North Carolina Standard Course of Study
Curriculum in all disciplines should be planned around the North Carolina Standard Course of Study, which includes K-12 Curriculum Standards for all content areas recognized by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. As part of the Accountability and Curriculum Reform Effort (ACRE), all of the K-12 standards have been revised and updated simultaneously. Teaching the newly revised standards should be implemented throughout North Carolina beginning with the 2012-2013 academic year.

What are Standards? Standards define the content-specific goals and learning objectives for the year. They define the "what" of the curriculum, but not the "how" or "when". Developing curriculum around the standards, which includes specific resources, materials, and activities is done at the local level. This might be done by individual teachers, as part of a school-wide effort, or as part of a district-wide effort. For more information on Understanding the Standards and Local Curriculum Development, see the Online Learning Modules developed as part of the READY professional development.

North Carolina Essential Standards Standards for all other areas recognized within the North Carolina Standard Course of Study are state-specific, and were developed in North Carolina. The writing teams included teachers, curriculum leaders, and higher education representatives from all 8 regions of the state. The North Carolina Essential Standards went through multiple external reviews and revisions before formal adoption by the North Carolina State Board of Education.

Mathematics and English Langauge Arts (ELA) Essential Standards

North Carolina Essential Standards

North Carolina Extended Content Standards

North Carolina Mathematics Standard Course of Study
Arts Education
English Language Arts
ELA Standards


Social Studies

English Language Development/ESL

Career and Technical Education


Healthful Living

Information & Technology

Occupational Course of Study


Social Studies

World Languages

North Carolina Arts Education Essential Standards Packet This PDF version is print-ready and includes:
  • The Arts Education Preamble
  • North Carolina Essential Standards for all four Arts Disciplines
  • Crosswalks Instructional Tools for all four Arts Disciplines
  • Unpacking the Standards Instructional Tools for all four Arts Disciplines