CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools used Park Road Montessori as an example of how some schools are experiencing greater diversity after lottery changes.
CMS began including students’ socioeconomic status in the school choice lottery in 2017-18 to increase diversity within schools across the district. The lottery is used to select students for magnet programs.
The largest number of new students come into a magnet school at the entry grades: kindergarten, sixth grade and ninth grade. In full magnet schools, those without home school-attendance areas, the district found minor shifts in diversity.
“In our full magnets, diversity increased by less than 3 percent in many cases,” said Akeshia Craven-Howell, associate superintendent of student assignment and school choice. “But as new students come into magnet schools at the entry level, we expect increased socioeconomic diversity over time.”
Some magnet schools had significant shifts in diversity.
At Park Road Montessori, low socioeconomic status increased to 16 percent this year, compared to 10 percent a year earlier. Students with medium SES declined to 29.5 percent from 31.2 percent the previous year, and those with high SES declined to 54.3 percent from 58.8 percent a year ago.
“CMS will continue to create broad awareness of our choice plans to increase socioeconomic diversity in our magnet schools,” Craven-Howell said. “We also look forward to implementing the next phase of the student-assignment plan in 2018-19 to further increase SES diversity in our district.”