Written by Patricia Hawke for

The magnet program of Charlotte Schools is committed to increasing educational opportunities for students. Magnet programs are theme based learning centers within Charlotte Schools which aim to promote students’ interests, abilities and talents. Researchers have noted that magnet programs promote innovation in teaching and learning, increased parental involvement, greater student engagement, and diverse student bodies that lead to higher student achievement. Charlotte Schools offer various curricular themes or instructional approaches such as Early College, Foreign Language Immersion, Montessori, Leadership and Global Economics and many others.
Early College provides academically-talented and motivated students the chance to earn college credit while still in high school. This Charlotte Schools program allows ninth and tenth grade students to prepare for college courses by taking higher-level classes, such as Advanced Placement. Eleventh and twelfth grade students continue to earn their high school credits in the morning and take college classes in the afternoon. Special features include a formal agreement among the University of North Carolina system, allowing students to earn college credit and to transfer these credit hours to a participating college or university upon high school graduation.
A typical student that may attend this Charlotte Schools magnet program is one who enjoys reading, learning and academic challenges. This Charlotte Schools student has the ability to do accelerated work and is intellectually curious and possesses the self-motivation to learn. Students must also be willing to commit to college-level work expectations and show above grade level reading and math proficiency.
Charlotte Schools which participate in the Foreign Language magnet school program offer students the unique opportunity to become fluent in Chinese, French, German, Japanese or Spanish through a foreign language immersion program. Beginning in kindergarten, students become familiar with the new language as lessons are conducted in the second language for all or part of the instructional day.
Charlotte Schools children enrolled in the Montessori program magnet schools learn by working with specially designed and attractively displayed developmental materials. Working individually or in small groups, children develop a sense of self-esteem because they are given a balance of freedom and responsibility. Some of the special features a student may enjoy when attending a Charlotte Schools Montessori magnet are classes with multi-aged grouping, activities that help students develop responsibility, self-confidence and independence, and certified Montessori teachers. Montessori schools are ones which have a child-centered learning environment that places high regard for each child’s developmental level.
Charlotte Schools students enrolled in the Center for Leadership and Global Economics are given opportunities to learn about leadership and to identify and develop personal leadership qualities while gaining a better understanding of global studies and economics. This program, available to Charlotte Schools students, hopes to produce future leaders in careers such as business, banking, finance, law, diplomacy, politics and the military. High school students in Charlotte Schools may choose from one of three leadership strands: 1) Banking and Finance through the National Academy of Finance; 2) Legal, Political and Social Systems; and 3) Military Science through JROTC.