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Island Montessori Charter School holds student lottery

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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) – Island Montessori Charter School is opening up a new school in Carolina Beach in the fall.

Friday, the school held a student lottery to determine which students would be able to enroll next school year.

Two hundred students applied for acceptance but, Island Montessori Charter School could only accommodate 144 of them.

Although the lottery drawing was not mandatory, dozens of nervous parents anxiously waited for their child’s number called.

Susan Elbel’s soon to be first grader and fourth grader both made the cut.

“Oh, we were just so excited, so excited,” said Elbel.

Not every parent was fortunate enough to hear their child’s number.

“It's very difficult to watch people who don't make it. But, it was very exciting to see the children that will be in our charter school starting this fall,” said Melinda Cummings, President of the Board of Directors at Island Montessori Charter School.

Elbel’s kids currently attend Carolina Beach Elementary, where she says the class sizes are bigger than she prefers for her children. She looks forward feeling like part of a community at the smaller Charter School.

"I love the fact that every parent is going to have to volunteer; every family is going to volunteer. Charter schools have smaller budgets, so we all have to pool together,” said Elbel. “Painting, weeding, you know, whatever needs to be done we're all going to pull together as a community and do it.”

Parents say the Montessori School’s way of embracing each child as an individual and its approach to peaceful problem solving set it apart from other schools.

Cummings agrees.

"The children are the center of the classroom, as opposed to a traditional school was the teacher might be the center of the classroom,” Cummings said.

Parents of the children who were selected in Friday night’s lottery will receive paperwork on Monday for enrollment. They have until May 24th to return it to the school.

If they fail to do so, the school says they forfeit their child’s seat and will offer it to a student on the wait list.

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