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Understanding Charters

Understanding Charter Schools

Carolina International School is a North Carolina tuition-free public Charter school that receives funding from the state and county for each enrolled student to help cover operational costs. Since Charter schools do not receive additional funding for facilities, transportation, or specialized programs, students’ families and the school community generously provide donations of money and time to bridge the gap between the school’s financial needs and the public funds the school receives. For more information about sponsoring CIS, click here. SPONSOR CIS

Facts About Charter Schools:

*3.3 million students attend Charter schools in the U.S.

*There are currently 7,500 Charter schools nationwide

*440 million dollars are provided for Charter school funding

The Main Benefits of a Charter School:

*Each school can set their own school calendar although they still must meet the state requirements for a minimum number of instructional hours in a school year

*Open to all students, regardless of their zip code.

*Flexibility to create an education culture that encourages student performance and provides choices to parents seeking a better education for their children.

*Autonomy of teachers to create the highest quality, innovative classroom environments that fit student’s needs.

*Principals who provide dynamic leadership that attracts staff that best meet the schools’ needs and culture.

* Accountability to performance standards agreed upon between the Charter and the community.

Transportation and Lunch

Charter schools are not required to provide transportation and lunch. At CIS, we encourage families that need daily transportation to carpool or use a third-party transportation service. CIS provides meals by working with private vendors to provide a hot lunch option for students who choose not to bring their lunch. Additionally, due to popular demand, we offer “Pizza Fridays” for most of the school year. Currently, CIS does not have a cafeteria, therefore, students eat in their classrooms or outdoors.


Charter school students are required to take the same standardized tests required by the state. The curriculum at CIS follows the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, which is built around the Common Core framework.


North Carolina residents in any county within the state can attend any charter school they choose. A lottery is held each year to select the students who will be offered available seats at the school. Visit the Admissions section for more information about the CIS enrollment process.