Carolina International School follows the North Carolina Standard Course of Study (NCSCS), which is built around the Common Core Framework.

Teachers incorporate multiple best-practice strategies to apply the standards. Differentiation steeped in reading, writing and discussion provides our instructional focus. Appropriate, sequential instruction along with other curriculum innovations allow for integrated and individualized instruction.

The CIS curriculum includes the study of English language arts, mathematics, science, social studies, international and environmental studies, the visual and performing arts, computer technology, healthful living/physical education, and Spanish. Reading, Writing, and Math Labs devote special attention to these fundamental skills.

What sets CIS apart is our focus on international and environmental education, global stewardship, as well as our application of technology. Character education based on our four Core Values – Respect, Responsibility, Solutions, and Service – is integrated into the curriculum.


International Education

International education is essential to prepare US citizens for the future. Not only is our world increasingly interconnected and interdependent, our local communities are growing in multicultural diversity. Our students must develop a broad awareness of other cultures and the differences that distinguish them. But they must simultaneously acquire a deep understanding of all that we share in common as human beings and occupants of a single planet. 


Students begin the study of Spanish in Grade 2, progressing each year through the 12th grade. Also available in HS (after completion of the NC foreign language requirement) is the opportunity to study a chosen language online via the NC virtual HS. 


As part of their International Studies curriculum, students are introduced to a variety of languages in K-8. Each year focuses on a different partner country/city, including the language(s) of that area.


At CIS, students collaborate with Charlotte and Concord Sister City Programs, aligning each of our grades with one of these cities. Our students learn about and connect with peers in other countries through activities such as pen pal and Internet correspondence and visitors from these countries.


Country Partnerships by Grade

Kindergarten – Kampala, Uganda

Grade 1 – New Delhi, India

Grade 2 – Krefeld, Germany

Grade 3 – Arequipa, Peru

Grade 4 – Baoding, China

Grade 5 – Mexico City, Mexico

Grade 6 – Limoges, France

Grade 7 – Kumasi, Ghana

Grade 8 –Wroclaw, Poland

Grade 9 – San Jose, Costa Rica

Grade 10 – Killarney, Ireland

Grade 11 - Istanbul, Turkey

Grade 12 - Port au Prince, Haiti



Environmental Education

Our Environmental Education curriculum actively engages our students in rich outdoor environmental learning opportunities that our 82-acre campus provides. The underdeveloped, natural habitat offers space for in-depth exploration, allowing learners to connect concepts applied within the natural environment. They can also develop a real-life connection with diverse ecosystems. 

For example, each grade level has an environmental project it is responsible for. These include courtyard gardens, a butterfly garden, composting, bird feeders & houses, and recycling.



Global Stewardship

Global stewardship is our overarching principle. It effectively links our international and environmental emphasis and conveys all four of our core values; respect, responsibility, solutions and service. CIS students learn to think and link globally by encouraging actual connections with other cultures; to act locally, by encouraging solutions and service-oriented action; and impact globally, that through many local acts we can impact the globe.


Quarterly themes provide a focus each quarter and classroom projects are developed across disciplines integrating each quarterly theme.  Students and teachers have great flexibility in developing the project collaboratively to showcase high-level problem-solving approaches that are age and developmentally appropriate.

• 1st Quarter: Creating Global Citizens

• 2nd Quarter: Making Connections Around the World

• 3rd Quarter: Exploring Systems in the World

• 4th Quarter: Caring for the Planet and Its People




The philosophy at Carolina International School is to use technology as a tool to enhance learning, create opportunities for individualized instruction, and help students develop technical skills.

CIS is a 1:1 laptop school in grades 3-12, with each student provided a laptop for individual use. Tablets are available for use in the K-2 classrooms. We also have a well equipped computer lab for student use and technology instruction K-12. SMART boards and Mimio interactive technology are available in classrooms.