Q & A

Q. Who does Charlotte Latin School serve?

Charlotte Latin School serves students in transitional kindergarten through twelfth grade. More than 1,400 students are enrolled for the 2014-15 school year. Latin is an independent, coeducational, non-sectarian, college-preparatory day school.

Q. What is Latin’s mission?

Charlotte Latin’s mission is to encourage individual development and civility in our students by inspiring them to learn, by encouraging them to serve others, by offering them many growth-promoting opportunities.

Q. When was the school founded and by whom?

Charlotte Latin was founded in 1970 by a group of Charlotte parents who wanted a classical educational experience for their children, where the emphasis was on the development of a strong academic foundation, moral values, and a lifelong love of learning. The School has been built by successive generations of the founding families and families who are or were new to Charlotte.

Q. What is a “Latin” school?

The first schools in America were the 17th Century “Latin” schools in New England. These schools focused on core academic mastery including classical languages, critical thinking, and a strong student-teacher relationship. Charlotte Latin models its academic program on some of the best practices of the early Latin schools.

Q. What is an independent school?

An independent school is a type of private school in that it is not supported financially by tax dollars or accountable to a local, state, or federal governmental agency. (Although Charlotte Latin is accredited by the state of North Carolina.) A school is considered to be independent if it is governed by an independent board and determines and implements its own mission and programs. Independent schools are required to abide by any applicable laws or statutes. Charlotte Latin maintains membership in the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS) and the North Carolina Association of Independent Schools (NCAIS).

Q. How is Charlotte Latin governed?

Charlotte Latin is led by a Board of Trustees, which in turn hires the Headmaster, who is accountable to the Board. The Trustees are often parents and/or alumni parents who are nominated by the Board. All employees of the School are hired and accountable to the Headmaster, who is supported by an Administrative Team composed of the Heads of the Lower, Middle and Upper Schools, the Curriculum Coordinator, and the Directors of the Admissions, Athletics, Development, Diversity, Marketing and Communications, and Technology Offices. Charlotte Latin adheres to the Principles of Governance of the National Association of Independent Schools.

For more information on Charlotte Latin’s leadership, visit www.charlottelatin.org/welcome.

Q. How is Latin accredited?

Charlotte Latin is jointly accredited by the Southern Association of Independent Schools (SAIS) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS). Latin also is accredited by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

For more information on Charlotte Latin’s memberships, visit www.charlottelatin.org/welcome.

Q. How is Charlotte Latin School organized?

Latin is divided into three divisions:

The Lower School serves students in transitional kindergarten through fifth grade. The Middle School serves students in the sixth through eighth grades. The Upper School serves students in the ninth through twelfth grades.

Q. What is Charlotte Latin’s Honor Code?

Honor is an uncompromised standard at Charlotte Latin, and the Honor Code is supported by an Honor System comprised of students and adults. Students adhere to the following Honor Pledge as a condition of enrollment: “As a member of the Charlotte Latin Community, I am responsible for upholding and promoting honesty, trust, respect, fairness, and justice in all venues of School life. To maintain personal integrity, I will not cheat, lie, steal, or plagiarize. I will do my best to raise awareness of the importance of honor for the purpose of making Latin a better place to learn and work. I understand the Charlotte Latin School Honor Code and will uphold my honor above all.”

Q. What are Latin’s core values?

“Honor Above All” Charlotte Latin embraces the development of personal honor as a lifelong pursuit in the building of character. What is right and honorable is valued above all else. Adherence to the Honor Code is required from all members of the School community. We honor one another and our personal gifts and accomplishments.

Commitment to Excellence The quest for excellence that has characterized Charlotte Latin since its founding extends to all aspects of School life, and is viewed as the effort to do one’s best and to seek to continually improve. This quest embodies the boundless spirit that characterizes our School community, and it is grounded in our commitment to create an exceptional environment for teaching and learning.

Leadership Charlotte Latin encourages the development of leadership as a lifelong characteristic of our students and adheres to the concept of service to others (servant leadership) as the ideal model that best meets the needs of our School community, our nation, and the world.

Respect for Oneself and Others Charlotte Latin holds that mutual respect is the foundation of our School community, and that our respect for others leads us to serve them and to embrace diverse peoples and cultures.

Personal Responsibility Charlotte Latin requires each person to be accountable for his or her actions. We all share responsibility for the welfare of the greater School community.

Moral Courage Charlotte Latin leads by example and our members are willing to do what is right and true through the courage of their convictions in spite of possible consequences or the opinions of others. Morally courageous people are willing to admit their mistakes, to address injustice, and to uphold the principle of “Honor Above All.”

Q. What is Charlotte Latin’s diversity mission statement?

Charlotte Latin School will create an effective learning environment that accepts all people. As a community of learners, the School believes that a deep understanding of differences is necessary to its overall mission. For more information on Charlotte Latin’s diversity initiatives, visit www.charlottelatin.org/latin360.

Q. What is meant by the phrase, “Charlotte Latin…where teaching is valued and learning is celebrated?”

Charlotte Latin’s constituents consistently cite the strong and enduring relationships between students and their teachers as a hallmark of the Latin educational experience. Charlotte Latin strives to create a community of learners where educators can focus on teaching and students are supported as they master their academic studies and explore their interests in a nurturing environment.

Q. Why is the student-teacher relationship so important at Latin?

Each student is known and appreciated as an individual at Latin, based largely on the strong relationships that students share with their teachers. This relationship is supported by active advisory and counseling programs to guide students in their intellectual, moral, and physical development.

Q. What are the key characteristics of Charlotte Latin’s college-preparatory curriculum?

Latin’s curriculum is traditional in design yet innovative in implementation. Students are expected to work hard and stretch academically, but they receive substantial support from their teachers. Elective courses and extracurricular activities are available on an age-appropriate basis, and students are encouraged to explore their interests in the arts and athletics as well as master their academic subjects to develop a balanced educational experience. Honors and Advanced Placement courses are taught in the Upper School, and Middle School students who excel in a subject area may be placed in higher level courses to engage their intellects. Development of the sequential, TK-12 curriculum is ongoing and facilitated by Latin’s Curriculum Coordinator.

For more information about Charlotte Latin’s academic program and curriculum, visit www.charlottelatin.org/academics. For more information about Latin’s fine arts program, visit www.charlottelatin.org/arts. For more information about Latin’s athletics program, visit www.charlottelatin.org/athletics.

Q. As a college preparatory school, how does Latin support students’ journey to college?

In addition to Charlotte Latin teaching a college-preparatory, TK-12 curriculum, the School’s College Center works with each student and his or her parents to research, identify, and apply to the best college choices based upon one’s personal strengths, goals, and interests. Each student is assigned at the beginning of the freshman year to one of three, full-time college counselors. The counselors have experience as college admission officers and devote considerable time to forging relationships with colleges and universities across the nation. The College Counseling Office staff also conducts seminars and workshops for students and parents at key intervals to help them make informed decisions about curriculum choices and other pertinent decisions in the journey toward college.

For more information about Charlotte Latin’s College Center, visit www.charlottelatin.org/academics.

Q. How does Latin strive to prepare students for life beyond college?

Our School community hopes that our graduates are prepared to lead fulfilling lives and to make a positive contribution to their communities and the world. Charlotte Latin’s mission stresses the importance of service to others, therefore the School sponsors age-appropriate, community service activities at each grade level. Students are encouraged to learn about the root causes of needs, whether they are in Charlotte or across the globe. Although community service is not a requirement of graduation, Latin’s students annually contribute thousands of hours of volunteer time.

Latin also is committed to preparing students to develop global awareness and cultural literacy via our Sister Schools and Study Abroad Program. Latin maintains sister school relationships with schools in Argentina, China, France, Germany, South Africa, and Spain. Latin’s students visit those schools during the summer breaks, living with host families, and students from abroad attend Latin and live with host families in Charlotte. The friendships that are developed and the appreciation for other people and their cultures endures for lifetimes.

For more information about the CLS Service Program and the Sister Schools – Study Abroad Program, visit www.charlottelatin.org/latin360.

Q. How does one apply to Charlotte Latin School?

Application to Charlotte Latin School may be submitted online or via paper applications. Open houses are held annually in October and November, and campus tours may be arranged by contacting the Admissions Office. After the admissions season ends in early April, applications are accepted on a rolling basis.

For more information, deadlines, and contacts, visit www.charlottelatin.org/admissions or call the CLS Admissions Office at 704.846.7207.

Q. What are the financial considerations to attend Latin?

A Charlotte Latin education is funded without benefit of tax dollars and is dependent upon tuitions and gifts to the School. Tuition is set annually by the CLS Board of Trustees. Depending upon one’s personal financial situation, gifts to Latin may be tax-deductible. Gifts may be directed toward capital improvements and/or the CLS Endowment, which helps fund financial aid for students and professional development opportunities for faculty and staff members. The School also offers numerous scholarships and need-based financial assistance to qualified applicants.

For more information on tuition, fees, and financial assistance, visit www.charlottelatin.org/admissions.

For more information on gifts to Latin, visit www.charlottelatin.org/giving

Q. What services are available to the School community?

Charlotte Latin provides fee-based food service on regular school days, bus transportation via specified routes, extended day service, and a variety of other academic and lifestyle services for Latin students and their families. The CLS Summer Programs also offers enrichment and sports campus for younger students, and the camps are open to the community.

For more information about Charlotte Latin’s services, visit www.charlottelatin.org/campus life.

Q. What can I read online to learn more about Charlotte Latin?

For a quick overview of life at Latin, check out Fast Facts and read the most recent issue of Charlotte Latin magazine.

Q. How do I learn about employment opportunities at Charlotte Latin?

Q. What is Charlotte Latin’s non-discrimination statement?

Charlotte Latin School does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, age, or national origin in the administration of its educational programs, admissions policies, financial aid policies, employment practices, or other school-administered programs.

Q. What is the School’s contact information?

The physical and mailing address is:

Charlotte Latin School
9502 Providence Road
Charlotte, NC 28277-8695

Main telephone number: 704.846.1100
Main fax number: 704.846.1712

General requests for information may be e-mailed to: inquiries@charlottelatin.org

Admissions-specific requests for information may be e-mailed to: admissions@charlottelatin.org

CLS Student Profile

The best interests of each child who applies for enrollment at Charlotte Latin School will always be the School’s paramount consideration in determining who will be accepted. Children who show, through a combination of demonstrated behavior patterns, test scores, grades, talents and interests, that they are likely to succeed in the School’s traditional and fast-paced academic environment and to contribute to the success of the School will be considered for admission.*

In light of the School’s strong sense of community, Charlotte Latin also seeks students whose families will support the School, to the best of their ability, through their resources, consistent fulfillment of financial obligations, and healthy involvement in activities and parent education events.

Specifically, admission will be based on a review of each child’s conduct, academic aptitude, talents, and interests.

Behavior patterns, including the child’s conduct and degree of maturation as demonstrated through his or her social skills, will be assessed by CLS administrators and faculty during group and classroom visits. Remarks on transcripts and recommendations from former teachers also will be considered carefully in determining a child’s ability to accept individual responsibility, work in groups, demonstrate motivation, and achieve a balance in his or her school life.

Assessment tests and coordinating benchmark test scores have been identified for each grade. Although admissions test scores are an important consideration in determining acceptance, they are to be viewed as one component of the child’s ability to succeed at CLS. The presence of acceptable grades on a student’s transcript will be another indication that he or she will be comfortable in Latin’s academic environment. Organization and coherence in writing samples and consistent competence in all core subjects also will be important. Finally, during the assessment of the child’s academic aptitude, his or her special learning needs, if any, will be reviewed to determine if the School can provide the required instructional support within its existing resources.

In addition, Charlotte Latin will seek students who demonstrate a capacity, through their interests and talents, to benefit from and contribute positively to the life of the School. However, a child’s passion for one aspect of school life must be tempered with a proven ability to balance responsibilities and maintain a well-rounded approach to his or her schoolwork.

Charlotte Latin also considers the degree to which a child’s family is willing to partner with the School in his or her education. Parents should be realistic about academic abilities and expectations for their child, and they should cooperate and communicate with administrators, teachers, and advisors to help ensure a successful educational experience for their child at Charlotte Latin.

Ultimately, the admissions process is designed to identify those children and families who will thrive as members of the Charlotte Latin community.

*CLS policy provides that siblings of current students and children of former CLS students will receive courtesy in acceptance, once a child has demonstrated the ability to succeed at the School as outlined in this profile.

How to Choose the Right School

Selecting the right school for your children is one of the most important decisions your family will make. Not only will this choice shape your children’s future in many ways, it will have a profound impact on your daily family life. With the many options available to today’s families, Charlotte Latin School provides the following list of questions to help guide your selection process. While certainly not exhaustive, it is intended to highlight key points your family may consider. If you are satisfied with the answers to these questions, and the school’s atmosphere feels comfortable, you probably have found the right school for your family.

Do you endorse the school's mission?

Each school is guided by a mission. If a formal, written mission statement is available, review it to determine if it matches your family's aspirations and goals for your children. If an unwritten mission exists, ask questions to determine the school's priorities and determine if you endorse them.

Does it feel right?

There is no substitute for actually visiting a school and observing for yourself how it handles its main purpose: the education of its students. A personal visit during a typical school day provides vital information to help you make an informed decision for your children. As you tour the school, do you have the sense that the school is a child-centered environment? Do you see teachers interacting with students in ways that demonstrate mutual respect and a variety of learning experiences? Do you see students engaged in learning activities that allow them to be involved in the process? Is brightly colored art work displayed prominently? Do the sounds of vocal and instrumental music float across the campus? Is there laughter on the playground? Is there an acceptable teacher-student ratio? Is there a sense of security, order, and discipline? Do you see lots of smiling faces? Most importantly, does the school feel warm and welcoming?

Academic Excellence

Is there a master plan that outlines each student’s educational journey? Are transitions to successive grades, and from elementary to middle to high school, supported by the curriculum? Does the curriculum offer a solid academic foundation enriched with innovative resources? Is the academic program balanced with ample arts and physical education programs? Is technology integrated into the classroom, and are computers used as a teaching tool? Are young students given guidance to identify their individual learning styles? Are they given time to explore with the appropriate amount of structured activity for the grade level? What assessment tools are employed to evaluate each student’s developmental readiness? Do student have the opportunity to work independently as well as in groups? Do students learn by doing, and are their auditory, tactile, and visual senses engaged to help them learn?

If it is a college-preparatory school, is the curriculum designed to meet the entrance requirements of colleges and universities? Are there a variety of elective courses available to allow students to explore their individual interests? Is the academic performance of recent graduating classes high? Are their standardized test scores, such as the SAT for college-bound juniors and seniors, competitive? Are the school’s graduates accepted to leading colleges and universities?

Merits of the Faculty and Administration

Is the faculty composed of experienced educators? What percentage of the faculty has earned advanced degrees? Do faculty members interact with students in activities outside of the classroom? Do teachers know their students by name? Are professional counselors available to support students' emotional health and to guide their college admission process? Are learning resource specialists available to students with various learning styles? Are educators involved in the school’s decision-making process and the admissions process, if applicable? Are administrators involved in the classroom? Is there evidence of camaraderie among the teachers, students, parents, and administrators?

Character Education

Is character education important at the school and integrated into the curriculum? Does the school have stated beliefs and core values that it promotes to and models for its students? Does the entire school community embrace these beliefs and values?

Co-Curricular Opportunities

Are there ample opportunities for students to pursue their individual interests in the arts, athletics, community service, and specific academic areas? Do administrators and faculty members actively support the co-curricular program? Is there opportunity for students to develop leadership skills?

Engaging Family Life

Obtain a copy of the annual school calendar and review the scheduled events. Are there opportunities for parents and grandparents to visit the school and become actively involved in their children’s education? Are there parent organizations that provide a variety of volunteer positions for parents? Are parents welcome on campus? Do parents join their children for lunch? Are new families given support to learn about the school and to make them feel welcome? Do parents have an important voice in the school’s direction? Are parents valued at the school?

Strong Relationships

Do you observe strong relationships at the school? Is there evidence of camaraderie among the teachers, students, parents, and administrators? Do teachers and students engage in conversation outside of the classroom? Are alumni actively involved in the life of the school? Is there a sense of community?

Superior Facilities

Is the campus clean and well-maintained? Are the facilities clean and attractive and suited to the ages of the students? Are classrooms large enough for the number of students who use them? Are there specialized facilities, such as a media center, athletic facilities, an auditorium, computer and science labs, and a dining hall? Is there adequate lighting? Are pathways safe? Are security measures in place? Are books and other classroom materials adequate and in good condition? Is the overall campus environment pleasing?

Strategic Plan

Does the school have a formal, written plan that outlines its goals for the future and how they will be achieved? Are the philosophy and purpose of the school clearly stated and understood by the school’s constituents? Is there a sense of continuity that guides the school? Are there policies in place to ensure that quality in curriculum, instruction, and the overall school environment is maintained?

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