HUNTERSVILLE – Fewer students applied for seats in north Mecklenburg’s middle school International Baccalaureate program than applied to the program last year.
During the district’s magnet lottery, 458 students applied for seats in the program, which is moving from Davidson IB Middle to Alexander Middle in Huntersville. Of those who applied, 284 students received seats: 110 in sixth grade, 88 in seventh grade and 86 in eighth grade.
Last year, 485 students applied last year for 258 available seats.
Jo Karney, the Davidson IB principal who will become Alexander’s new principal next year, said, that with the changes to the school she was happy with the number of students that applied.
“I would hate to lose any students but I understand that parents have to make the decision that is best for their family,” Karney said. “Transportation is a big issue right now in CMS, but I think that since Alexander Middle is more centrally located, it will help draw more students from Charlotte.”
While fewer students applied, the district offered 26 more seats in what has been one of the district’s most popular magnet programs. School officials had promised that the program’s move from Davidson to Huntersville would provide extra spaces. Those additional seats will be added to the sixth grade, Karney said.
“The plan is to grow the program through the sixth grade because the IB program is really a philosophy and it’s easy to start students on that path in the sixth grade,” Karney said.
District-wide 18,778 students were assigned to magnet programs, about 700 less than last year. That includes students who were already assigned to magnet schools and automatically continue in those programs.
Families showed strong interest in Montessori, International Baccalaureate, math and science and the traditional programs. The five schools with the largest wait pools are: Morehead STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy, Park Road Montessori, Piedmont IB Middle, Myers Park Traditional and Elizabeth Traditional.
Students who do not receive their first choice for a magnet program are automatically placed in that program’s wait pool. A total of 3,869 students are now assigned to magnet-school wait pools.