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Near The CMS Magnet Application Deadlines.

Sherlock -- Sherlock Mecklenburg school is its magnetic plans to open up more seats, and the application deadline is approaching.

There are new options for parents to consider and already thousands have applied.

Cory Flemings says he's happy his children already go to Huntingtowne Farms Elementary since it's one of the most diverse schools in the district, and it's an international baccalaureate magnet school.

"We signed up and said we just wanted to go to the neighborhood school. We got lucky that we have this JB, international program here," said Flemings.

But not all families are lucky enough to get into their preferred magnet school.

CMS leaders say last year about 4,000 students were placed on waiting lists for their top choice.

"We want to certainly continue to explore where we can meet those needs," said Scott McCully, executive director of student placement for CMS.

McCully says the demand for magnets is growing, so this year they're expanding new options.

There are now 11 magnet programs in 47 schools, including the new STEM magnet at Kennedy Middle in south Charlotte.

"In the past they would have to go to Morehead which is in the university area, so it's a matter of making those programs more accessible regionally," said McCully.

McCully also says CMS opened the application process earlier this year and held more community meetings on the new options than ever before.

"We also have sessions that are dedicated specifically to Spanish. We have one of those this week," said McCully.

It's about engaging more families across the district so more students can have access to diversity.

"They grow up not seeing people by the color or the accent that they have, but that's a normal way of life," said Flemings.

CMS is holding a school options fair on Saturday at Philip O. Berry Academy from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for families to learn more about the new programs.

The deadline to apply to a magnet school is Jan.

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