

What if my child attends a school that qualifies him/her for the School Performance Priority?

Students attending a school designated by the state as low performing for three consecutive years have an additional priority in the lottery. They may also use the Lottery to select up to three home schools (i.e., non-school option and non-magnet schools) as designated by the Superintendent.