Answers to your top 5 questions about the second round of the CMS School Choice Lottery

Jamil Steele, Teacher of the Year (Art) at Shamrock Gardens Elementary For I Am CMS poster.

This post is brought to you in partnership with the CMS School Choice Lottery. All opinions are our own.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools offers magnet learning programs for students pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Do you have a learner who would excel in a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) environment, or one who loves the arts? How about a school with a computer science emphasis or one that implements the Montessori way of teaching?

CMS prides itself on offering a variety of learning environments to all types of students across the district. Here are your top five questions answered about Round 2 of the CMS School Choice Lottery.

What is a magnet school?

A magnet school is one that teaches a full, engaging and challenging curriculum but does it with a particular emphasis or theme such as Spanish immersion, global leadership, IB (international baccalaureate), entrepreneurship and more. According to the Magnet Schools of America Website, “Magnet schools close the achievement gap, improve racial harmony and empower all students to reach their individual potential.” Sound good? For a full list of magnet school themes and options, click here.

How do I enroll my child in Round 2 of the CMS lottery?

If you wish to participate in Round 2 of the CMS School Choice Lottery , you must first enroll your child with the CMS Student Placement Office between now and February 5. If you are already enrolled, you’ll need your student identification number and pin. Don’t worry, if you don’t know it or forgot it –  your school has it. If you DON’T currently attend a CMS school, you’ll need to enroll for the 2018-2019 school year then apply for the lottery. After that is complete, research your magnet school options and visit your top choices so you’ll be ready to submit your application.

How and when do I submit my application?

The lottery is open starting January 12 through February 19, 2018 from 6 a.m. till 10 p.m. daily. Go online and submit your top choices for magnet schools. Have questions? Email

What if I applied for the Round 1 CMS lottery?

If you applied for the Round 1 lottery and received a letter stating you have been placed in the school of your top choice – congratulations! That assignment will not change. If you applied in the Round 1 lottery and did not get placed in the school of your first choice, you’ll automatically be enrolled for later rounds. Your assignment may change after each round if your top preference becomes available. Assignment changes in the lottery process are automatic, there is no option to accept or decline. Waitlists will not be generated until the end of Round 3.

Will I hear back from CMS?

After each round, a notification letter will be mailed to all those who entered the CMS School Choice Lottery with your student’s assignment. If you get placed into a school of higher preference, you will receive a new letter. If you receive an assignment letter stating your student has been placed in the school of first choice, that assignment will not change. Assignment changes from the waitlist will happen in the summer months. You will have the option to stay in your current assignment or choose the waitlist seat. This option is only available after lottery rounds have closed and is for the waitlist process only.

Now that you know all about Round 2 of the CMS School Choice Lottery, you are ready to get in gear for the 2018-2019 school year. Trust us, it will be here before you know it. Happy learning!

Want to know more about the CMS School Choice Lottery, click here for more information.




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