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About Our Schools

Public, private, or parochial your school choice will go a long way toward determining where you want to live. One definition of an “education” family is that where they live IS determined by the school choice… if that’s you, the search for a great Charlotte home begins with the search for a great Charlotte school. Fortunately, we have them!

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, CMS

the big player on the block, with traditional, and magnet programs.   Dr Heath Morrison has completed his 2nd year as Superintendent, after winning the National Superintendent of the Year in 2012 at the Reno, Nevada School district and being recruited here. 

We don’t do small schools systems here.   CMS is the 2nd largest in the state of NC, and 19th-to 20th largest nationally. All the NC systems have “great schools,  “average schools” and “below average” schools, so your school research will be rewarded.   In most if not all of the surrounding counties of NC, if you buy a home in the distirct, your child is guaranteed a seat at his or her local school. In CMS, you also have quite a collection of Magnet schools- these are special interest schools run by CMS (not Charters) and they include:  Accelerated learning, IB, Foreign Language Immersion , Communication Arts, Montessori, Open, Paideia, Traditional, Visual and Performing Arts, and more.

Also, the size of CMS means, by definition, they have a lot of critics, even enemies. That is too normal I am afraid.

That said there are serious headwinds across the state of North Carolina to public education.   Despite an  economic recovery outpacing the nation, the state Republican controlled  House and Senate have been slow to improve teacher pay, and per pupil funding, leaving crushing cuts in place, or pushing more on to the localities. At the same time, they attempt to limit what local jurisdictions can do themselves,  down to limiting the total sales tax, even if voted through a referendum to raise taxes for schools.  That will only be solved by elections.

If higher education is what you need, try this link for Charlotte NC (Area) Colleges and Universities  North Carolina Statewide Requirements are Below, with phone numbers to the various school systems.

Your “Greater Charlotte” Public School choices are

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Schools, (CMS) Mecklenburg County, the Big Daddy with a handful of the top 100 HS in America according to Newsweek Magazine. 6 the first year, now it is typically 3, plus 3 in the 2nd 100.  CMS has been the center of many controversies, from court ordered busing to school assignments, but remains a tier one system nationally with a long list of excellent elementaries, middle and high schools.  It also has well regarded language immersion and other magnet schools.   See the CMS school calendar for 2014-15 here

Union County for cities like Waxhaw, Weddington, Indian Trail- people have loved Weddington Schools for a decade, and now Marvin Ridge. Generally, the suburbs near South Charlotte tend to have much higher scores than the rest of Union County offering an alternative to CMS’s Ardrey Kell and Providence High.

Iredell County- northern cities like Mooresville are known for their quality schools

Cabarrus County– Concord and Harrisburg- nearby Meck County typically offer quality schools in any area adjacent to CMS

South Carolina schools in nearby Ft Mill are well regarded and there are links below. Their website isn’t as unified as I’d like last time I checked. I’d recommend if you are interested just visit their local schools.  You MUST verify there is a seat for your child in SC. Unlike Charlotte, where every child is guaranteed a seat, this is not the case in SC so, if schools are important to you, double check the assignment.

But by far the giant in the room is CMS… REMEMBER: If schools are important to you, do your own research, visit the school, and take your time. No one can or should make this decision for your family.

For Private and Parochial Schools- See below

And, I’d recommend NOT letting a pretty house make that decision either- we have nice homes and communities  in virtually all areas of Charlotte.


CMS Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison, is a rising superstar in education. Just starting at CMS July 1, 2012, he has proven to be the most available and in touch Superintendent of the last decade. In his first 6 months visited every school and put together a 5 year plan for greater achievement at CMS.  He began  his career in Maryland, served as a principal, then area Superintendent before taking over the Reno NV school system 5 years ago. He laid out a 5 yr plan, and in 3 years moved graduation rates from 54% to 70%, and improved test scores in all categories of income and ethnicity.

These improvements in student achievement won him Nevada’s Superintendent of the Year in 2011, and then the National Association of Superintendents voted him Superintendent of the Year in March, 2012.

So he started here with a great track record, and spent his first summer listening to the various interest groups, from the school board to parents, from the community colleges to the teachers themselves, he did his research.  Now it is about implementation. You can see the strategic plan here

Dr Morrison has a lot to work with. The top high schools, and tip elementaries, rank in national surveys. If you want to look at the lowest performing schools, you will see that Charlotte outperform 19 of 20 similar city districts in the NAEP (pronounced Nape- National Assessment of Educational Progress) sometimes called the Nation’s Report Card, a math and reading test given to the nations 4th and 8th graders.

North Carolina faced  devastating budget cuts in Public Education during the recession, and while budgets have increased since, so has enrollment dropping per pupil (inflation adjusted ) investment to its lowest levels in 20 years, or more.

51% of CMS students are technically living in poverty. This is an amazing stat, but shows the diversity of the system.

The work goes on. Check out CMS School Progress , boundaries, and the Parent Toolkit, the latest info from CMS.

The State of North Carolina publishes a wonderful site where you can check the results of student testing at every public K-12 school in the state.

Get full information and test results at My only complaint is too much data, I like to use the summary’s, found at the top, and take a quick glance at the graphs to see how many of the students are testing on grade level. Then you can study the report in detail if it meets your minimum criteria. Once you find a particular school of interest, you can search for homes in your price range in that school district.

I also like for an overview- i don’t agree with all of their ratings, but thats’ OK , it isn’t a bad place to start, and then go to the Report card, and once narrowed down, perhaps visit one or two and chat with the principal.

Statewide, North Carolina K-12 education is a mixed bag. There are many good schools in the mix, you just need to find them. You’ll see a sample of some quality elementary schools on the left, High Schools on the right. Check out the test scores and summary information in the link beneath each school. Of course test scores are not everything- I view them as a starting point, look carefully and you’ll see teacher turnover rate– an indication of the relative happiness there- class size, demographics, and No Child Left Behind stats… and I ‘d recommend you visit the “contenders” when you visit Charlotte. There is more on CMS below.

Background Information on our area schools are below.

Families new to the area will find a wealth of educational opportunities here. The Charlotte region’s public school systems offer solid, broad programs that meet the needs of a wide range of students, from special needs to academically gifted, college prep to technical. North Carolina has traditionally encouraged consolidation of public systems so that many counties have a single school system. While many systems have consolidated, some remain fiercely independent, such as Mooresville Graded School District in southern Iredell County. York County, S.C., also has four public school systems, each with its own distinct qualities.

In addition, there are magnet and IB schools around the county. There are half- dozen charter schools in the area too and that number is growing rapidly.


The largest public school system in the Carolinas is Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS). This system was ranked 23rd largest in the nation in 2003-2004, with over 116,000 students enrolled in 148 schools.

There are many issues confronting CMS: overcrowding in certain suburban schools, continuing inequity between “have” and “have not” schools, a desire by some to secede from the schools system.

The issue of pupil assignment is a large one in the CMS system. From the early 1970s to spring 2002, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools operated under a federal court desegregation order that placed emphasis on assigning pupils to schools to achieve a balanced racial mix. That court order has now ended and Charlotte-Mecklenburg has launched a new assignment plan that offers a K-12 feeder system, choice opportunities, stability, guaranteed school assignment and diversity through choice by letting parents decide which school is right for their child. For complete details on the current assignment plan, check the CMS website at

The CMS system is rightly proud of its steadily improving performance in such areas as Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate and end-of-grade tests. In 2003, the top 10 percent of CMS graduates outperformed their peers statewide and nationally, scoring 1228 on the SAT, compared to 1185 for the top 10 percent in North Carolina and 1192 for the top 10 percent in the U.S.

CMS will continue to provide top-rated educational opportunities such as The Bright Beginnings program. This program offers a literacy-rich curriculum to 3,000 4-year-olds who might otherwise start kindergarten already behind other students. The program has proven its worth by preparing students to be on par with or ahead of their peers as they begin elementary school.

CMS features an innovative magnet school program that provides opportunities for students to pursue specific interests in their education. Fifteen magnet programs in 54 schools (see list) focus on such subjects as foreign language immersion; communication arts; math, science and technology; visual and performing arts; and accelerated learning.

Elementary School County Map:

Middle School County Map:

High School County Map:

CMS participates in the state’s ABCs of Public Education Accountability Program, which establishes standards for performance and improvement for every public school and then assesses the school using results on end-of-grade tests. The program ensures that schools are meeting the educational standards set up by the state and rewards schools that exceed their goals. Check the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction’s website at for details on the ABCs at the schools you’re considering.

A common theme among all Charlotte-region schools is growth. The tremendous increase in population is causing a surge in school enrollment, often putting classroom space, money and resources at a premium. Throughout this area, public and private schools are studying projections for growth and considering options to meet the demand for school services. As you check out the schools you’re considering, you’ll certainly see plenty of new construction and expansion projects under way, as well as plenty of modular units (mobile classrooms).

The Charlotte region also has a wealth of independent secular and religious private schools. Some large, well-established schools have huge campuses; others are small and new. There’s even a parochial school system, Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools, which encompasses the county’s seven parochial schools (but not the Catholic schools in Gastonia and Rock Hill). You’ll find a range of educational offerings, including innovative programs, special classes for students with learning disabilities, religious training and character-building. Because each private school has its own distinct philosophy and approach to learning, you’ll want to research schools, talk to parents and take a tour. Check here for that list.

The N.C. Board of Education must approve charter schools before they can begin operation. In addition, these schools must undergo periodic reviews to determine that they’re meeting regulations and standards. Charter school applications are up dramatically throughout the area as the state legislature made it easier to qualify for matching funds.
Public School Entrance Requirements

North Carolina: A child entering kindergarten must be

5 years old on or before Oct. 16.
A child entering the first grade must be

6 years old on or before the same date.

A copy of the child’s birth certificate and proof of residency must be taken to the school in order to register the child.

The following basic immunizations are required:

5 or more DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus). 3 doses by age seven months and two booster doses, one dose between 12 and 19 months and the second dose on or after the fourth birthday and before enrolling in school (K-1) for the first time. If the fourth dose was administered on or after the fourth birthday, the fifth dose is not required.

3 or more oral polio vaccines. Two doses by age five months, a third dose by 19 months of age and a booster dose on or after the fourth birthday and before enrolling in school (K-1) for the first time. If the third dose was administered on or after the 4th birthday, the 4th dose is not required. Two doses of enhanced-potency inactivated poliomyelitis vaccine (IPV) may be substituted for two doses of OPV.

4 MMR (2 measles, 1 mumps, 1 rubella) for children enrolling in K-1. A child must have two measles vaccines with one dose on or after the first birthday, but before 16 months of age. The second dose must be after the fourth birthday, but before enrolling in school (K-1) for the first time. In addition, a child must have one rubella vaccine and one mumps vaccine occurring on or after the first birthday, but before 16 months of age.

4 HiB (not required after fifth birthday) Three doses of HbOC or two doses of PRP-OMP by seven months old and a final dose of any type on or after the first birthday, but before 16 months old. Children who receive the first dose of HiB on or after their first birthday and before 15 months old are required to have only two doses with one dose being after 15 months of age. Children who receive the first dose of HiB vaccine on or after 15 months old are required to have one dose.

3 Hepatitis B vaccines with one occurring prior to three months old, a second dose by five months old and a third dose by 19 months old. Persons born before July 1, 1994 are not required to receive the hepatitis B vaccine.

A certificate of immunization must include the following:

  • Name of child and date of birth.
  • Name of the parent(s) or guardian.
  • Address of the parent(s) or guardian.
  • Sex of the child.

Kindergarten students must have a health assessment before entering school.

Transfer students should bring their most recent report card or transfer slip to verify grade.

Beginner’s days are held each spring at school to help parents prepare children for entry in the fall.

Parent(s)/guardians should contact their child’s school for more information, or visit

South Carolina

S.C. law requires that children between ages 5 and 17 enroll in school. Schools operate for 180 days each year.

S.C. law requires that all children to be enrolled in kindergarten and first grade present a birth certificate issued by the state of birth and be 6 years of age by Sept. 1 of the current school year. An exception is made for children who have completed first grade in another state that has a different age requirement. To enter kindergarten, children must be 5 years old on or before Sept. 1.

All children entering S.C. schools for the first time must be immunized prior to enrolling and obtain an S.C. Certificate of Immunization form. Certificates may be obtained from the S.C. Health Department or other sources of medical care.

South Carolina requires the following immunizations: measles, rubella, DPT (diphtheria, pertussis and tetanus) and polio.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools CMS numbers use the 980 area code..  (numbers may have changed since publication!)

Education Center switchboard – 980-343-6220
Exceptional children – 980-343-6960
International center – 980-343-3784
Magnet schools – 980-343-5030
Public information – 980-343-7450
Student placement – 980-343-5335
Superintendent – 980-343-6270
Talent development – 980-343-6955
Transportation – 980-343-6715Cabarrus County Schools
704-786-6191 County Schools
704-866-6100 Schools
704-872-8931 Graded School District
704-664-5553 County Schools

For more information on N.C. public schools, check the state Department
of Public Instruction’s Web site ( or call
the department at 919-807-3300.

York County District 1 (York)

York County District 2 (Clover)

York County District 3 (Rock Hill)

York County District 4 (Fort Mill)

For more information on S.C. public schools, visit the state Department of Education’s Web site, or call public information at 803-734-8815.

Private and Independent Schools

Adventist Christian Academy
4601 Emory Ln.
Charlotte, NC 28211

Back Creek Christian Academy
1821 Back Creek Church Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28213

Believers Faith Center Christian Academy
336 Brookview Rd.
Statesville, NC 28687

Bible Baptist Christian School
2724 Margaret Wallace Rd.
Matthews, NC 28105

Blessed Sacrament Academy
2024 Sam Newell Road
Matthews, NC 28105

Brisbane Academy
5901 Statesville Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28269

Calvary Christian School
8101 Fallsdale Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28214

Cannon School
5801 Poplar Tent Rd.
Concord, NC 28027

Carmel Christian School
1145 Pineville-Matthews Rd.
Matthews, NC 28105

Cathedral of the Cross Christian School
13925 Erwin Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28273
704-504-0442 ext. 12

Charlotte Christian School
7301 Sardis Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28270

Charlotte Country Day School
1440 Carmel Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28226

Charlotte Islamic School
1700 Progress Ln.
Charlotte, NC 28205

Charlotte Jewish Day School
P.O. Box 21209
Charlotte, NC 28277

Charlotte Latin School
9502 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28277

Charlotte Lutheran School
1225 E. Morehead St.
Charlotte, NC 28204

Charlotte Preparatory School
212 Boyce Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28211

Chesterbrook Academy
7801 Ballantyne Commons Pkwy.
Charlotte, NC 28277

Countryside Montessori School
9100 Olmsted Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28262

Covenant Classical School
3200 Patrick Henry Dr.
Concord, NC 28027

Covenant Day School
800 Fullwood Ln.
Matthews, NC 28105

Cramerton Christian Academy
426 Woodlawn Ext.
Cramerton, NC 28032

Dore Academy
1727 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28207
grades 1-12
(ADHD/learning disabilities)

First Assembly Christian Academy
777 S. Myrtle School Rd.
Gastonia, NC 28052

First Assembly Christian School
154 Warren C. Coleman Blvd.
Concord, NC 28027

First Assembly Christian School
2633 Eastway Dr.
Charlotte, NC 28205

First Wesleyan Christian School
208A S. Church St.
Gastonia, NC 28054

The Fletcher School
8500 Sardis Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28270
K-12 (learning disabilities)

Garr Christian Academy
7700 Wallace Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28212

Gaston Christian Schools
200 Mercy Drive
Belmont, NC 28012
Parkwood Campus
(elementary), Gastonia
Catawba Heights Campus
(elementary), Belmont
Belmont Campus
(grades 7-12), Belmont

Gaston Day School
2001 Gaston Day School Rd.
Gastonia, NC 28056

Hickory Grove Baptist Christian School
6050 Hickory Grove Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28215

Lake Norman Day School
14101 Stumptown Rd.
Huntersville, NC 28078

Northside Christian Academy
333 Jeremiah Blvd.
Charlotte, NC 28262

Omni Montessori Center
9536 Blakeney Heath Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28277

Paw Creek Christian Academy
5110 Tuckaseegee Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28208

Providence Christian School
4906 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28226
704-364-0824 ß K-5

Providence Day School
5800 Sardis Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28270
704-887-7041 ß TK-12

Resurrection Christian School
2825 Shenandoah Ave.
Charlotte, NC 28205

Rock Hill Christian Academy
1089 Edwards St.
Rock Hill, SC 29732

St. Anne School
1698 Bird St., Rock Hill, SC 29730

St. Michael’s Catholic School
704 St. Michael’s Ln.
Gastonia, NC 28052

SouthLake Christian Academy
13901 Hager’s Ferry Rd.
Huntersville, NC 28078

Statesville Montessori School
1012 Harmony Dr.
Statesville, NC 28677

Trinity Episcopal School
1510 E. 7th St.
Charlotte, NC 28204

Trinity Christian School
505 University Dr.
Rock Hill, SC 29730

United Faith Christian Academy
8617 Providence Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28277

Victory Christian Academy
310 Carolina Ave.
Gastonia, NC 28052

Westminster Catawba Christian School
2650 India Hook Rd.
Rock Hill, SC 29732

Woodlawn Christian School
4622 Nations Crossing Rd.
Charlotte, NC 28217

Specialty Schools within CMS

Magnet School Programs
Accelerated Learning (K-5)
First Ward Elementary

Center for Leadership and Global Economics (K-12)
Winding Springs Elementary
Beverly Woods Elementary
Eastway Middle
Kennedy Middle
Olympic High

Communication Arts (K-8)
Hornets Nest Elementary
Sharon Elementary
J.T. Williams Middle
Carmel Middle

Early College and Professional Development (9-12)
Waddell High

Foreign Language Schools (K-12)
Collinswood Elementary
Oaklawn Elementary
Smith Language Academy (K-8)
West Mecklenburg High

International Baccalaureate (K-12)
Cotswold Elementary
Huntingtowne Farms Elementary
Irwin Ave. Elementary
Statesville Road Elementary
Lansdowne Elementary
Paw Creek Elementary
Albemarle Road Middle
Davidson Middle
Piedmont Middle
Randolph Middle
Ranson Middle
Sedgefield Middle
East Mecklenburg High
Harding High
Myers Park High
North Mecklenburg High
West Charlotte High
Learning Immersion and
Talent Development (K-5)
Lincoln Heights Elementary
Tuckaseegee Elementary
Barringer Elementary
Villa Heights Elementary
Idlewild Elementary

Math/Science and Environmental Studies (K-12)
Morehead Elementary
Cochrane Middle
Harding High

Montessori (PK-5)
Highland Elementary
Park Road Elementary

Open (K-12)
Irwin Elementary
Piedmont Middle
West Charlotte High

Paideia (K-8)
Oakhurst Elementary
Sterling Elementary
Randolph Middle

Pre-Advanced Placement (6-8)
Piedmont Middle

Technical (9-12)
Berry Academy of Technology

Traditional (K-5)
Elizabeth Elementary
Myers Park Elementary

Visual and Performing Arts (K-12)
Dilworth Elementary
University Park Elementary
Northwest School of the Arts
Garinger High

Note: List does not include schools in the Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools system ( schools), which require application through the MACS central office, or many smaller independent schools.

Catholic Schools
Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools, operated by the Diocese of Charlotte, includes eight coeducational schools:

All Saints, Our Lady of the Assumption,

St. Ann, St. Gabriel, St. Mark and St. Patrick elementary schools, Holy Trinity Middle School and Charlotte Catholic High School. All are accredited by state and regional organizations.

The system has a volunteer school board and a full-time superintendent. To accommodate the growing demand for Catholic education, MACS is studying expansion needs, with particular attention to providing service in the city’s hot residential areas – south Charlotte, University City and north Mecklenburg.

Admission to MACS schools is handled by the school system’s central office, not by individual schools. Students are admitted year-round as seats are available. Applications for the following fall are submitted by January and students who are accepted are notified in March. Non-Catholics and nonparticipating parishioners can attend MACS on a space-available basis but at a higher tuition rate.

For more information on Mecklenburg Area Catholic Schools, call the MACS office, 704-370-0405.

For more information on neighborhoods and home search based on schools,  call Terry at 704-390-6221



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