What types of schools do most expats in your city choose for their children?

There are many excellent public, private and charter schools operating in Charlotte, NC. Below is a brief summary of each.

PUBLIC SCHOOLS - in Charlotte (and the rest of the U.S.), public schools are funded by local property taxes. The areas with the highest property taxes, therefore, have the well-funded and finest schools. The high property taxes on land in the suburbs have yielded public schools in suburban areas that are generally considered better than the public schools in lower property taxed areas. A family must live in the catchment district of a particular public school in order for their children to attend it. All public schools are free, even for expatriates.

PRIVATE SCHOOLS - in Charlotte, these are funded with tuition paid by each student. The quality of education in private schools is generally rated very high and these schools become the choice for many expatriate families living in the Charlotte area. For most international schools, the tuition is also very high and there are usually requirements to meet as well as waiting lists, so it is recommended that after deciding on a school, apply as soon as possible to prevent non acceptance.

CHARTER SCHOOLS - These are non-profit, self-managed public schools, operating under a performance contract with the local school board. Although charter schools are authorized and monitored by the local school district, they operate independently. They are sometimes referred to as independent public schools. Most parents choose a school for their children dependent on the child's needs and interests.

For information on schools in the area you are moving to, visit the Web sites below. They provide extensive information about the public schools, including admission requirements, hours, etc. 
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What are some examples of these schools?

For a list and description of some schools visit the Web sites below. They provide a wealth of information including phone numbers, addresses and contacts.
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Is there a lot of competition for spots in local schools?

If your child will be attending a public school, there is no competition. Public schools are zoned so they have to accept all children living within their respective zones. Private schools typically have entrance requirements and waiting lists, so if you plan to send your child to a private school, it is recommended that you apply as soon as you arrive in the area to guarantee a spot on the list. Charter schools are like private schools in that you're required to register, but instead of entry requirements, they have a "random selection" policy. If you decide this is the choice for your child, it is also recommended that you register as early as possible.
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Are pre-schools also widely available (for children approx. 2 to 5 years old)?

Yes, there are plenty of preschools available throughout the city for children ranging in age from 1½ to 5 years. Some schools feature diverse curriculums and a semi-international student body. Application to these schools should be made at least nine months prior to the start of the school year, which is typically late August to early September. If you miss the start of the school year and space still permits, students can be admitted mid-year.
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How are most kids transported to and from school?

The public school system provides school buses to transport students to and from school. They have specific routes which are distributed before the start of the school year. Some private schools offer this as well, but that's not always the case. If not, most parents either take their children to school themselves or form carpools with other parents who live in the same area. Some older children tend to use the public transit system to get them to and from school.
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When does the typical school year start and end?

Typically, the school year starts in late August or early September and ends in late June or early July.
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Is there anything else I should know about local schools?

Most information can be obtained from the Web sites below. However, should you require assistance in finding a school for your child/children, then Crown Washington DC can help.
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Crown Relocations has made every effort to present accurate information. However, regulations, rates and other variables are subject to change and Crown Relocations cannot accept responsibility for the errors that might result. Should you have any questions or need additional information, please contact your local Crown representative.