FAQ

Below you will find answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about Spectrum:

I think my child would be perfect for Spectrum of the Arts! How do I enroll my child?

Students are considered for Spectrum of the Arts by nomination only. Students must be current 4 – 8 graders enrolled in CMS. Students must be nominated by a teacher at their school (arts teacher, drama teacher, music teacher, homeroom teacher, TD teacher, etc.) to be eligible. Teachers will receive nomination packets and instructions at monthly district meetings in January and they are due to our office by the end of February. Students who are nominated are not guaranteed a spot – they are only eligible for the lottery drawing that occurs in late February/early March. Students who have been selected through the lottery to attend will be notified by early March.

What criteria are considered by teachers for student nomination to Spectrum?

Teachers are looking for students who are highly talented and motivated in a specific arts area (drama, dance, creative writing, visual arts or music). Gifted (TD) certification is not required, nor is the program for remedial help. The student must also be willing to explore and engage in all the other arts disciplines in addition to their nominated arts area. This program is not intended for students who might be “interested in” an arts area – it is designed for students who already perform exceptionally in a specific arts area. Things to consider for students: Are you able to receive feedback and use it to improve their work? Are you willing to participate in the other arts areas, even if you don’t consider yourself “talented” or an “expert” in them? Are you comfortable trying new things and ideas as part of a learning process?

How does the lottery process work?

Students who attended Spectrum the previous year all 8 days are automatically invited back to participate. Their registration begins in January and continues into mid-February. Based on the response from our alumni, we can determine how many seats will be open for new lottery students. For example, if 100 alumni positively respond that they will be returning, we will have 65 open seats for new lottery participants (165 students total can attend Spectrum, due to space and budget restrictions). In selecting students for the lottery, we look to be sure that each CMS Learning Community, gender, grade level and race are equally represented to the best of our ability. These factors can all be influenced by the nominations we receive, as we do not control who is nominated from each school. For example, the dance program has traditionally been mostly female, as most of our nominees are female.

My child was nominated for dance, but I would like him/her to attend as a drama major. Can we switch majors?

No, your child must attend as a major in the area where they were nominated. If your child is a Spectrum alumnus, they may not switch majors the following year. If your child wishes to switch majors as an alumnus, they must be re-nominated in the new area by the teacher and will go through the same lottery process as all other students. Therefore, they are not guaranteed a spot at Spectrum.  They will also lose their alumni status.

What is the tuition for Spectrum and what does it cover? Is financial assistance available if my child is selected, but I cannot afford tuition?

The current tuition for Spectrum of the Arts is $200.00 for the 8 day program. This cost covers all materials your child will use during the program, a daily snack, and a Spectrum t-shirt. We do have a limited number of scholarships available with proof of hardship. You would need to submit a copy of your Free/Reduced lunch confirmation letter from CMS Child Nutrition (980-343-6041), along with your registration, as proof of hardship. If your child attends a school where ALL students receive free lunch, a copy of your Department of Social Services letter that indicates you are receiving Food Nutrition Services is also acceptable. Scholarships are awarded on a first come, first serve basis. We have a total of 35 scholarships to award to students.

Will transportation be provided?

No, Spectrum does not provide bus transportation to or from the program. Transportation is the sole responsibility of the parent. However, there are opportunities to link up with other students participating in the program through carpooling. More information about this is available by emailing the Program Director, Trinette Atri at trinettej.atri@cms.k12.nc.us.

How many students attend Spectrum of the Arts? Can you expand the program?

Currently, we are limited to 165 students due to budgetary and space restrictions, though we would LOVE to expand the program! Each elementary and middle school is able to nominate 5 students (one each in drama, visual arts, creative writing, music and dance) total. The exceptions are the K-8 or K-6 schools, who are able to nominate 10 students total – 5 from the elementary grades and 5 from the middle school grades.

One of my children will be attending Spectrum, does this mean my other child can attend as well?

Not necessarily. Both children must go through the nomination and lottery process to be eligible to attend Spectrum. It IS possible that they could both make it through the lottery, but it is not guaranteed.

I received a letter that said my child was placed on the wait list for Spectrum. What does this mean? Is there a good chance my child will still receive a spot?

We have a very high level of interest in our program because it is so amazing! This means that, unfortunately, we cannot accept all the students who were nominated (though we’d love to!). After students are selected for seats through our lottery process, the remaining students are placed on a wait list according to their status and the date we received their nominations. Alumni who missed the registration deadline, but still wish to attend, are placed at the top of the wait list. They are followed by students nominated in that area based on the date we received their nomination – the earliest received are placed higher on the list. There is no way to tell if your child will receive a spot if you are on the wait list, as it is based on the response and participation we receive from alumni and students selected in the lottery.  If a spot does open up, you will be notified by late April.

My child is attending Spectrum as a dance major. Are any special shoes/clothing required?

Students can wear what is comfortable for them to move in (t-shirts, shorts, yoga pants, etc.). Leotards and tights are worn by some.  Please do not wear jeans, as they can restrict movement. Most students either go barefoot or wear foot thongs. Jazz or ballet slippers are okay for class, but dance students will perform in bare feet or flesh-colored foot thongs for the sharing performance. Students are also allowed to use the restrooms near the dance room to change into regular clothes for minor areas if they wish to. If you have any further questions about the dance program, please contact Carrie Morrow at carrie.morrow@cms.k12.nc.us.