The first day of school is fast approaching.

For parents with students attending Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools for the first time, the next few weeks present an opportunity to get ahead.

Avoid the last-minute rush by starting now.

For those looking to beat the rush, we offer this guide for CMS newcomers:

YouTube video

Important Dates:

  • August 16: Teachers return
  • August 26: First day of class
  • Sept. 2: Labor Day holiday

What is a First-Time Student?

Children must be enrolled as a first-time student if they meet any of the following conditions:

  • They are transferring to CMS from another state or North Carolina school district
  • They are entering pre-K or kindergarten
  • They are entering first grade and have not attended pre-K or kindergarten within CMS
  • They were home-schooled, attended a private school, or attended a charter school and are now transferring to CMS

Age Requirements:

In North Carolina, students must be five years of age on or before Aug. 31 to be considered for kindergarten. Students applying for the Montessori schools pre-K program must be four years of age on or before Aug. 31 in order to be considered.

Health Assessment

All children entering North Carolina public schools for the first time must submit proof of a health assessment within 30 days. The health assessment must have been completed within 12 months prior to the date the child would have first been eligible for initial entry into the public schools. A link to the health assessment form can be found here.

Note: The health assessment is not require if there is a written religious exemption on file. 

Immunization Requirements

North Carolina law requires parents/guardian to present certification of immunizations on or before the first day of school entry. A link explaining the immunization requirements and deficiency form can be found here.  (The top of this form also describes the health assessment.)  

If a child has no certificate of immunization, parents and/or guardians will have 30 calendar days to provide documentation. If no documentation is presented within 30 days, the student will be excluded from school until proof is provided.

Note: Immunizations are not required if there is a written religious exemption on file. 

Proof of Residency

Is your family new to Charlotte-Mecklenburg or recently moved within the school district? If so, you child will need proof of residents. To see a list of documents acceptable to CMS as proof of residency, follow the link.

Parents or guardians will need to take proofs of residency to the current school of assignment or the new home school based on the new address if it is an elementary student. If it is a middle or high school student, the family must first take the proofs of residency to the current school of assignment and then proceed to the new home school, if the schools change, to complete enrollment.