Even though it was 4 years ago, I am still scarred from the preschool lottery/wait-list process and have really enjoyed not having to worry about it since then because once you are in, you are in. And the bonus? Siblings are guaranteed a spot so my son began his first year of preschool this year.
My daughter turned 4 this summer. So, my grand plan was to cruise through her last year of preschool…put my feet up and relax for once. I figured I had plenty of time before needing to stress out about the kindergarten process. I planned to come out of hibernation in January to get serious about it. Well, my “cruise control” just got a major interruption with all of this open house nonsense I’ve been hearing about.
There is no rest for the weary here, folks, and all of the rumors are true. October is kindergarten open house month in Charlotte. WHAT? Can’t a mother catch a break and get some down time? Apparently not. Here’s what I found in my travels.
CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG SCHOOLS (CMS)
Have you ever visited the CMS website? Grab a cup of joe, pack a lunch or better yet pour yourself a generous glass of wine. Or if this is your first rodeo (like me), then buy a friend a cup of joe or glass of wine and get the 411 on the process from someone who’s lived it. Frankly, I need a CMS Sherpa. Did you know there are 104 CMS elementary schools? Did you know that CMS graduated 7,681 students in 2010? All I can say is WOW. Each CMS elementary school will have its own schedule for open house. You will need to surf the individual elementary school websites to find out the open house date(s) for that particular school. Listing all 104 here was not an option…
CMS Enrollment (process, key dates, home school info, student assignment lottery)
CMS Magnet Program
CMS Elementary Schools
MECKLENBURG AREA CATHOLIC SCHOOLS (MACS)
What is MACS you ask? It’s “a centralized, regional system of schools in the Charlotte area that includes 8 schools (a high school, a middle school, 6 Kindergarten through 5th grade schools and an additional middle school on the campus of St. Mark School).” There is the potential for a new Catholic High School that will be added to MACs and located north of Charlotte.
MACS hosts an open house where all of the schools are discussed and the dates are Oct 17 at 1:30p and Oct 19 at 9a. Each individual school in the MACS network also hosts an open house so you will need to visit each individual school’s website to check out the dates:
Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic School – PK-5th grade
St. Ann Catholic School – PK, TK and K-5th grade
St. Gabriel Catholic School – K-5th grade
St. Mark Catholic School – K-8th grade
St. Matthew Catholic School – TK-5th grade
St. Patrick Catholic School – K-5th grade
Holy Trinity Catholic Middle School
Charlotte Catholic High School
Christ the King Catholic High School in Huntersville: now accepting applications for 9th & 10th grade, opening August 2011
CHARLOTTE AREA INDEPENDENT SCHOOLS (CAIS)
There are 6 private/independent schools that are part of a consortium known as CAIS. These schools use the same cognitive assessment process and include an evaluation by a licensed psychologist. So if you are applying to more than one, you avoid multiple tests and evaluations. Your child will be tested and evaluated once. Here are the open house dates by school. A nifty CAIS catalog kindly listed all of these dates and times so my work was made easier.
Charlotte Christian School — Oct 7 at 9:30a, Oct 21 at 7p, Nov 6 at 3p, Jan 27 at 7p
Charlotte Country Day School — Oct 5 at 7p, Oct 20 at 7p
Charlotte Latin School — Oct 7 at 7p, Oct 12 at 9:30a
Charlotte Preparatory School — Oct 14 at 7p, Nov 2 at 9:30a, Nov 14 at 2p
Providence Day School — Oct 3 at 2p, Oct 18 at 7p, Nov 11 at 9:30a
Trinity Episcopal School — Oct 19 at 7p, Oct 28 at 12p, Nov 13 at 3p
OTHER INDEPENDENT/PRIVATE SCHOOLS
Please don’t hate on me for my failure to catalogue every independent/private school in the Charlotte area. Remember? I’m new to this, too! In January 2010, Charlotte Magazine ran an article titled “How the Area’s Private Schools Stack Up” and it includes a looooong list of schools in the area. Thank you, Charlotte Mag!
Here are some other independent/private schools in the area.
The British American School of Charlotte: Call to schedule an appointment. I couldn’t find anything about open house for kindergarten.
Charlotte Jewish Day School: The website says that the admissions process begins in November and continues until classes have been filled. An Open House for parents of prospective students is held in November of each year but the date is not published (from what I can tell).
The Charlotte Montessori School: I had to dig for this (look at the calendar section)…Oct 2 at 12p
Covenant Day School: Oct 20 at 9:30a
Pine Lake Preparatory School in Mooresville: Call or email to find dates.
Cannon School in Concord: Call or email for dates.
Tag, you’re it – what did we miss?! Happy Open House season, Smarties!