State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile

State Kindergarten-Through-Third-Grade Policies: State Profile - North Carolina

June 2018


This information was collected from state statutes, rules and regulations. A profile was sent to each state for review and modification, as needed.
 


Kindergarten Requirements
What is the compulsory school age? Age 7 N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-378
What is the state's kindergarten entrance age? Age 5 on or before August 31 N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-364
What age exemptions or waivers exist for kindergarten entrance? Opt-in: Age 5 on or before August 31 if the child has attended school that school year in another state.
Opt-in: Age 5, a child who initially enters kindergarten can enter grade 1 if the principal deems the child would be better served in grade 1.
Opt-in: Age 4 on or before April 16, may enter kindergarten if the parent presents information to the principal that the child is gifted.
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-364
Does the state require children to attend kindergarten? No- the initial entry point into school is kindergarten, but a principal may override this for an exceptionally mature student and place the child in grade 1 by the principal. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-378;
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-364
Does the state require the district to offer kindergarten and if so, full or half day? What exemptions exist for districts? Yes — Full-Day N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-47;
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-84.2
How many hours are required for grades K-3? 1,025 hour or 185 days for all students. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-84.2
Teacher Quality
What are the teacher-to-student ratio requirements for grade K-3? 1:18 for kindergarten. 1:16 for grade one. 1:17 for grade 2 and 3. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-301
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in reading? Teacher preparation: Elementary teacher preparation programs must include adequate coursework in the teaching of reading. Prior to licensure teachers must pass an assessment to evaluate their knowledge of scientifically based reading instruction. Training for elementary and special education must include instruction in early literacy intervention strategies and practices, including evidence-based assessment and diagnosis or reading difficulty.
Professional Development: As part of licensure renewal, elementary teachers must complete at least three continuing education credits related to literacy. Credits must include evidence-based assessments, diagnosis, and intervention strategies for students not demonstrating reading proficiency.
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-269.20;
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-270.30
What are the requirements for teacher training and professional development in math? Teacher Preparation: Elementary teacher preparation programs must include adequate coursework in the teaching of mathematics. Prior to licensure teachers must pass an assessment to evaluate their knowledge in scientifically based mathematics instruction. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-269.20
Does the state have an early learning endorsement or license specific to K-3? Prekindergarten License, birth to prekindergarten. Elementary License, kindergarten through grade 6. 16 N.C. Admin. Code 6C.0304
School Readiness and Transitions
Are kindergarten entrance assessments required? All students entering kindergarten must complete a kindergarten entrance assessment within 60 days of enrollment. All students entering kindergarten must be administered a developmental screening of early language, literacy, and math skills with in 30 days of enrollment. The developmental screening instrument may be composed of subsections of the kindergarten entry assessment. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.5
What are states required to do with the results of the KEA? The results of the kindergarten entrance assessment and developmental screening inform instructional strategies, efforts to reduce the achievement gap at kindergarten entry, and continuous improvement of the early childhood system. Assessment results are entered in the state longitudinal data system. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.5
Are there programs in place to guide the pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition process? Not specified in statutes, rules or regulation.
Does the state have a statutory definition of school readiness? What do states use their definition of school readiness to inform? The kindergarten entrance assessment addresses give domains of school readiness: "language and literacy development, cognition and general knowledge, approaches toward learning, physical well-being and motor development, and social and emotional development." The assessment produces quantitative data on each of readiness factors to inform instructional strategies. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.5
Assessment, Intervention and Retention
Are assessments required in grades K-3? Students must be administered a reading assessment in kindergarten, first, second, and third grade. Students in grade three must take assessments designed by the state board of education that measure their progress in reading, communication skills, and mathematics. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.6
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-174.11
What do the results of K-3 assessments inform? The results of the reading assessment is used to inform instruction and support. The assessment data is analyzed to identify root causes for difficulty with reading development and determine action to address the difficulties. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.6
Are there interventions available beginning in kindergarten? What are the interventions available for students in grades K-3? Interventions include reading camps, group or individual tutoring, extended learning time, and supplemental instruction. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.6
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115-83.8
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.3
Is there a third grade retention policy? Third grade retention is required for students who fail to demonstrate proficiency on state-approved standardized tests for reading comprehension. Students that demonstrate reading proficiency by November 1 are eligible for midyear promotion. There is a good cause exemption to mandatory retention that allows students with limited English proficiency, students with disabilities, student who demonstrate proficiency on alternative assessments, students who demonstrate proficiency through reading portfolio, and students who have received reading intervention and have been retained once in kindergarten, first, second, or third grade to be promoted. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.7
Family Engagement
For those states with pre-kindergarten to kindergarten transition guidance, is family engagement a requirement? Not specified in statute, rules or regulations.
For those states with third grade retention policies, is parental input required? Yes. Parental notification is required, including monthly written reports on student progress and information sessions between teachers and parents. Parents or guardians of students have the final decision regarding a student attending reading camp. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.9
N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.8
Social-Emotional Learning
Where is social-emotional development emphasized in statute? Social-emotional development is identified as one of the five domains of school readiness in the KEA. N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 115C-83.5

© 2019 by the Education Commission of the States (ECS). All rights reserved. ECS is the only nationwide, nonpartisan interstate compact devoted to education. 700 Broadway #810, Denver, CO 80203-3442

To request permission to excerpt part of this publication, either in print or electronically, please contact the Education Commission of the States’ Communications Department at 303.299.3609 or askinner@ecs.org.

Your Education Policy Team  www.ecs.org