Students enrolled 605
Hours 9:15 AM - 4:15 AM
School leader Jo Shirley
District Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Resources:The North Carolina education landscape explained. Learn More »


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329 N. Irwin Avenue
Charlotte, NC 28202

School website
(980) 343-5480
(980) 343-5574
Nearby homes for sale
Map of Irwin Academic Center address.

4 stars
Based on 17 ratings

Let others know what you
think about this school

April 30, 2014
This is one of the best public schools. They do a very good job focusing on education and preparing my child. He has made good friends here. Very few behavior issues. It has always had a strong pta from the beginning.

- submitted by a parent
April 08, 2014
We have been at Irwin a couple years now and I've always enjoyed how wonderfully engaged, concerned and welcoming the administrative staff had been in the past. However with the change in leadership to the new principal all that has changed for the worst. The current principal Jo Shirley is significantly lacking in social skills. She fails to meet/greet parents when she sees someone new as others have done. Afterall, she's the one that's new - not the parents that have been with Irwin. She has an elitist attitude which has resulted in unhappiness with the teachers, staff and parents. This doesn't appear to be the right school for Jo Shirley. She is perhaps better suited to manage high risk schools as her background would suggest. I only hope that this principal's reign will not undo all the hard work that was put forth to make Irwin a school of excellence from an academic AND social standpoint.

- submitted by a parent
December 05, 2013
As a parent of children at Irwin Academic Center, I was drawn to this school for its reputation for excellence as well as the positive and welcoming atmosphere for parents and students. The teachers are wonderful, and really care about the success of my children as well as the other students. However, I do agree with the other parents in that the administrative leadership of the school has lost sight of the mission of the school as a whole and how to facilitate a caring, creative, and innovative school culture for learning. It is apparent in the unhappiness of the staff and the hostility of the new leadership that the positive qualities of Irwin are in jeopardy. I do hope that Irwin maintains its excellent reputation and school culture and retains the high quality teachers that are currently there.

- submitted by a parent
November 20, 2013
My son has been with this school (and Villa Heights as its previous location) since Kindergarten, and he is now in 5th grade. Overall he has had an excellent educational experience due to the awesome and dedicated teachers. If he'd been in a typical elementary school, he would have been bored to tears and probably disruptive. However I am concerned about the new leadership (principal and vice principal). I'm not sure they really "get it" in terms of what the school is. So far my concerns have been met with complete disinterest by the new leaders. I had honestly hoped for better than Mr. LeGrand, but Shirley and Matthews are actually making him look very good by comparison. These two need to be more in touch with the parents and their concerns, or I fear this wonderful school will lose its glory in the future. For the sake of the kids, I really hope not.

- submitted by a parent
May 03, 2013
Irwin Academic Center is a great place for gifted children. My third-grade daughter is kept challenged without getting overwhelmed or burned out. The teachers and school keep parents constantly informed about their children's progress and school happenings. The teachers seem to get alot of support from administraion and truely seem to love teaching. The school allows students to bring their own technology to class and use the school's wi-fi for class projects and research. My daughter's teacher mixes in fun activities after stressful activities (like tests) to keep the kids in a good mood. My only complaint would be the after-school care coordinator who seems to be sick of her job and being around children. Luckily her support staff compensate for this. If you have a child that is bored and not challenged at their current school, I would definitely recommend trying to get into this magnet school.

- submitted by a parent
March 25, 2013
I have a Kindergartner, 3rd grader in the TD program and a 5th grader in the TD program at Irwin. All of the teachers my children have had have all been amazing. The curriculum is rigorous and our extra curricular activities have suffered because of the additional 45 minutes CMS added to the school day as well as the long commute to and from school. Over all, IAC is wonderful and we feel very fortunate to be part of this school community.

- submitted by a parent
February 13, 2013
Irwin Academic Center (IAC) is by far one of the best magnet schools in greater Charlotte and surrounding counties. No wonder it is ranked at 99th percentile by NC dept of Education compared to other Charter and private schools in & around Charlotte. Our child was earlier attending a private school and we feel we have wasted thousands of $$ in comparison to IAC. Teachers are very knowledgeable and EXTRA talented. The curriculum is quite challenging and the leadership qualities of the principal, PTA & school staff is worth applauding. They make learning so much fun and interesting with field trips, hands on experience with science, math, arts even at elementary school level and our child enjoys this school very very much. The extra curricular clubs like chess, language, puzzles, Lego clubs, science, math clubs/Olympiads, girls on the run etc are just a few to mention of the many activities that make this school's learning environment extra ordinary and well above PAR. We are very pleased with the results we have been noticing in our child. My child LOVES LOVES school. We as parents cannot emphasize more on how great this school is! We definitely recommend this school to any parent!

- submitted by a parent
July 23, 2012
The new school building is located in the heart of Charlotte (Uptown) and is one of the BEST schools in the city for various reasons.This school is absolutely fantastic with challenging curriculum and strong leadership qualities that every parent envisions for their children. The school environment is very well disciplined and the teachers are so talented. Homework and projects even in kindergarten are quite creative & challenging for the kids and bring the best out of their abilities. The assignments/projects and even day to day homework make the children think and understand the subject or concept as an entity. I have seen a tremendous improvement in my child's academics. We as parents are absolutely happy and truly thankful to all those staff members for their exquisite teamwork and the principal & teachers who make this school as one of the Top notch schools in Charlotte metropolitan area. I would HIGHLY recommend this school to any one parent wants to send their kids to a challenging and stimulating environment. This school and its outstanding curriculum is going to turn your average kid into one of the smartest ones and you will NOT be disappointed.

- submitted by a parent
March 17, 2012
While not a school for every child, it is an outstanding environment for the high-achieving child. The pace is fast, the curriculum is engaging, the teachers are well-trained, enthusiastic, and kind. The administrative and PTA leadership are all you could hope for- highly competent and motivated. We love this school.

- submitted by a parent
March 16, 2012
This school has doubled in size this year and with all of the changes that have taken place I feel that the rigorous program has still continued. The parent and teacher involvement in this school is incomparable to any other school I have seen. They offer a very fast paced curriculum for high achieving students. If you child is not a fast learner or gifted, they may seriously struggle in this environment. I've seen it happen to many. Gifted children really excel at this school!

- submitted by a community member
January 26, 2012
The staff at this school are top notch. The kids at this school are top notch. The parents at this school are top notch. Most have said that this school is a private education at a public school cost. One of the best performing schools in all of North Carolina have led this school to many accolades and awards. The school provides an extensive amount of extracurricular before, during and after school that enhances it's model of gifted education. If you have a kid that needs a challenging and rigorous education, this is the place.

- submitted by a teacher
June 10, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
November 07, 2006
Absolutely wonderful school! I could not ask for more. Parent, Teacher, Student involvement is top notch.

- submitted by a parent
October 28, 2006
A great school. Teachers are well educated. The children bring homework everyday- a must if you want your child to be smart!

- submitted by a parent
October 16, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a teacher
January 29, 2005
My child is in kindergarten and so far we love this school. I searched long and hard for a school like this, and the test scores and curriculum were a big factor in choosing this school. It seems to me that the kids are learning so well here because of the wonderful teaching staff, awesome principal, small size (only two classes per grade) and great parents who choose this school because they want their kids to get the best education they can.

- submitted by a parent
August 26, 2003
This is the best public elementary school in the state! The small school atmosphere enhances the teamwork that is easily apparent between teachers, staff and parents. I would highly recommend this school for all who are interested in a challenging and rewarding curriculum for their child.

- submitted by a parent
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Irwin Academic Center
329 N. Irwin Avenue, Charlotte, NC  28202
(980) 343-5480
Last modified Irwin Academic Center is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Irwin Academic Center Rating: 4 out of 5 based on 17 reviews. Top