- What is a charter school?
- Where can I find out more about NC charter school?
- Do CSD students take the state mandated ABCs tests?
- How do I enroll my child in CSD?
- How does the lottery work?
- How can I make a donation to CSD?
- What are the school hours?
- Do you have daily bus transportation?
- Do you have an activity bus?
- Do you have extended day child-care?
- What is your inclement weather policy?
- Do you offer Gifted Education?
- Do you follow Charlotte Mecklenburg School calendar?
- Do you have a Library?
- Do you have a cafeteria?
- What sports do you offer?
- What is “looping” and what are the benefits?
- What are the carpool procedures and hours?
- What if I'm late for dropping off or picking up?
- Do children go directly to their classrooms once they are dropped off?
- Can I walk my child in?
- What if I need to pick up my child early?
- What if my child is absent due to illness?
- Can staff administer medication to my child?
- How do you communicate with parents?
- Do you give grades?
- How do you hold students accountable if you don't give grades?
- How will kids compete if you don't give grades?
- Won't my child need grades for high school?
- What electives do you offer?
- What is the discipline policy?
- What is the parent's role?
- Why aren't there any locks on the lockers? (Middle School students only)
- What are student-led conferences? (Middle School students only)
- What is your student Advisory program? (Middle School students only)
- How do you help kids learn organizational skills? (Middle School students only)
- How is homework handled in middle school? (Middle School students only)
- Is there still a focus on the arts in middle school? (Middle School students only)
1. What is a charter school?
A charter school is a public school, which operates independently of existing public schools in its area. Charter schools encourage the use of unique and innovative teaching methods to improve learning experiences for all students. Since charter schools are public schools, they are tuition free, with funding coming directly from federal, state, and local taxes. Charter schools receive funds for operating expenses from the state, but do not receive capital/building funds. For parents who are seeking a choice in public education, charter schools may meet that need.
2. Where can I find out more about NC charter school?
The NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI) has a website where further information can be found. Go to www.dpi.state.nc.us and under DEPARTMENTS, click on “Charter Schools.”
3. Do CSD students take the state mandated ABCs tests?
Yes. Since we are a NC public charter school, our students are required to take all standardized tests as mandated by the state of North Carolina. NC End of Grade (EOG) testing begins in 3rd grade and is taken annually through 8th grade. Students in grades 9 through 12 take End of Course (EOC) tests at the end of specific core courses. NC also conducts Writing and Science Tests at various grades throughout elementary, middle and high school.
4. How do I enroll my child in CSD?
Since Community School of Davidson is a public charter school, all students are admitted through a lottery system. We encourage parents to first attend one of our Open House sessions in order to determine whether CSD is a good philosophical fit for your family. Students who submit a registration for admission prior to the annual enrollment deadline are entered into the lottery. For further details, please visit our Enrolling page for further information.
5. How does the lottery work?
For a detailed description of the registration and lottery process, please see Admission page for further information.
6. How can I make a donation to CSD?
We welcome public and private assistance in our efforts to provide funding for our public charter school. For further details on how you can contribute, please visit our Fundraising page for further information.
7. What are the school hours?
The elementary school day begins at 8:45 am and dismisses at 2:30 pm. Middle school day begins at 8:30 am and dismisses at 3:00 pm. For more details, please see Parent Handbook – School Day and Student Attendance.
8. Do you have daily bus transportation?
CSD does not provide daily bus transportation. Parents are responsible for the transportation to and from school for their child. Many families form carpool systems in their surrounding neighborhoods and some families make arrangements with local daycare facilities for before- and after-school drop-off and pick-up.
9. Do you have an activity bus?
CSD does own a standard size school bus which is used to transport students to and from field trips and service learning opportunities. Students are taught and are expected to follow appropriate and safe passenger behavior. Bus safety procedures are reviewed and practiced on a yearly basis with every grade level.
10. Do you have extended day child-care?
No, but After School Enrichment (ASE) opportunities are available throughout the year. Please visit the For our Parents section, as schedules are posted you may view them there.
11. What is your inclement weather policy?
The primary concern when inclement weather strikes is the safety of students, parents and staff. For information regarding school closings/cancellations, please check our website and watch area TV stations (WSOC-9, WBTV-3, NBC-6). To view inclement weather our policy, please click here.
12. Do you offer Gifted Education?
Rather than having a separate gifted/talented pull-out program, we use an inclusion gifted program. Our mission is to provide every child the opportunity to succeed in ways that reflect his/her own aptitudes and interests. With our low student to teacher ratio, we are able to differentiate instruction for all students throughout the day and ensure that students are working on appropriately individualized learning tasks. For more detailed information, please see Parent Handbook – Gifted Education
13. Do you follow Charlotte Mecklenburg School calendar?
No. However, since we do have students with siblings in CMS schools, we make an effort to schedule our major breaks (winter break/spring break) around the same time as CMS schedules theirs, whenever possible.
14. Do you have a Library?
Yes, we have two designated media rooms, one in the elementary school and one in the middle school.
Our elementary school houses a book room for both students and teachers. The book room is primarily designed for instructional purposes with a plethora of genres and resources.
Our middle school houses a more traditional library/media center with shelved books, a mini-computer lab, study tables, and comfortable seating clusters. We continue to fill our media center shelves with quality literature through on-going fund raising efforts.
15. Do you have a cafeteria?
No. Students bring a bag lunch each day and lunch is eaten in their classrooms with teachers. An optional hot lunch is offered 2 days per week, with local food vendors delivering lunches to the school. Hot Lunch Forms are filled out and fees are paid at the beginning of each semester. For more details, please see Student Handbook – Lunch. We also have periodic ‘Spirit Pizza Days’ sponsored by our Spartan Booster Club, which allows students to buy pizza for lunch.
16. What sports do you offer?
Community School of Davidson is a member of the Western Piedmont Athletic Association and offers the following middle school sports:
17. What is “looping” and what are the benefits?
Community School of Davidson utilizes a looping system in both elementary and middle school. Looping means a teacher stays with his/her class for more than just one year. In elementary, teachers stay with their class for two years, (K-1, 2-3, 4-5), and in middle, although students change classes and have multiple teachers for the different subjects, the core teachers (math, science, social studies and language arts) stay with their class for three years (6-7-8). By staying with the same teacher for a looping cycle, students are able to develop a deeper relationship with their teacher and students in their class, and this in turn, positively impacts their learning. Multiple year experiences also enable teachers to get to know students well, as learners, so they can successfully and appropriately challenge them in all academic areas without wasting time annually figuring out the learning needs and levels of new students.
18. What are the carpool procedures and hours?
All carpool students may be dropped off or picked up at the back door. For morning carpool, cars form a single lane and doors open at 8:05 am and close at 8:25 am for middle school students and 8:45 am for elementary school students. For afternoon pick-up, cars form two lanes and carpool begins at 2:30 pm for elementary students and 3:00 pm for middle school students. Doors close at approximately 3:20 pm.
19. What if I'm late for dropping off or picking up?
If you arrive after carpool has closed in the morning, please park and walk your child into the school building through the front doors. You will need to sign your child in on the computer at the front desk and a tardy slip will be automatically printed for you. Please accompany your elementary child to their classroom and give the teacher the tardy slip. Middle school students may walk to their lockers and classrooms unaccompanied, but are also asked to give their teachers the tardy slip.
If you arrive after carpool has closed in the afternoon, please park and walk into the school through the front door. Your child will be waiting near the front desk.
20. Do children go directly to their classrooms once they are dropped off?
From 8:05 – 8:30 am, arriving elementary students will be seated in the 2nd/3rd grade hallway and the hallway between 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th hallways, as well as the 4th/5th hallway. Assistant teachers are stationed in the hallways as monitors and appropriate behavior is expected from all students. Students may talk quietly, read, write or draw during this time; please leave all toys at home. Elementary students are released to their classrooms at 8:30 am. Any elementary students arriving after 8:30 am will go directly to their classrooms.
From 8:05 – 8:25 am, arriving middle school students will go directly to the MS gym. Staff members are present as monitors and appropriate behavior is expected from all students. Middle school students are released at 8:25 am to go to their lockers and then proceed to their classrooms.
21. Can I walk my child in?
We encourage you to drop your child off in carpool in order to nurture independence. However, if you need to walk you child in before the school day begins, elementary students may be walked in with parents through the front doors only and accompanied all the way to their classroom. Parents may accompany middle school students to the front desk.
22. What if I need to pick up my child early?
Please walk into the school through the front doors and sign your child out on the computer at the front desk. The receptionist will phone your child's classroom and a staff member will accompany elementary students to the front to meet you and middle school students will be dismissed to proceed to the front desk.
23. What if my child is absent due to illness?
As a courtesy, please email/call your child's teacher. Upon return, please send an excuse note in with your child. For more detailed information, please see Parent Handbook – Absences and Tardiness.
In order to maintain a healthy environment for all our students, we ask that you follow these guidelines to assist you in determining whether you child should attend school:
Please keep your child home...
Until they have been fever free (less than 100° F) for 24 hours.
If they have vomited/had diarrhea within the last 24 hours.
If they have red conjunctiva of the eye with discharge.
If they have an unexplained/undiagnosed rash.
Until they have had a prescribed antibiotic in their system for 24 hours.
24. Can staff administer medication to my child?
School employees are allowed to administer medications prescribed by a doctor upon written request of the student's parent or guardian. The medication used at school must be in its original container with the child's name, the dosage information, the drug, and the physician's name printed on it and we must have the completed medication form with the doctor’s signature. We recommend that you keep copies of this form in your car for those unexpected doctor visits. You may download this form from our website. For more details, please see Parent Handbook - Medication.
25. How do you communicate with parents?
Email is our primary source for sending out general information from the Director. Teachers send newsletters regularly, via email and/or hard copy (as needed by parents), detailing classroom information and activities occurring in the various content areas. As needed, teachers will contact parents with any concerns, using email, written notes, or by phone. There are also monthly elementary and middle school newsletters written by the Director to keep parents informed as well as to serve as a resource for parent education. For more details, please see Parent Handbook – Communication to Parents.
26. Do you give grades?
We do give Progress Reports with a grading system but we do not give traditional letter grades in elementary school or middle school. We do assess our students regularly, utilizing a variety of assessment tools, including: written assignments and theme study reflections, performance tasks, traditional paper/pencil tests, exit slips, and teacher observations. A portfolio is kept for each student, with examples of their work from throughout the year, as a way to show progress and mastery of subjects. Report cards are issued three times a year, detailing a student's progress toward specific goals in the various core academic subjects.
In middle school, we assess our students regularly, utilizing a variety of assessment tools, including: tests, quizzes, work portfolios, written assignments and theme study reflections, exit slips, performance tasks and teacher observations. A portfolio is kept for each student, with examples of their work from throughout the year, as a way to show progress and mastery of subjects. Report cards are issued three times a year, detailing a student's progress toward specific goals in the various core academic subjects.
To view an examples our report card, please follow the following links to either Elementary School or Middle School. You will find grade specific examples under curriculum at each grade level.
27. How do you hold students accountable if you don't give grades?
All student work is thoroughly checked and assessed by teachers. Our goal is mastery of content, so if a student's work is incorrect, or not a representation of the student's best efforts, the teacher will guide the student toward improvement. We often ask students to re-do incorrect work or work that is not at the appropriate level of quality.
28. How will kids compete if you don't give grades?
We do not believe that education is a competitive activity. Rather, we believe that education should afford students many opportunities to work collaboratively as a team as well as to learn appropriate content and study skills. To have one student “win” means that another student “loses.” We believe that all students are capable of learning and we would not be doing our jobs if we let students fail, or lose. There is a great body of research that states that students who learn in an environment such as ours, focusing on intrinsic motivation for lifelong learning, will ultimately reach higher levels of achievement in college and life. We have found that when students leave our school and move to a more traditional school, they are successful in their academic learning as well as the more traditional grading system. We do hope, however, that when students leave our school, they are motivated to learn more intrinsically and do not require traditional grades to keep them on their lifelong journey of learning.
29. Won't my child need grades for high school?
Neither elementary nor middle school grades have any bearing on a high school transcript or grade point average. Our high school will use traditional letter grades superimposed on a “mastery grid,” which means that an A grade will correspond to showing demonstrated expertise in the subject as well as in additional advanced coursework, a B grade will correspond to mastery of the course curriculum. Failure is not an option at CSD. Successful mastery of course content will determine readiness for future high school course selection. Our students will be well prepared for the college admissions process with their transcripts adequately reflecting their abilities as learners.
30. What electives do you offer?
In the elementary school, we have “Connect” classes, which include PE, Art, Music, Spanish, and Science Enrichment. The science enrichment is in addition to the classroom science instruction integrated into units of study and is offered for 4th/5th grade only. Students attend each of these classes once a week throughout the year. Further information please go to our Special Area Classes section of our Elementary School area.
In middle school, we have three types of electives, Branch, Focus, and Explore. Branch electives are required yearlong classes, which include PE, Technology and Spanish. Focus electives are year-long arts-related classes, which include Art, Art 3D, Band, Craftsmanship (Woodwork and Industrial/Mechanical Arts), Dance, Drama, Jazz/Pop/Showtime Chorus. Students select two classes from these Focus Elective options. Explore Electives are trimester-long mini-courses designed to expose students to a variety of activities and interests. These courses are taught by staff, parents, and community members and differ each trimester. For elective course descriptions, please see Middle School Electives.
31. What is the discipline policy?
Community School of Davidson uses positive discipline. We set very high standards for student behavior. Rather that centering on the behavior itself, we focus on underlying causes of the behavior to help students problem-solve appropriate ways to resolve conflicts. Respect is modeled by all in our building and is expected from students and adults alike. For further details, please see Student Handbook – Behavior and Discipline.
32. What is the parent's role?
Parents play a pivotal role at Community School of Davidson. A vital partnership is created between home and school with parents being viewed as the child's first and most important teachers. We need and expect your help in educating our students. We ask that each family consider giving the school one hour per week to support the overall educational program. Research supports parent involvement and the positive impact on student learning. There are many volunteer needs in both elementary and middle school. In the elementary setting there are many opportunities to help out, such as assisting in the classroom in various capacities, accompanying classes on field trips, providing teacher requests for supplies, and helping with the Fast ForWord Program. In the middle school, volunteering looks a little different than in elementary school. For example, the Explore Electives program is dependent on individuals who are willing to volunteer their time and service to the school. Many parents also support instruction by providing clerical assistance which allows teachers to focus on the students and their learning. Opportunities for involvement may also exist at the classroom level, depending on the need. We also have multiple opportunities for parents who work outside the home and are interested in volunteering. There are “at home” activities that can be done in the evening or on weekends and during our summer workdays. Another way to participate is by joining parent committees.
33. Why aren't there any locks on the lockers?
We abide by a strict honor code at Community School of Davidson, making our expectations explicitly clear to students from the very beginning of middle school with regard to respecting other people's property. Students understand and appreciate the importance of respecting others' privacy; therefore, locks are not needed or desired.
34. What are student-led conferences?
Student-led conferences allow students to become actively involved in reporting their progress as learners to their parents. Students first meet one-on-one with their teachers to discuss their performance in class, strengths, and areas in which to grow. Next, they create a Power Point presentation to share with their parents during the conference, highlighting their achievements, successes, and challenge areas. In addition, students select pieces of work from each class, of which they are exceptionally proud, and build a portfolio to exhibit during their conference. Students take a leading role during conference discussions, communicating and accepting responsibility for their progress, setting goals for themselves for the upcoming trimester, and demonstrating a growing understanding of themselves as independent learners. Ultimately, we want students to understand their own learning and to be empowered to take the lead for that learning as they grow into young adults. This can only happen if we gradually allow them to take the reins with increasing responsibility as they grow into high school.
We also have a very active Booster Club, which supports the teams with various fund raising events. For further details, please see Spartan Booster Club.
35. What is your student Advisory program?
Starting in middle school, students are assigned, by grade level, into an Advisory group of about 10-12 students led by a middle school staff person, or “Advisor.” These small communities stay together for 3 years and focus on building relationships within their own advisory group as well as in the school at large. For further details, please see Advisory in our Middle School area.
36. How do you help kids learn organizational skills?
Community School of Davidson encourages and expects middle school students to begin taking “ownership” with their learning. One way we do this is to issue each middle school student a Stephen Covey-produced Day Planner/Agenda. Advisors and teachers work with students, teaching them to use this tool as a means of managing their weekly assignments and work load. Students also use an accordion folder as an organizational tool for all classes. Organizational skills and time management are in integral part of our Advisory program. From time to time, advisors may also help students with organizing their lockers and accordion folders as well as “check in” with them to hold them accountable for using these tools appropriately and effectively.
37. How is homework handled in middle school?
Students have a week to complete homework assignments, which may include nightly reading, literature circles, weekly word study, and math problems. From time to time, students may have additional projects due that will require work at home. It is expected that students meet deadlines and turn in homework on time. Students will be held accountable for any work that is not completed and turned in on time and will be required to complete any missing, late or poorly done assignments during “Homework Club,” which is held during Open Lunch and Explore electives.
38. Is there still a focus on the arts in middle school?
Yes, at CSD, we define literacy to include words, numbers and the arts so we continue to nurture this learning in middle school. In addition to Focus and Explore electives, 6th and 7th grade students also participate in an annual stage performance/sharing. This performance is a culmination of an in-depth unit of study and allows for integration of all the arts from the various electives. There is also an after-school Drama Club, which performs a yearly musical production.