More seats filled in middle school IB program

HUNTERSVILLE – Fewer students applied for more available seats in north Mecklenburg’s middle school International Baccalaureate program than applied to the program last year.

During the district’s first magnet lottery, 458 students applied for seats in the program, which is moving from Davidson IB Middle to Alexander Middle in Huntersville.  Of those who applied, 284 students received seats: 110 in sixth grade, 88 in seventh grade and 86 in eighth grade.

Last year, 485 students applied last year for 258 available seats.

While fewer students applied, the district offered more space, 26 seats, in what has been one of the district’s most popular magnet programs. School officials had said the program’s move from Davidson to Huntersville would provide extra spaces.

Nearly 19,000 students were assigned to magnet programs district-wide during the first student-assignment lottery.

The district received more than 9,500 individual lottery applications through the online process, including 1,700 kindergarten lottery applications. After the lottery was finished, 18,778 students were assigned to magnet programs, about 700 less than last year. That includes students who were already assigned to magnet schools and automatically continue in those programs.

Families showed strong interest in Montessori, International Baccalaureate, math and science and the traditional programs. The five schools with the largest wait pools are: Morehead STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy, Park Road Montessori, Piedmont IB Middle, Myers Park Traditional and Elizabeth Traditional.

Students who do not receive their first choice for a magnet program are automatically placed in that program’s wait pool. A total of 3,869 students are now assigned to magnet-school wait pools.

Schools can access their wait pools in July. If a seat becomes available, the school will contact the next person in the wait pool and offer them a seat. Students may accept or decline the placement. The school will continue to contact students until all available seats are filled.

Families who are unhappy with their child’s placement have two options: request reassignment or apply to a magnet school with space through the second lottery. The reassignment period is open until March 21. The reassignment process is online only and can be accessed at www.cms.k12.nc.us/cmsdepartments/StudentPlacement.

A second lottery begins March 14 and lasts through June 3. Families will be notified of their placement in late June. The second lottery is open to any current district student, including those who participated in the first lottery. The second lottery is an opportunity to fill seats that are still available in magnet programs.

The district provides free computer access at the Family Application Center, 700 Marsh Rd., and at all Learning Zone offices. Computers at these locations will be available from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. The student assignment call center, 980-343-5335, is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., to handle calls and questions about the student-assignment lottery.

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