Schooling and Education in Charlotte

If you are a recently divorced parent, one of the most important things you may be wondering about is where your child or children will go to school. You will need to know about the school districts and you may be interested in non-public school alternatives. Perhaps you may be interested in furthering your own education after your divorce by finishing your college degree, getting a masters degree or getting a certification in a specific field. This article will explore education options in the greater Charlotte area.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools

600 E. Fourth Street

Fifth Floor

Charlotte, NC 28202


Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) is a network of elementary, middle and high schools as well as alternative education and magnet programs that are available to Charlotte residents. CMS schools operate on a traditional calendar; the school year begins in August and ends in June. Their website provides a map that will show student assignments based on neighborhood.

The website provides a wealth of information; not only can you find your child’s assigned school, you can take steps to enroll your child, view the school calendar, learn about the sibling guarantee, view fact sheets and complete a lottery application. The website also provides a link to each individual school’s website, which will provide details about the school as well as contact information.


Magnet Schools

Magnet schools are a specific subset of the CMS system. They are public schools, but provide different education options that emphasize specialized learning environments and creative instructional programs. Magnet schools provide “theme-based” learning environments; the emphasis is placed on how material is taught as opposed to what material is being taught. Magnet programs offered by CMS include visual and performing arts, world languages, Montessori, and International Baccalaureate among others.

In order to apply to a magnet program, you must first be enrolled in CMS. You can fill out the application for the magnet lottery on the CMS website.


Charter Schools

North Carolina Office of Charter Schools

(919) 807 – 3300


For a recently divorced, newly single parent, making decisions about your child’s education can be extremely difficult. Decisions you formerly made jointly with your partner are now for the most part squarely on your shoulders. While a separation agreement or court order may require you to consult your ex partner regarding the child’s education, the ultimate decision typically rests with the custodial parent. Maybe you aren’t thrilled with your neighborhood public schools, and haven’t been successful with the magnet school lottery, but you can’t afford private school tuition either, is there an alternative?

Charter schools are public schools, but are not part of the CMS system. They are primarily funded by public tax dollars, have open enrollment, no religious associations and no tuition. What makes a charter school different from other public schools is that families’ can choose a charter school; they aren’t simply required to attend the school in their district. Charter schools have strict goals outlined in the school’s mission statement and programs, and should a charter school fail to meet its goals, it may be closed.

Some parents prefer charter schools because it affords them a choice in their child’s schooling while others are attracted by the accountability charter schools provide. Whatever the reason, charter schooling may be a great option for your family. Currently, there are 16 charter schools in Mecklenburg County.


Private Schools

Some parents prefer to enroll their children in private schools. Perhaps you are unhappy with your neighborhood public school, can’t get into a magnet or charter school, or maybe you have chosen to enroll your child in a private school for other reasons. Especially after a divorce, when assets have been split and one party may be paying child support and alimony, it can be difficult to afford private school tuition. However, if you can afford it, there are several great options in Charlotte. The most popular private schools in Charlotte, as well as details about each, are listed here.


Charlotte Catholic

7702 Pineville Matthews Road

Charlotte, NC 28226

(704) 543 – 1127

Charlotte Catholic is a Catholic high school (grades 9 – 12). Their mission statement boasts that they are “an educational community centered in the Roman Catholic faith which teaches individuals to serve as Christians in our changing world.”

Enrollment: 1,430

Tuition: $7,800 (Catholic students); $11,400 (non-Catholic students)


Charlotte Christian

7301 Sardis Rd.

Charlotte, NC 28270

(704) 366 – 5657

Charlotte Christian is a non-denominational Christian school, which focuses on students’ spiritual transformation as well as a rigorous academic curriculum. Charlotte Christian provides education for those in pre-kindergarten through high school.

Enrollment: 1,000

Tuition: $11,000 – $16,000


Charlotte Country Day

1400 Carmel Road

Charlotte, NC 28226

(704) 943 – 4500


This school offers education for pre-kindergarteners through twelfth grade, with the middle school students attending class on a separate campus. CCDS is unique to the other area private schools in that it offers an International Baccalaureate diploma program.

Enrollment: 1,600

Tuition: $14,000 – $20,000


Charlotte Latin

9502 Providence Road

Charlotte, NC 28277

(704) 846 – 1100


“Latin,” as Charlotte residents refer it to, offers a curriculum for lower school, middle school, and upper school (grades pre-kindergarten through twelve). Latin is located in South Charlotte, has no religious affiliation, and is a three-time recipient of the Blue Ribbon School of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education.

Enrollment: 1,400

Tuition: $15,000 – $19,000


Providence Day

5800 Sardis Road

Charlotte, NC 28270

(704) 887 – 6000


Providence Day is an independent, coeducational college preparatory school offering education to those in pre-kindergarten through high school. The campus sprawls across more than forty acres in southeast Charlotte.

Enrollment: 1,500

Tuition: $14,000 – $20,000


Furthering Your Own Education

Charlotte has many traditional and unique education options for adults looking to go back to school. Whether your aim is to receive a bachelor’s degree, masters, PHD, or receive an associate’s degree your certification, there are many options in Charlotte.

UNC – Charlotte

9201 University City Blvd.

Charlotte, NC 28223

(704) 687 – 8622


UNCC is the Charlotte campus affiliated with the University of North Carolina system. At UNCC you can obtain a bachelors degree, masters degree, PHD, or simply take continuing education classes. There are seven professional colleges at UNC that allow students to tailor their educational experience to meet their needs. Those colleges are as follows:

Belk College of Business

College of Arts + Architecture

College of Computing and Informatics

College of Education

College of Health and Human Services

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

William States Lee College of Engineering
Queens University

1900 Selwyn Avenue

Charlotte, NC 28274

(704) 337 – 2200


Like UNCC, Queens offers degrees for undergraduates, as well as graduate programs, certifications and continuing education classes. One area of study that Queens has placed a particular emphasis on is nursing. You can obtain your Bachelor of Science in Nursing, attend their RN to BSN undergraduate program, or even receive a Master of Science in Nursing. Queens is a private college, however, so your tuition will most likely greater at Queens than at UNCC.

Central Piedmont Community College

CPCC is Charlotte’s community college option, and has been an educational resource in Charlotte for more than fifty years. There are six campuses spread throughout the city offering courses in a wide variety of subject areas. Whether you are looking for a degree in something as commonplace as accounting, or looking to get a certification in something as specific as air conditioning and refrigeration technology you will find a program that suits your needs at CPCC.


Johnson & Wales University

801 W. Trade St.

Charlotte, NC 28202

(800) 342 – 5598


Johnson & Wales is a private, non-profit, accredited institution that offers curriculum in business, culinary arts, hospitality, and arts and sciences. JWU is most known for it’s culinary arts program, which can result in a career as a chef, food scientist, sports nutritionist, or food service entrepreneurs. At this University you will learn basic culinary fundamentals as well as the how’s and why’s of cooking and you will learn how to think creatively and analytically about culinary arts. JWU places much value on their “hands-on” learning approach; you will learn both front and back-of-house skills in industry-standard kitchens as well as participate in internships to prepare you for the real world experience in your chosen field.


The Art Institute of Charlotte

Three Lake Plaza

2110 Water Ridge Parkway

Charlotte, NC 28217

(704) 357 – 4417


The Art Institute may be a great resource for you if you are looking for a more creativity-focused career. This campus focuses on providing education related to design, media arts, fashion, and culinary arts. The innovative programs at the Art Institute prepare students for employment in creative arts by providing access to industry-related equipment and learning from experienced industry professionals.  This school truly promotes interaction amongst students studying in different fields, claiming that at any given time you may find an interior design student hanging out in the student café with a fashion student.