How do I apply?

You apply for a seat by submitting an application online. If you are a new CMS family, you must register in CMS before entering the lottery. 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 before each year’s lottery endsAm I guaranteed to get at least one of my lottery choices?.

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.

Am I guaranteed to get at least one of my lottery choices?

No, there is no guarantee that you will get at least one of your choices.  If you do not get any of your choices, you will either stay in your current school (if it still serves your grade level) or be assigned to your neighborhood school.

Do I have to choose three schools?

No. If you are happy with your assignment for next year, you can skip the entire lottery application. If you do want to participate in the lottery, you may choose one, two, OR three schools in your application. Please be sure to choose schools you are actually interested in for your child!

Can I choose the same school three times to increase my chances?

No, the application only lets you choose a school once.

Does it increase my chances if I only choose one school?

No; the lottery application will always try to place you in your first choice to begin with, no matter how many choices you have.

What if I want to stay in my current school if I don’t get my first choice?

To ensure that you don’t lose your current seat, make only one choice in the lottery application.  That way you will either get your new choice or stay where you are.

Why are some magnet choices not showing up?

The magnet choices that will appear for you are schools which:  (1) match your child’s grade level; (2) are within your transportation zone based on your home address (Blue, Green, or Violet); and (3) are options for your child based on entrance requirements. If you want to choose a school outside your transportation zone, you can use the link below the list of schools to see codes for all schools that match your child’s grade level.  Please note that, if your child is placed in a school outside your transportation zone, you will be required to provide transportation for your child.

I am signing up my younger child for the same school as my older child; how do I indicate that they are siblings?

The lottery application uses the children’s addresses to determine that they are siblings. As long as both of your children have exactly the same address in the system, the lottery process will assume that they are siblings and assign them using the sibling guarantee.

How does the sibling guarantee work with twins?

The lottery application pulls in twins together as long as they have exactly the same choices in their applications, so they should end up getting the same school in the lottery.

What if I change my mind about my choices during the lottery application period?

You may go in and enter a new lottery application at any time until the lottery deadline at 10 p.m.  The new application will automatically replace the previous application.  It is impossible to delete a lottery application without submitting a new application.  If you wish to keep your child at the current school, submit a new lottery application with your current school as the only choice.

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

At the end of the School Choice application, you will see a confirmation page containing a confirmation number.  Please either print/screenshot this page or write down the confirmation number as your proof of application completion.

Can I submit a second lottery application?

Yes; however, your first lottery application will be voided. We do not recommend submitting a second application unless you want to change your preferences. 

How will I receive my lottery results?

A letter with your child’s school assignment will be sent to you via U.S. mail a few weeks after the lottery closes.

Do I have to accept my lottery spot once I receive the lottery results?

No, you are automatically placed in your school via the lottery; there is no acceptance period.

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 School Choice lottery?

No. If your address falls outside Mecklenburg County, you cannot apply in the School Choice lottery