Students enrolled 620
Hours no info
School leader Jessica Holbrook
Transportation options no info
District Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Before school no info
After school no info

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21126 Catawba Avenue
Cornelius, NC 28031

School website
(980) 343-3905
(980) 343-3907
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Map of Cornelius Elementary address.

3 stars
Based on 42 ratings

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think about this school

April 08, 2014
Cornelius Elementary is a wonderful, highly academic school with exceptional teachers, strong student-centered leadership, and various extracurricular art and academic programs. We moved here from Ohio and had reservations about the quality of the public schools but find CMS and N.C. are farther ahead than most districts and states in integrating the rigor of common core standards. Cornelius students test very high on state achievement tests, comparable or higher than most of the private or charter schools, with impressive statistics that include ALL subgroups, including ESL and low SES children. Private and charter schools do not have the diversity that Cornelius offers or a talent development program (gifted service). The only negative aspect is that the school focuses too much on testing instead of differentiating assessment practices with more open-ended, creative, critical thinking tasks. If the latter were to happen, it would be even better.

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2014
I am sorry to say that my daughter is very disturbed by the bullying in the classroom. The most horrible part of it is that she is in kindergarten and the bullying is being done by the teacher. I have never seen anything like this. I have had my older children attend schools in other states and never seen anything like this anywhere else. If this teacher acted this way in any of the other states we have lived in she would no longer be allowed to work in elementary education.

- submitted by a parent
November 08, 2013
I am an adolescent therapist who works with children daily and visit many schools in the CMS district. My son was placed at Cornelius Elementary due to its positive reputation. My son attended for first through third grade and I took him out and moved him to another school in the beginning of third grade. The bullying was horrendous, to the point I wouldn't consider it mere bullying. I was fearful for the safety of my child. The Principal, Mr. Garvin, and assistant Principal refused a meeting. I eventually had to call the zone intendant. I filed several complaints and never received even a call back. The way CMS handles bullying, is to punish the victim by moving their class and putting them in vulnerable situations. My son was called to a meeting with the counselor and the bully and I was not even informed. The bully went beyond teasing and made violent threats to many children at the school. The "meeting" only made my son more fearful and feel more intimidated. The saddest part is when my child came to me and said, "I did the right thing and told and no one did anything". I am thankful I was able to move my child!

- submitted by a parent
July 27, 2013
We have had a very positive experience at this school. We have been very impressed with Principal Garvin and are also impressed with the school's test performance, especially given the income diversity present in the school. The diversity of the school is an added bonus in our mind, as children are present from all income levels and there are even many children from different countries around the world. We are concerned about the impact recent NC budget decisions will have on public schools in general, but the principal, teachers and staff receive 5 stars in my opinion for working so hard for our children.

- submitted by a parent
December 15, 2012
I agree with all the negative comments I am having to pull my child and move because of bulling that's is going on towards my child and the principal and councilor are doing nothing about it.

- submitted by a parent
November 02, 2012
This school is so overly worried about getting high academic reviews that the create a miserable environment for kids. The social, enjoyable aspect of school (that creates a positive learning environment and high test scores) is 100% forgotten and neglected. Kids are unfriendly, teachers make zero effort to integrate kids so that they enjoy themselves, find frends etc. there are no holiday parties or arts and crafts. Teachers have no clue how to explain difficult concepts and dont create interest in tacking challenging subjects-they just throw test after quiz and test to assess who will/will not meet the tests scores they need so that they wont be lumped in with all the other Charlotte schools, as far below national average. They need to take lessons from great schools in other parts of the country that do this by creating a balance of learning and achievement and positive social interaction. There is a reason why so many kids in Cornelius go to private school, the public schools are just unacceptable.

- submitted by a parent
September 29, 2012
I have a grandson who attends this elementary school. My son and grandson's mother did their research and made great sacrifices to send their son to CES. The parents, staff, teachers, and programming have always been outstanding. Unfortunately, the administration's understanding of the NC Anti-bullying Law has much to be desired. For at least 4 victims, the school had become a hostile environment where the children feared not only for their lives, but for the lives of their families. Since there was no physical contact, there were no consequences for the bully. The victims were removed from classes, and when that was no longer an option, the victim had to be pulled out of the school by the parent and at their expense. Soon, my grandson will be leaving as well. Great school if you can avoid the bullying and actually get a good education. Very sad situation, not only for the victims, but for the bully who has learned that bullying has no consequences at CES.

- submitted by a community member
August 28, 2012
Great School! Great safety system! Caring teachers and principal! My Kid is happy at cornelius elementary school!

- submitted by a parent
August 28, 2012
We love that our child goes here! What a great place to receive an education!

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2012
We love this school it's one of the best in the Lake Norman area as for public schools!!! Our daughter is currently in 3rd grade and has missed 12+ days of school due to her new diagnosis of Type1 Diabetes! The office staff and teachers have been wonderful with her! She still gets A&B's even though she's missed so much! You can even ask my son who know is in 6th grade advanced placement courses at Bailey Middle school. He attended Cornelius for 3&4th grade and loved it! He enjoys going there to see his old teachers! I would highly recommend Cornelius to anyone who who asked!!!! The teachers & principles are all FABULOUS!!!! 5*. A+++++

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2012
Cornelius is a great elementary school, do not let one negative post scare you. Everyone can't always be happy. But, I have had 2 kids in Cornelius for the past 7 years and know many parents who send there kids there. The school gives extra help when needed and is proactive about it. Teachers are truly caring and extremely competent. I am also a Realtor and have a pretty good feel for the public schools in the area. Cornelius is at the top which is evident from their overall rating on Great Schools.

- submitted by a parent
May 15, 2012
I too have had my child in Cornelius Elementary & I agree with the negative reviews -this school is one of the worst I have ever seen. We have actually made arrangements to pull our children out of Cornelius Elementary. I do agree that every family has a different experience and some feel it is positive. However, that being said, there are some very negative aspects of this school that are undeniable. There are many experienced teachers but, that is counter balanced with many first year inexperienced teachers. I too feel that the principal is runs a school with NO FLEXIBILITY to explore learning in a natural way that is suitable for each child. I think we have realized that the budget constraints on the public school system have trickled down to affect our school systems in Cornelius. The inner city schools receive a much greater % of the budget per child. This without question is going to affect the quality of education available to your child at Cornelius. You can survive in this setting but, who just wants their child to survive. Look it up...our children do not get the same funding from CMS that the Charlotte schools receive. I stand by the 1 star review...

- submitted by a parent
May 14, 2012
If I could give Cornelius Elementery 00000 stars I would. We have had a HORRIBLE experience at this school. NEW INEXPERIENCED teachers...a tyrant principal...inflexible policies and a school run by fear and intimidation. Steer clear if you can. With the amount of money in the Lake Norman area...no wonder so many families pull out and pay 20 k per year for private schools. So sad...this school is NOT AN OPTION....BEWARE...BEWARE...BEWARE!!!

- submitted by a parent
February 09, 2012
I have 2 children in Cornelius Elementary, and through the last 3 years we as parents have had our ups and downs with teachers. But when we addressed these concerns we were heard and delt with. Our kids have 2 new teachers (one new to teaching and the other new to the school) and they are excellent and caring. My son has a progressive medical issue that the school picked up on and they are always there to meet his needs as they change. We have considered sending our kids to a magnet school or a Christian school, but Cornelius has really proven to be a great fit for our kids. There is a great diversity at the school that I think my kids benefit from and couldn't get in another setting.

- submitted by a parent
October 23, 2011
My daughter is in the 4th grade and she is exceling and learning a lot. Her teacher is excellent in every way.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2011
Both of my children have gone through Cornelius Elementary, the last one is in 5th grade. We have been very pleased with the teachers and the new leadership. I hope that if you are considering moving to this town and sending your children to this school you will feel comforablte knowing that it is one of the best schools around. By the way, there is approximately an even split of new teachers and experienced teachers who have been at the school for a number of years.

- submitted by a parent
August 24, 2011
What a dissapointment! We have had a TERRIBLE EPERIENCE at Cornelius Elementary! While I will have to say that in ever bad school there are some great teachers - most of the teachers at Cornelius are new and inexperienced. Our K teacher was fantastic, experienced and a great teacher. First grade teacher- uptight and rigid, inexperienced and a know it all. The current principal is a tryant and morale is low. Way to go CMS for crushing creativity and helping our beautiful state win the RACE TO THE BOTTOM! If you live in Lake Norman area....beware. Our schools are some of the worst in the nation and Cornelius Elementary is a terrible school. We have removed our child and would NEVER send our other three children to one of the worst schools in the country.

- submitted by a parent
June 29, 2011
Unfortunately, Cornelius Elementary has gone way down hill in my opinion. I have had two children go through the school and the poor quality of teachers is concerning. Test scores are the only thing the teachers care about. My child hated going to school this year. The teachers are disinterested and inexperienced. This was such a gem of a school and unfortunately, those days are over. We are transferring to another school next year.

- submitted by a parent
January 12, 2011
My son went to this school before we moved abroad and entered him in an international IB school. He came in top of his class with only one other Japanese student as his competition. We were very pleased with Cornelius Elem and thought the teachers and staff were excellent. We would happily send our children there again. The neighborhood has a mix of lower, middle and high income students and I always felt this added tho the greatness of the school. I think the community is great!

- submitted by a parent
August 18, 2010
Great school. I have two kids at this school and could not be more please. All teachers are top the line. The Principal Nr Garvin is such a great person, always with a good comunication with parents, you do feel welcome anytime at this school. For being a public school, I can tell that its can not even compare with most of Private Schools, we do have top the line education at Cornelius Elementary.

- submitted by a parent
June 06, 2010
I have 3 children in this school. We have been through 3 principals and all of the controversy surround the administration. My family is thrilled with the direction of the new principal and vision of the school. Gone are the high maintenace, disgruntled parents of previous years. The staff and administraion are friendly and inviting. My children love learning and feel comfortable at this school, like it's an extention of their home. The PTA has worked all year to raise money for technology. They are very supportive of the children and school.

- submitted by a parent
no rating April 16, 2010
Great school, wonderful teachers. Change in leadership in the last year has been positive. My kids are excited about going to school -- just what a parent wants!

- submitted by a parent
March 26, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2009
Cornelius Elementary has always been a great school. Unfortunately because of the currenet principal I would advise future parents to do their research before placing their children at this school. Teachers are great! School itself is well maintained. The administration starting at the top is what places a dark cloud over the school. Leadership is not a strong point in the school which is causing good teachers to leave and go to other schools.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2009
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2009
I am very disappointed in this school all I heard before coming to this school was excellent reviews. But unfortunately the current principal is a disappointment. Do tons of research before you consider CMS School System. When you walk in the building very cold feeling you get from office staff.

- submitted by a parent
March 03, 2009
It saddens me to write such a poor review of a school I once loved teaching at. Since the current principal took leadership 3.5 years ago, I've watched the school take a nose-dive. It used to be a fun, child-focused 'North Carolina School of Excellence' and a esteemed as a 'National School of Character', now it seems character life-lessons are neglected, and children are merely 'test scores'. The tyrannical leadership of the principal has caused many to withdraw students and send their kids to private schools, as well as many seasoned teachers to leave due to his bullying and harassment. I think this school still has promise if a new principal is instated soon. Beware of entering this school, you may have to choose what 'Side' of the fence you will stand on - since this principal has driven a rift into the community.

- submitted by a teacher
March 01, 2009
We are leaving this school, I am very disappointed in this school as I had heard good things before coming to Charlotte and had good expectations, none of which have been met. They are so worried about character of your children and not academics. They don't seem to care, they have their books and administration to follow and that's that. Not once has my child come home with anything fun they have done, just the same old book work and spelling tests, and he's only 6. No stickers or certificates of good achievement, just very blah. They expect your child to be perfect but offer no solutions to why your child might be bored or what help is needed. The school is very cold, it does not have a warm atmosphere at all. I do not recommend at all.

- submitted by a parent
February 24, 2009
If you are looking at this school for your child, please do your homework. We are losing too many good teachers, test scores are not adding up, many parents/teacher have filed complaints on the principal. I am not saying you should not choose this school, just look into surrounding schools as well.

- submitted by a parent
February 22, 2009
I have removed my children from the school. Academics are declining. Most of the wonderful teachers left the school because of the leadership. There is not a warm, fuzzy feeling at all. It feels somewhat like a hospital or military base. I would not recommend this school to anyone.

- submitted by a parent
December 09, 2008
Really disenchanted with this school. Moved here from Kennesaw, GA - Cobb County. They handle overcrowding so much better. Have also lived and had my children in school Macomb and Oakland County in Michigan. CMS in general is the worst school system I have ever had to deal with and Cornelius which was a school of Excellence is going down the tubes. I recently met with the principal to move my child to another class. Naturally, I was the bad guy and made to feel like the villian because my child's requires more than just book work and assignments in order to learn. There is no classroom structure, no communication and virtual chaos. I am considering Charter or Private at this point. Hopefully it is not too late for my child.

- submitted by a parent
September 26, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
September 05, 2008
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a student
July 21, 2007
This school is very overcrowded and has many mobile units. Also, the class size cap is usually broken when new students come into the district or the school makes changes (which is frequently). We had to pull our children out.

- submitted by a parent
January 25, 2007
The teachers are excellent, the principle is another story. He doesn't communicate well with parents. He has his own way of doing things, and they are not always the right way to do things with kids.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2006
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
December 16, 2005
Overcrowded... Most teachers are real good - some have an attitude... Good students seem to do well and excel - average students do not seem to get extra attention to push themselves to their capability because they 'pass' - which is a shame - and we as parents work extra on pushing to the childs capability - - not sure why my standards are higher than the schools...

- submitted by a parent
October 20, 2005
This school is a big dissappointment. The school is very overcrowded for an elementary school. With so many children, the staff can only focus on so many children, and the rest seem to float from grade to grade. We had our child there for two years, and pulled her out.

- submitted by a parent
March 02, 2005
Have two children here and it is a home run. A bit crowded but very seasoned teachers and great leadership. Very involved parents. Very strong emphasis on character education monthly in all grades as well as strong academic.

- submitted by a parent
July 21, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
March 11, 2004
This is my child's second year attending this school, and I am very pleased. Parents are very involved and are very much a part of the school's overall success! I am certain this is one of the best elementary schools in this county!

- submitted by a parent
February 23, 2004
This review submitted without content.


- submitted by a parent
August 22, 2003
This is a 'hometown' school, the teachers and staff really care. Parents are encouraged to volunteer. My daughter's teachers have taken time and effort to challenge her over and above the grade level curriculum.

- submitted by a parent
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Cornelius Elementary
21126 Catawba Avenue, Cornelius, NC  28031
(980) 343-3905
Last modified Cornelius Elementary is a Public school that serves grades K-5. It has received a GreatSchools rating of 10 out of 10 based on academic quality.
Cornelius Elementary Rating: 3 out of 5 based on 43 reviews.