The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district (CMS) has earned a reputation for excellence in education. Our magnet programs aptly illustrate our focus, providing diverse opportunities for student growth and development. The CMS magnet Montessori education program offers a K-8 curriculum that takes a unique approach to learning, encouraging students to follow their interests in a well-organized and nurturing environment.

Of more than 132,000 public schools in the country, only around 400 offer Montessori-based education, according to the American Montessori Society. While you do have the option of paying for private Montessori education, public school magnet programs like those at CMS offer rare opportunities for students of all backgrounds.

The Montessori Method

Contemporary Montessori education is rooted in pioneering work of Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori. Dr. Montessori predicated her teaching methods on the natural curiosity of children. Early in the 20th century, she developed specialized materials and a classroom environment that encouraged children to explore the world and seek knowledge according to their interests. The trained Montessori teacher, the classroom environment and the child provide the learning triangle that supports the Montessori method.

Our elementary level Montessori classrooms focus on an interdisciplinary curriculum that takes students from hands-on learning to abstract thinking. Activities and field trips encourage children to apply what they learn in the classroom to their interactions with the outside world. As students progress to our middle school Montessori program, they encounter increasingly complex concepts that require critical thinking.

How to Apply

Students must be currently enrolled in CMS to apply for any magnet programs. Because we typically have more applicants than openings, we select new participants through a lottery process. We encourage you and your child to visit a Montessori classroom before applying so that you can determine whether it would be a good match for your child’s learning style.

When you first visit a CMS Montessori classroom, you’ll observe several features that are different from more familiar school settings, such as:

  • A mix of ages and grade levels
  • Students of various ages work together, mentoring and cooperating
  • Specialized Montessori educational materials
  • A calm, uncluttered atmosphere
  • A certified Montessori teacher seated among the students, actively guiding and observing
  • The buzz of peaceful, harmonious activity

The Benefits of a Montessori Education

By nurturing curiosity and encouraging students to help each other in a mutually respectful atmosphere, CMS Montessori offers students the following additional benefits:

• Enjoying recognition as individuals with unique learning styles
• Belonging to a caring community of peers, teachers and parents
• Possessing the freedom to learn within distinct parameters
• Receiving support and guidance in the active quest for knowledge
• Learning to recognize and overcome their own barriers to learning

Get More Information

Critical thinking, confidence, enthusiasm and self-motivation are the hallmarks of the Montessori graduate. They are also the qualities that will guide your children to become active, curious and effective participants in the world community. Find out more about CMS Montessori and other magnet programs.