Literacy Instruction Standards

About the Literacy Instruction Standards

On October 7, 2021, the North Carolina State Board of Education approved the Literacy Instruction Standards (LIS) as outlined in Section V of SB 387: Excellent Public Schools Act of 2021. The LIS serve as a framework for the development and alignment of curriculum and instruction for all public schools. These standards are defined as a level of quality and equity to be used consistently within core literacy instruction statewide. While the NC Standard Course of Study (NCSCOS) sets student expectations, the LIS and their associated instructional practices set expectations for teaching literacy.  The LIS are organized by grade-band and can be used to ensure that all teachers across North Carolina have a common understanding and delivery of literacy instruction.

While the LIS have been developed by grade bands, they should be used in tandem with appropriate grade-level texts of increasing complexity in order for students to fully meet the demands of the NCSCOS. This LIS framework does not indicate an exhaustive list of literacy instruction practices and may not fully capture all instructional practices that have the potential to positively impact students’ literacy achievement in K-12. New literacy research could modify and/or add to the instructional practices listed.

View the LIS and their associated instructional practices below.


Grades K-2

Grades 3-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-12

Modifying Local Curriculum and Instruction

In December 2022, districts were required to complete a form regarding the measures taken by each LEA to implement the requirements regarding the Literacy Instruction Standards (LIS) and literacy implementation plan pursuant to SB387.  As of November 9, 2023, NCDPI's review of these forms has been completed and returned to districts.

According to SB387, modifications shall be implemented into curriculum and instruction as soon as possible, and all modified curriculum and instruction shall be in place beginning with the 2024-2025 school year.

Should you have any questions or need support regarding the LIS, please contact the NCDPI ELA Team.

December 15, 2022 LEAs reviewed and modified curriculum and instruction; LEAs submitted form
November 9, 2023 NCDPI completed review of forms and returned feedback to LEAs
November 15, 2023 Legislative deadline for NCDPI to complete review and feedback on LEA forms
2024-2025 SY All modified PSU curriculum and instruction in place


LIS Resources

View the installation timeline and resources in the LIS Toolkit (LIST). Please check back often for updates. In an effort to keep stakeholders informed, the NCDPI ELA Team provides monthly updates that contain the latest announcements and current news regarding the Literacy Instruction Standards. These updates are sent every first Friday of the month. To receive these updates straight to your inbox, be sure to subscribe to our listserv. To view past updates, click on the links below.

Literacy Instruction Standards & Content Area Practices Crosswalk

This document aims to provide teachers of all content areas with an understanding of how current domains of instructional practice found within the content areas align with the LIS. Since the alignment between the LIS and instructional practices in various content areas exists, all educators, regardless of their discipline, participate in literacy instruction.

Teachers should reference this document when planning content area and literacy instruction to ensure students are fully meeting the demands of the NCSCOS.