Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Charter School? A Charter School is a public school, but one that is independent of any school district, thus allowing more freedom in educational approach, an assist to improving student achievement.
Is there a tuition fee to attend? No, we are a public school and there is no cost to attend.
Who can enroll in a Charter School? Do I have to be a resident of North Carolina in order to apply to CIS? Charter Schools are permitted to enroll any student living in the state of North Carolina who is entitled to a free public education. It is required that all applications for students accepted by NC charter schools be residents of North Carolina. It is insufficient that the parent intends to move here at some point in the future. The domiciliary must be in place at the time of the student application in order for that particular application to gain consideration in the charter school lottery and / or admissions process.
Do teachers at Charter Schools need to be licensed? North Carolina Law requires that 50% of charter school teachers be licensed. However, charter school teachers must follow No Child Left Behind (NCLB) requirements for highly qualified staff. All teachers who are teaching in the core subject areas of Math, Science, Social Studies, and Language Arts shall be college graduates. Exceptional Children (EC) teachers must be licensed in the state of North Carolina with a specialty in the EC services area.
How many of your teachers are licensed and highly qualified? For the 2018/2019 school year 83% of our teachers were certified and highly qualified.
How is your curriculum different from other schools? We use an interdisciplinary curriculum. Our curriculum consists of the common core and essential standards provided by the State of North Carolina, and we enhance those standards with International and Environmental studies. Carolina International School’s educational program integrates the primary elements of educational experience – student development, curriculum, instruction, and the learning environment – in a consistent philosophy: the power of making connections.
What were the demographics of the CIS student population for the 2018/2019 school year? The demographics for the 2018/2019 school year were as follows: Asian: 6.3%, Black: 29.9%, Hispanic: 15.9%, Multi/Other: 9.1%, White: 38.2%
What percent of CIS students are economically disadvantaged? For the 2018/2019 school year 8% of our population was economically disadvantaged.
What is a 1 to 1 laptop school? A 1 to 1 laptop school means each child in grades 3 through 12 is required to have a laptop of their own to use daily in the classrooms. Grades 3 through 8 utilize their laptops when they are on campus. Grades 9 through 12 utilize them on campus as well as at home for their homework. CIS owns all laptops that are utilized by the students, no personal laptops are permitted. Students are required to pay a technology fee each year.
Does my child need to wear a uniform? We have a dress code at school. Students must follow the dress code every day. More information regarding our dress code can be found on our website under the Parent Information tab.
Do primary grades have Teacher Assistants? Yes. Each Kindergarten, First, and Second grade class has an assistant for 50% of their day.
Does CIS provide transportation? No, we are a carpool school. The school buses we have on campus are used for field trips only.
Does CIS have a cafeteria? No. You can choose between bringing a healthy bagged lunch from home or you can order from our catering service. More information on the catering service, including pricing, can be found on our website. Pizza is available each Friday for $1.00 a slice.
Does CIS have a gym? Yes, we have a gymnasium facility. Students also have recess outside when conditions are between 36 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, and sometimes PE classes as well.
What foreign languages does CIS offer? We currently offer Spanish and a variety of other languages through our International Studies program. High School students have access to NCVPS which allows them to take other languages not offered on campus.
Does CIS have an Exceptional Children program? Yes. All public schools serve children with special needs.
Is CIS an accredited school, and if so, by what accrediting body? CIS is an accredited school by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.
What sort of student is successful at CIS? Students who do well at this school are motivated and independent thinkers.
How are students at CIS evaluated? They are evaluated through a variety of ways. Formative / summative and common exams in the classroom, as well as Measuring Academic Progress (MAP) testing and the end of the year state assessments.
Does CIS give school tours? Yes, we conduct tours most Tuesday and Thursday mornings at 9:30 am. Please email to schedule a tour. We do not conduct drop in tours.
Where do most of the children at CIS live? In the 2018/19 school year 56.9% of the students are from Charlotte/Mecklenburg County, 36.5% from Cabarrus County, and the balance is from the City of Kannapolis, Mooresville, Lincoln and Rowan / City of Salisbury Schools.
Does CIS have a Parent/Teacher Organization? Yes, we have an excellent and active PTSO, which meets once a month.
Frequently Asked Questions: Admissions / Lottery
How can my child become a student at CIS? In order to become a student at CIS you must go through the Lottery. The first step is to complete an application online before the deadline (the application can be found on our school’s website: ciscomets.com) and your child will be entered into our lottery. If you apply after the lottery deadline, your application will be put at the bottom of the Waitlist for the grade you are applying to. There is a Spanish version of the Application Form available on our website. As a public charter school, we welcome students of any race, color, and national or ethnic origin.
When does the lottery process start/end? The applications for the 2020/2021 lottery are available November 1, 2019 and will close Monday, March 2, 2020. If you apply after the March 2 deadline, your application will be placed at the bottom of the Waitlist for the grade in the order in which they are received.
What is the Lottery process? You will need to complete an application online through InfoSnap. The applications can be found on our website: ciscomets.com. Please submit one application per child. On Saturday, March 2, 2019 we will hold a public lottery. Lottery results will be email to all applicants as soon as they are verified and approved by our Board of Directors. Openings in Grades Kindergarten through 12th Grade will be filled March 2020 - October 2020.
How many spots are available in each grade? During the spring we will send out Intent to Return forms to our currently enrolled families. At that time we will know how many openings we will have in each grade for the Lottery. Kindergarten – 1st Grade: A maximum of 24 per class and 2nd – 12th Grade: A maximum of 26 per class.
Do siblings get priority? Charter school law allows us to give siblings of currently enrolled students’ priority at the time of our lottery. To be eligible for our sibling lottery, you must enter an application for the siblings during the open enrollment period. Any applications received after the open enrollment period will be placed at the bottom of the Wait list in the order they are received. Siblings of students currently attending CIS will be given priority for placement in subsequent years. While we are hopeful to place these siblings within a year, it is possible that it could take longer depending upon the number of siblings for a specific grade level and the number of available spots that year.
Who is considered a sibling? According to North Carolina charter school law, specifically House Bill 250, the definition of "siblings" include any of the following who reside in the same household: half siblings, stepsiblings, and children residing in a family foster home.
What if one of my children gets in and the other one doesn’t? Parents/Guardians will need to reapply for admission for the next school year to receive sibling priority.
How can I improve my chances in the lottery? The lottery is, by its very nature, random. It does not matter if you submit your application on November 1st or March 2nd. If the application arrives during the open enrollment period it will be placed in the lottery. If you apply after the deadline, your application will be placed at the bottom of the Waitlist for the grade in the order in which they are received.
Where will the 2020/2021 Lottery be held? A public lottery will be held on Saturday, March 7, 2020 in the Atrium of our school. You do not need to be present at the lottery to receive admission to the school. We will email the lottery results within 5 days.
How do you communicate with families regarding applications and enrollment? All communication regarding applications and enrollment are done through email. Please make sure your email address is correct on your application. If you change your email address after you have submitted the application, please contact our Admissions Coordinator - Amy Corey () and provide a current email address.
Must I attend a Parent Information Session/Open House/Tour prior to completing an application for admission? We highly recommend attending a Parent Information / Open House / Tour prior to applying to make sure CIS is the best fit for you and your child; it is by no means required as a prerequisite to applying for admission at the school. We cannot hold offers for tours, so please schedule the tour before you receive an offer.
How will I be notified if my student(s) is (are) accepted? All communication is done through email. From March 8th through July 31st you will have SEVEN calendar days to either accept or decline the offer. From August 1st through August 15th, you will have FIVE calendar days to either accept or decline the offer. From August 16th through October 11th, you will have THREE calendar days to accept or decline the offer. If we do not receive an acceptance or a decline at the end of the seven calendar days, your offer will be rescinded.
If I am placed on the wait list this year, will that carry over until next year? The wait list does not carry over to the following year. You will have to submit a new application every year. Once you are enrolled at CIS you are guaranteed a spot in subsequent years without having to reapply.
What grade should I apply for if I am not sure if my child will be retained for the coming year? When you are submitting your application you are required to submit the application for the grade your current school would have assigned for the child next year. Unless you have already been notified by your current school that your child will be retained, you must enter the child for the subsequent grade level. If it is determined that the child should be retained by the Principal of CIS, the student will continue to be enrolled at the school, but would be transferred to the appropriate grade.
What is the age requirement for Kindergarten? As per NC law, the student must be 5 years old by August 31st to be eligible for public school. Students who have a birthday between September 1st and April 16th are eligible for Early Entry to Kindergarten.
What are the requirements for Early Entry to Kindergarten? The North Carolina General Assembly passed BH-1099, allowing early admission to Kindergarten of a child who has reached his/her fourth birthday by April 16th if the child demonstrates extraordinary academic ability and maturity. The State of North Carolina has created standards for the principal to use in determining if a child is appropriate for early entrance to kindergarten. Please contact our Admissions Coordinator, Amy Corey, by email () for more information.
How do I accept admission to the school? Upon receiving notice of an Offer of Enrollment to CIS via email, you will be asked to accept or decline by responding to that email. The Parent must complete the two step registration within the specific time period for the student to be officially enrolled. Once admission has been accepted online and the registration documents have been received, the student will be considered enrolled at the school and cannot lose their seat. Accepting admission online, but failing to complete the registration within the specified time period will result in the student's offer for admission being rescinded. The registration procedure includes a release of records form for student records from the child's previous school, IEP information (if applicable), Legal / Custody information (if applicable), Medical information (if applicable), the home language survey questions, a copy of the child’s birth certificate, transfer request forms, and Proof of Residency documentation. Each family will be expected to complete all information as required by the NC DPI.
Will enrolled students have to re-apply every year? Current students at CIS will not be required to re-enroll. They will be asked to sign a letter of intent for the coming year in April to allow the school time to prepare for the coming year.
What if my children have half siblings living in another household? Can they be placed on the same application? No, according to North Carolina law, siblings residing in separate residences must be submitted on separate applications and will not receive sibling priority in subsequent years.
If we know we will be moving to North Carolina before the school year begins, can we apply during the open enrollment period? No, students must be residents of the state of North Carolina at the time their application is submitted.
How long do you expect the lottery to take? We expect the lottery and verification of data to take approximately 2 hours.
What happens if I submit my application after the open enrollment period has ended? If you submit your application after the open enrollment period ends on March 2, 2020, the student will be placed at the end of the wait list in the appropriate grade immediately following the lottery, of if the lottery has already occurred, as the application is received.