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North Carolina Standard Course of Study

All public schools in the state of North Carolina adhere to the curriculum standards outlined in the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, which is comprised of the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and literacy and Essential Standards for all other curriculum areas. The state’s Standard Course of Study defines the appropriate content standards for each grade level and each high school course to provide a uniform set of learning standards for every public school in North Carolina.

The goal of these research-based standards is to prepare all students to become career and college ready. While the focal point of educational thought of the past was limited toward success during the years of K-12 learning, the Common Core/Essential Standards mindset is targeted toward success well beyond completion of high school or college. Thus, the overall goal is to prepare North Carolina’s children for optimal function on a global scale. Below you will find unpacking standards documents provided by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction to support teachers in their understanding of the Common Core State Standards and Essential Standards. The unpacking documents demonstrate at a granular level the knowledge and skills students are expected to master at a particular grade. Pertinent information for each grade level is also included.

Kindergarten Age Requirement – NC House Bill 150

In July 2007 the North Carolina Legislature amended the age requirement for admission into public kindergarten. In order to enter kindergarten in a public school system in the state of North Carolina, a child must have reached his/her fifth birthday by August 31 of the school year in which he/she is presented for enrollment. Please click here to read the full text of NC House Bill 150.

Standard Course of Study


First Grade

Second Grade

Third Grade

Fourth Grade

Fifth Grade