Q.  We just found out about your school, can my child audition?A.   We are now auditioning for the 2024-25 school year.  If you are inquiring about our auditions for the 2024-25 school year, please visit the auditions website as soon as possible.  You will find all of the information you'll need to know, including how to request an audition, audition requirements, and audition dates and deadlines.  An audition must be passed prior to the lottery in order for your child to possibly be placed at the school. We do continue to audition after the lottery dates to fill any spots that may still be open, and to establish waiting lists. We often use our wait lists up through the first few weeks of school.Auditions are over for the 2023-24 school year, and we are not accepting any more students.
Q.  We are planning to move to Charlotte, when can my child audition?A.  Students must be either attending a CMS school or be future-enrolled in CMS schools in order to audition at NWSA.  Future enrollment dates for the 2024-25 lottery can be found on-line through the Student Placement website. There are residency requirements for this enrollment process.  For those outside of CMS schools, an audition cannot be scheduled until the family has enrolled in CMS. (Unfortunately we are not allowed to schedule the audition if the family does not reside in Mecklenburg County) Once you have future-enrolled your child, it is the parent's responsibility to get the ID or lottery application confirmation number to the Audition Coordinator once they receive it. Please email this information to
Q.  What are my child’s chances of passing the audition?A.   Every student is different, so it is impossible to answer.  One way to determine if your child is capable of passing is to show them the Audition Requirements.  If they are comfortable doing what is listed and are familiar with the terminology, it is an indicator that they could have a successful audition.  You could also ask a teacher who is familiar with your child for their honest opinion.  Preparation and the ability to follow instructions are also very important factors for successful auditions, as students at our school need to do that every day. Our teachers use a rubric to grade each audition. Key elements of the assessments are posted within the audition requirements.
Q.  My child did not pass their audition. Can you tell me why?A.  Due to the high volume of auditions we will not provide feedback to parents. Sometimes parents will ask us what their child did "wrong”.  It could be a lack a preparation or following instructions, or sometimes the child may have had a bad day.  But sometimes the child simply does not demonstrate the potential or skills needed where we could confidently say they would be successful at our school.   
Q. My child did not pass their audition.  Can they re-audition?A.  You may request an audition for a different arts area, but students cannot re-audition for the same arts area for the same year.
Q.  How does the Magnet Lottery work for NWSA?A.  Students must pass an audition in order to be considered eligible for the lottery.  The parent must enter the child in the CMS School Options Lottery on-line through the Student Placement website, AND an audition must be passed before the lottery runs.  You can fill out the lottery application prior to the audition, but understand that you may want to revise your lottery application if the audition is not passed.  Students will not be considered in the lottery unless they have passed an audition in the arts area they choose on their lottery application.
There is only one Lottery.  See the CMS Student Placement website for lottery details, as well as key lottery dates.   Questions about the actual lottery and how it works should be directed to Student Placement or the Magnet Office.  Q.  Which grades will have the most open seats?A.   The 6th grade always has the most open seats, as we need to fill the entire grade.  9th also has a considerable amount of spots as well.  The space in other grades is hard to predict because we do not know who will move or decide not to return.  Spaces do open, and we suggest that anyone who is interested in our school go through the audition and lottery process.
QMy child has been placed at NWSA in the lottery.  What's next?A.  Class registration event dates will be posted on the NWSA CMS website.  It's a little tricky contacting families during this time because our system hasn't rolled over to reflect our new families.  We try to email new families, but it isn't a perfect process.  So do please check our website if your child is placed at NWSA. 
Q.  What if my child is placed on the wait pool/wait list for NWSA in the CMS Magnet School Lottery?  A.  We do call people from our wait lists at the end of the school year and over the summer, as we learn who will not be returning.  We may also call during the first 10-20 days of school when students are more likely to leave our school, usually due to transportation issues.   If you have any questions regarding the lottery and wait list, please contact Student Placement, as they are much more knowledgeable about how the lottery works. 
Q.  What if my child is placed at NWSA in the lottery and we change our mind or move?A.  Since every family's situation is different, we suggest you call CMS Student Placement for guidance about your next step.   Out of courtesy to prospective students who do want to attend, we kindly ask you take care of this and withdraw or request a reassignment for your child as soon as your decision is final.
Q.  Once my child is in, do they get to stay at NWSA?A.  Students must be passing their Arts major in order to stay at NWSA.  Students who are failing two or more academic classes will not be able to audition for extracurricular shows, or participate in optional field trips, etc…  Attending a Magnet school is a privilege, and the Magnet Compact can be revoked (and the student can be sent back to their home school) if the student does not pass their arts major classes.
Effective for the 2022-2023 school year, NWSA instituted a MAJOR change in the continuation requirements for our current 8th graders who wish to move from our middle school to high school program for the following school year.  All arts students will be given a midterm exam that will assess the skills and abilities that students should have developed in their arts classes, and will reflect the rigor needed for their educational journey to high school. Students who score 80% or above on the midterm will receive magnet continuation for high school at NWSA.
Q.  What are your school hours and how will my child get to the school?A.   Our school currently starts at 7:15am and dismisses at 2:15 pm.  Students who carpool should not be dropped off before 6:45am or picked up after 2:30pm, unless there is an after school rehearsal, etc....  
 Students attending Northwest, will be able to catch their bus to school at what is known as an "Express Stop" that will provide direct service to their magnet school of choice. For more information about "Express Stops" please visit CMS Transportation website.

QWhat kind of classes are taught at NWSA?  A.  We use the same curriculum for core classes as other CMS schools (yes, you still have to take Math, English, Science and Social Studies!)  We have standard, honors and AP classes.  Of course, our electives are mostly arts classes.  
We are proud of our academics, and our scores are on the rise! Our academic growth in 2018 put us at the top 10% of the state.   For at least the last 5 years, our graduation rates have been between 96 and 100%.    We are proud of our 2019 rate of 98%! While we will have a handful of students who go straight to some sort of professional career, most of our students attend college after graduation.  We have former students attending a variety of Arts/Performing Arts schools and conservatories, community colleges, as well as traditional 4 year colleges, including prestigious schools such as Duke, Harvard and UNC Chapel Hill.   Many of our students continue in the arts, but just as many have other academic interests and major in other areas in college.