Parents of Charlotte Mecklenburg School students will have one more option next school year. CMS is introducing a fifth option for parents wanting their children to go to Montessori schools.
CMS Superintendent Dr. Health Morrison said Long Creek Montessori was created for parents in the northern part of the county who wanted a Montessori option for their children.
“A lot of parents in northern Charlotte said we want our children to have a Montessori option but we don’t want to have our students on a bus for an extended period of time to access the schools available,” he said. “We looked at an opportunity at Long Creek where we built a new school several years ago but still have the old building on site. We’ll do some site renovations and make the new school to serve Montessori.”
The district currently has four other Montessori schools.
Sophia Hazlehurst, principal at Chantilly Montessori, said parents whose children are in Montessori are particular about how their children learn.
“It’s more than just an academic program,” she said. “I think that’s the attraction. Parents really do see this as a wonderful opportunity for their children to be creative and independent learners and to really go after what their interests are.”
She also said parents like that their children spend a time learning outdoors.
“Every classroom has a garden and the students get to go out in the gardens and work,” said Hazelhurst. “The kids don’t just study the life cycle of a plant but go outside and plant the seeds and watch them grow. They harvest the food they grow and cook it in the classroom to experience what they created.”
But getting into a public Montessori can be difficult. Once a child is enrolled in the CMS school system, parents chose three schools and are entered into a lottery.
Dr. Scott Mcculley said Montessori is extremely popular and parents need to be aware that a lottery doesn’t ensure a spot in a program.
“We are very transparent and have all the results of the past lotteries on our website so the parents can see what kind of wait pool there was after the first lottery,” he said. “We encourage everyone to apply but they need to go in eyes wide open.”
The CMS Options Fair is an event where parents can explore all the public magnet schools and decide which one is right for their child. Long Creek Montessori will be represented for parents. This year’s fair is Jan. 11 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at Philip O. Berry Academy of Technology, 1430 Alleghany St.
“For this (school), for the violet transportation zone in the north part of our county, students who live in the violet transportation zone will be given priority, but anyone may apply,” said Mcculley.