What school will your child go to next year? CMS School Choice Lottery is open now

Updated: Dec. 1, 2020 at 10:13 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The annual school choice program for Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is open now.

The district says the School Choice process provides more students access to opportunities that “match their unique interests, talents and potential.”

Parents or guardians of children who wish to participate in the 2021-2021 School Choice program at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools must enroll them in the lottery, which opened Monday, Nov. 30.

Note that children new to CMS must have enrolled by Nov. 24 to participate in the lottery.

This year, CMS says it will offer additional magnet options and seats in the 2021-2022 school year. Home-school, sibling and continuation guarantees remain in place, according to the district.

If your child is currently enrolled in a magnet program are automatically assigned to the next school level within the magnet program.

CMS suggests a few tips for families to keep in mind as they prepare to make their selections:

  • Research School Choice options Learn about the many offerings and focus areas by visiting CMS Choice. Discuss these options with your family to find the best match.
  • Visit School Choice open houses Find out more by visiting schools and attending open houses and information sessions. Open houses and information sessions will be virtual until further notice.
  • Select your top three preferences Select up to three schools that best match your child’s interests and talents. Have your student identification and PIN numbers readily available. CMS sent individual assignment notifications home with all current students in early October. The mailing included each student’s identification and PIN numbers, as well as directions for online application to the lottery. Students who are new to CMS will receive the information in the mail. When you enter your student’s information, the application will automatically populate with the schools to which your student is eligible to receive transportation. You will have an opportunity to follow a link to see a list of more schools.
  • Submit lottery application Choose up to three preferences. Families can submit applications between Nov. 30 and Dec. 13 from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The application is available online in English and Spanish. Families can contact Student Placement for assistance from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 980-343-5335. Spanish-speaking representatives are available. Key dates for the 2021-2022 school year are available here.

Lottery assignment notification letters will be sent to families in late Dec. The letters tell families of assignments awarded through the lottery process.

The district provided the following information for further contact on the School Choice program:

More information on themes, schools, options and the application can be accessed by going to

Families may contact the Office of Magnet Programs and School Choice at 980-343-5030, or message them on Facebook at CMS School Choice.

Families may also sign up via the Calendly link on for a concierge appointment by video.

Future enrollment information may also be mailed to

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