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Old 08-13-2012, 10:53 AM
 
Location: Charlotte
679 posts, read 612,386 times
Reputation: 237

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So, I went to school in southern Louisiana. In my hometown there were several different "tracks" that you could take in schooling. For instance, my high school had Special Ed, Regular, Honors, Gifted and AP. There was also a boarding school that you could apply for like a college to get into and it was an advanced program structured more like a college curriculum.

For Special Ed and Gifted there were entrance requirements based on IQ testing and such. If you tested above a certain IQ you were able to enter the GT program and you would be allowed to goto the GT school no matter where you lived in the parish (county for everyone not in Louisiana).

Getting into Honors was performance based and you could get recommended into the program by a teacher. I believe you could get into AP classes performance based as well, but my memory is a bit hazy b/c I remember that there were a few students that got in over there head with those and had to switch to a different track for those courses.

Of course if a student showed issues then they would talk with the parents about if the program was best for the student, etc, etc. I graduated in 2000 and I know that after I graduated in 6 years or so my High School had added on specific work angled studies, they had a medical program and an engineering program so even where I went there are different rules and programs.

Soo, now that I've taken up all that space let me ask my questions that are fairly interrelated
How does the school program work here? What type of set ups are there available to students in the Charlotte area? Can you only goto the public school you're zoned for? I've heard talks about Charter schools which I'm unsure what that means, and lotteries which I'm unclear as to how it applies to different students.

Just trying to get a clearer idea of things, thanks
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Old 08-13-2012, 10:44 PM
 
6,321 posts, read 10,252,984 times
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Well since no one has replied to this yet I will give it a stab. In the interest of full disclosure I have no children and am certainly no expert on the schools here having only lived here a year, although I have done a little bit of research. So anyone feel free to correct me if I'm wrong and please add anything else.

But anyway, as far as I know, for the "regular" public schools you must live in the assigned district. I think for the most part the regular public schools will have most of the "tracks" you mentioned however I don't think it's an entire Honors curriculum but rather you can take some Honors/AP classes, etc.

However there are specific magnet programs within these same schools where you don't have to live in the exact district but may need to be in the relative area, and for CMS (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools) you obviously have to live in the county. These do involve applying and lotteries, but for the most part are free. Home

One specific type of magnet program is the IB (International Baccalaureate) program which I've heard is very rigorous. Here is the link to the CMS IB Program - International Baccalaureate .

In addition, Charter Schools are technically public schools that you have to apply (and often enter a lottery) for, but again are free. IMO they're essentially free private schools. Their entry/residency requirements may vary...for example I just looked at the website for one near where I live and the only residency requirement is living in the state!

There are Charter Schools in both Mecklenburg County and the surrounding counties, and obviously there are public schools in the surrounding counties as well (and as I'm sure you figured out that the school system is county-based). Many newcomers seem to want to "avoid" CMS, however there are some very good schools within CMS. Along those lines, people will say they want to move to Union County for the schools, but not all schools in Union County are created equal.

There are also some very good private schools in Charlotte, however they are not cheap.

Hope this helps!
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:59 AM
 
3,914 posts, read 4,936,564 times
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Charter schools are state funded schools which are not part of the local school system. NC has authorized them as an alternative to large school systems such as CMS. When a student enrolls in a charter school, funding which would have gone to the local school system is shifted to the charter school. They are generally assumed to provide a better education than the traditional school systems and hence the limited number of seats are in high demand. The government does not provide transportation nor facilities for charter schools.
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Old 08-14-2012, 11:45 AM
 
Location: Indian Trail, NC
930 posts, read 2,150,154 times
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After reading this post, just a couple of questions. I live in Union County. I thought that Union Academy was a charter school and CATA was as well. They do furnish transportation to these schools. But, I am not sure if the funding comes from what is allotted to the schools. I have seen their buses and know friends with children that go to them. Does anyone know?
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:28 PM
 
810 posts, read 2,282,571 times
Reputation: 466
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebalogas View Post
After reading this post, just a couple of questions. I live in Union County. I thought that Union Academy was a charter school and CATA was as well. They do furnish transportation to these schools. But, I am not sure if the funding comes from what is allotted to the schools. I have seen their buses and know friends with children that go to them. Does anyone know?
I know 2 families that go to Union Academy. They drive their children to and from. For these families the school does not provide transportation.
Maybe it depends on location? One family lives in Wesley Chapel the other lives in Waxhaw.
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Old 08-15-2012, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Lakeside. Of course.
537 posts, read 1,761,255 times
Reputation: 1299
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebalogas View Post
After reading this post, just a couple of questions. I live in Union County. I thought that Union Academy was a charter school and CATA was as well. They do furnish transportation to these schools. But, I am not sure if the funding comes from what is allotted to the schools. I have seen their buses and know friends with children that go to them. Does anyone know?
I don't know about Union Academy or CATA. However, my son attended Lincoln Charter School in Denver. LCS has buses; they need them for sports transportation and the possibility of evacuation for Nuclear events. They also use the buses to pick kids up in the mornings (and drop them off in the afternoons) from "general" bus stops. It's been a while since my son attended, but I think they still offer bus service from the Walmart parking lot in Denver, the Walmart parking lot at 16 & Mt. Holly-Huntersville Rd., and other grocery store lots in Boger City and Huntersville. When my son attended, there was no direct cost to us for him to use the bus, but I would have gladly contributed to help defray costs. Having the kids take the bus also helps cut down on the traffic congestion at the school. But once my son was of driving age, he wanted to drive himself.
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Old 08-15-2012, 10:43 AM
 
Location: livin' the good life on America's favorite island
2,221 posts, read 4,368,457 times
Reputation: 1390
Quote:
Originally Posted by thebalogas View Post
After reading this post, just a couple of questions. I live in Union County. I thought that Union Academy was a charter school and CATA was as well. They do furnish transportation to these schools. But, I am not sure if the funding comes from what is allotted to the schools. I have seen their buses and know friends with children that go to them. Does anyone know?
Union Academy IS a Charter school. My daughter graduated from CATA (aka Central Academy of Technology and Arts), it is an UCPS school and is a 'Magnet' school.

Last edited by ZnGuy; 08-15-2012 at 10:56 AM..
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